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What is the role of the New York State Education Department Ombudsman?

The ombudsman helps to ensure equitable services and other benefits for eligible nonpublic school children, teachers and other educational personnel, and families. A State educational association (SEA) designates an ombudsman to monitor and enforce equitable services requirements under both Title I and Title VIII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA sections 1117(a)(3)(B) and 8501(a)(3)(B)).

Where do I go for help if I am having an issue with equitable services requirements?

If a nonpublic school is having issues with any of the following, the first step would be for it to obtain technical assistance through the Office of ESSA-Funded Programs at CONAPPTA@NYSED.GOV:

  • The goals and requirements for timely and meaningful consultation;
  • Programmatic and/or fiscal requirements of programs subject to equitable services; and/or
  • Implementation of equitable services.

If after receiving assistance from the ESSA-Funded Program Office, a nonpublic school believes a school district or other LEA is acting in bad faith or there has been no resolution, please email the New York State Education Department Ombudsman at