Equitable Services State Ombudsman

To help ensure equitable services and other benefits for eligible private school children, teachers and other educational personnel, and families, an SEA must designate an ombudsman to monitor and enforce ESEA equitable services requirements under ESEA sections 1117(a)(3)(B) and 8501(a)(3)(B) which include the following  federal programs:

Roles and Responsibilities of an Ombudsman

The Maryland State Department of Education’s (MSDE) Equitable Services State Ombudsman (ESSO) serves as the primary point of contact for addressing questions and concerns from private school officials and local education agencies regarding the provision of equitable services under Title I, Part A and Part C; Title II, Part A, Title III, Part A and Title IV, Part A.. In addition, the ombudsman monitors and enforces the equitable services requirements under each of these Titles and has a significant role in the State’s monitoring process.  In Maryland, major responsibilities of the Ombudsman include:

  • Serve as a general resource regarding equitable services requirements for both the local education agency and private school officials

  • Coordinate with MSDE Federal Program staff to monitor protocols applicable to the provision of equitable services and participate in monitoring activities.

  • Conduct technical assistance regarding equitable services requirements for MSDE staff responsible for administering programs, local education agency staff, and private school officials.

  • Develop processes for collecting documentation of agreement from LEAs pertaining to the consultation requirement. (ESEA section 1117(b)(1).)

  • Participate on the following Committees:

    • Maryland’s Title I Committee of Practitioners (ESEA section 1603(b))

    • Maryland Non-Public Schools Workgroup,

    • Equitable Services Thought Partners

Notice of Allocation

The MSDE will annually post the allocation of funds for educational services and other benefits under each ESEA program that a local education agency has determined are available for eligible private school children, teachers and other educational personnel, and families. (ESEA sections 1117(a)(4)(C) and 8501(a)(4)(C).) Additionally, a description for calculating the proportionate share for each program at the local education agency level will be provided.

Information above is adapted from the Non-Regulatory Guidance: Fiscal Changes and Equitable Services Requirements Under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).


Barbara Scherr
Maryland State Ombudsman for Equitable Services
Office: (410) 767-0291