November 1, 2018
Up Next on the Secretariat's Calendar...
November 11 - Committee on Catholic Education Meeting
November 12-15  - General Assembly
Dec 2 - Advent Begins
December 5-7 - ExcelinEd 2018 National Summit on Education Reform
Jan 2-8 - Bishops' 7-day Ignatian-style retreat

EdWeek: Betsy DeVos Shifts School Choice, Privacy Offices at Education Department
Stay informed- check out this EdWeek  article  here.
Click here to download or request a hard copy.  This guidebook will offer you state-by-state analysis and national data on the 54 private school choice programs across 26 states!
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has honored and recognized great American public and private elementary, middle, and high schools since 1982. Every year, Catholic elementary and secondary schools are among the hundreds of public and private schools identified by the U. S. Department of Education as National Blue Ribbon Schools. 49 private schools are among the awardees this year and 44 of those were Catholic schools! 
What is an ombudsman?

To help ensure equitable services and other benefits for eligible private school children, teachers and other educational personnel, and families, a State educational association must designate an ombudsman to monitor and enforce equitable services requirements under both Title I and Title VIII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA sections 1117(a)(3)(B) and 8501(a)(3)(B)). The Ombudsman Corner provides helpful information and resources to assist State ombudsmen in fulfilling this role. Check out one recent Q & A from the Ombudsman Update here:

Question: Do the percentage distribution requirements for Title IV, Part A (Title IV) subgrants apply to an LEA's total allocation (the portion to be spent on public schools plus the portion to be spent on equitable services for private school students), or just to the portion of an LEA's allocation that will be spent on public schools?
Answer: Title IV is a covered program under ESEA section 8501, so all LEAs receiving Title IV funds must meet the equitable participation requirements, using a portion of funds for services to private school students to address their needs as identified in meaningful consultation with private school officials. Title IV also requires LEAs to assure that they will spend certain percentages of their funds on each of three statutory content areas. The statute states that LEAs must "use not less than 20 percent of funds received under this subpart" for each of section 4107 (well-rounded education) and 4108 (safe and healthy students) and "use a portion of funds received under this subpart" for section 4109 (effective use of technology). This language "funds received under this subpart"- indicates that these distribution requirements apply to an LEA's total allocation. Accordingly, an LEA must meet the percentage distribution requirements based on its total allocation. LEAs have also asked whether the distribution requirements must, in addition, be met separately with the portion of funds spent for equitable services for private school students. There is no such requirement in the statute. The distribution requirements apply only to the LEA's total allocation.

Read  more by checking out the latest Ombudsman update from the US Dept of Education.  These newsletters come out quarterly, and you can subscribe too by clicking here.
A new EdChoice study reports that voucher programs across the country have saved tax- payers billions of dollars. Fiscal Effects of School Vouchers, a report authored by Martin Lueken, analyzes 16 voucher programs in nine states plus the District of Columbia. The conclusion: voucher programs have generated a "cumulative net savings to state and local budgets worth $3.2 billion from when they were launched to FY 2015." This equates to $3,400 in savings per voucher recipient. In 2015 alone voucher programs have saved taxpayers $408.5 million.
Read more about this issue in the October issue of CAPE Outlook.
Also in Outlook this month:
  • Blue Ribbon Schools Announced
  • Private School Leaders Meet
  • Maine Policy Excludes Religious Schools
  • DC Update

Help Me Help You
If there is someone on your diocesan staff who is designated to watch, advocate or implement federal education programs and grants in your schools, please give us their information here so that we can help them in their work and coordinate our efforts! 
As always, please share with me your ideas, suggestions, and experiences by emailing


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