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Dept. of Education outlines outreach plan to private schools

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. Department of Education outlined new efforts to bring non-profit private schools into federally funded programs.

Their inclusion has been sought by Orthodox Jewish groups, among others.

State and local educational agencies "must ensure the equitable participation of eligible private school students and, as applicable, their teachers and parents" in such programs, the department’s Office of Innovation and Improvement said in its proposed plan for such inclusion posted last week on the department’s website.

Such schools, including religious schools, also must be included in programs falling under the disabilities education law, it said.

The Orthodox Union welcomed the initiative, saying in a statement that it was "an important and pragmatic first step in improving the delivery of federally funded educational services to the nonpublic schools students who are entitled to receive them."

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