Giving Compass' Take:

• Carolyn Phenicie reports that the Education Department has announced the reversal of an ESSA requirement that services provided to low-income students at private schools be provided by non-religious organizations. 

• Is it acceptable for low-income students to receive services from religious organizations? How can the separation of church and state be maintained? 

• Read more about the church-state debate in schools


Relying on a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the Education Department announced that religiously affiliated organizations will be eligible to provide services to low-income students attending private schools.

Under the “equitable services” provision of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, low-income students attending private schools are eligible for tutoring and other services like their peers at public schools. Private schools, which may decline to participate, work with school districts to negotiate the services they need, and the district then provides the services using its own personnel or pays a third-party service provider.

The current version of that law, known as the Every Student Succeeds Act, requires that those service providers be “independent of … any religious organization.”

The Education Department said that restriction violates the Supreme Court’s 2017 Trinity Lutheran decision. In that case, justices ruled that a church-affiliated preschool could not be barred from a playground resurfacing program simply because of its religious affiliation.

Read the full article about ending the ban on religious organizations providing services to low-income students at private schools by Carolyn Phenicie at The 74.