Supplemental Educational Services
Supplemental Educational Services, or SES, are private tutoring and other remedial services required to be funded by Title I public schools that fail to satisfy the standards of the No Child Left Behind bill.
Students from low-income families who remain in Title I schools that fail to meet NCLB standards on tests for at least two years are eligible to receive Supplemental Educational Services. All schools that fail to meet the applicable testing standards for three years in a row must provide SES; schools that fail to meet the applicable testing standards for only two years in a row must provide SES "[i]f choice is not feasible due to one of the following reasons (which, in practice, is nearly every public school)[:]
- District is a single attendance area having one grade span per school.
- District does not have capacity.
- There are no high-performing schools in the district with comparable grade spans.
The New Jersey Department of Education explains the criteria as follows:
- There are two criteria for students to be eligible to receive supplemental educational services. First, only students enrolled in Title I-funded schools that have been designated as “in need of improvement” for two or more consecutive years are eligible for supplemental educational services. Second, eligible students must come from families that meet the federal poverty guidelines. Students who are eligible for free and reduced lunch generally meet this poverty standard. Services will be prioritized to the lowest-achieving eligible student.
New Jersey releases its annual report of failing schools that qualify for SES online.
Funding for SES services in New Jersey is capped at a maximum amount per student, which varies by district. One fifth, or 20%, of the Title I funding received by a failing public school must be set aside for school choice or SES services.
In New Jersey, far more families select SES rather than school choice: 19,243 students selected SES and only 363 selected school choice in the 2003-2004 school year.
New Jersey applies an ethical code to SES providers.
New Jersey imposes the following requirements of SES instructors:
- The NJDOE requires that all instructional staff have minimum qualifications of 60 college credits or an Associate's degree. However, the NJDOE highly recommends that providers hire individuals with teaching experience and/or professional training that provide the knowledge and skills to ensure high quality instruction aligned with the instructional program of the district and the NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards. SES providers should hire the most qualified instructors available.
New Jersey posts online the list of approved providers, along with background and fee information about each provider.
New Jersey Application Process
New Jersey uses a biennial application process that assigns a point total to each applicant, with a minimum total of 98 points out of a total of 140 maximum points are necessary to be approved. The points are awarded in the application process as follows:
- alignment to the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards (CCCS) and the district's instructional programs (40 points maximum)
- key instructional practices and major program elements must be (1) high quality, (2) based on research (citations required), and (3) specifically designed to increase student academic achievement (10 points maximum)
- a clear, concise narrative including evidence of program effectiveness in improving student's academic achievement (35 points maximum)
- clearly describe the specific assessment programs and practices used to diagnose a student's needs, prescribe an instructional program to meet that student's needs, and evaluate and monitor that student's progress towards clearly identified goals (15 points maximum)
- proposed process of engaging parents/families and schools/teachers in the development of the Individual Student Learning Plans and the process of providing student progress reports to parents/families and schools (10 points maximum)
- evidence of employment of qualified instructional staff (at a minimum 60 college credits or an associate degree) and a demonstrated commitment to the provision of ongoing professional development and improvement of services (10 points maximum)
- evidence that the program complies with federal, state, and local health and safety standards and that your agency has a plan to address discipline problems and emergency situations to ensure the safety of students while in the program (20 points maximum)