Roles and Responsibilities of an Ombudsman
An ombudsman should serve as an SEA’s primary point of contact for addressing questions and concerns from private school officials and LEAs regarding the provision of equitable services under Titles I and VIII. In addition, the ombudsman is required to monitor and enforce the equitable services requirements under Titles I and VIII and, thus, should have a significant role in the State’s monitoring process. Furthermore, the ombudsman should ensure that private school officials know how to contact the ombudsman.
The following are examples of activities the ombudsman could undertake in fulfilling the roles and responsibilities of the position:
Specific Responsibilities of an Ombudsman Relative to Monitoring and Enforcement
The primary responsibilities of an ombudsman are to monitor and enforce the equitable services requirements in Titles I and VIII. Accordingly, an ombudsman should work with SEA staff administering Title I and programs covered under Title VIII to develop monitoring protocols applicable to the provision of equitable services under each program. To ensure that monitoring protocols are being followed, the ombudsman should take an active role in the monitoring process, particularly with respect to the resolution of any findings regarding equitable services requirements under Titles I and VIII. The ombudsman also should serve as the primary point of contact for responding to and resolving any complaints regarding equitable services that the SEA receives under its ESEA complaint procedures.
Notice of Allocation
An SEA must provide notice in a timely manner to appropriate private school officials in the State of the allocation of funds for educational services and other benefits under each ESEA program that an LEA 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).)
Reference: 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) pages 23-26