November 13, 2017
LANSING – In compliance with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Michigan Department of Education has hired an Equitable Services Ombudsman to help ensure equitable services for private school children, teachers, and other educational personnel.
State Superintendent Brian Whiston has appointed Dr. Theresa Nugent, who has 30 years in public and private schools as a teacher and administrator, as Michigan’s Equitable Services Ombudsman.
“Dr. Nugent has a rich depth of knowledge and experience in public and private schools and will be a great resource for both,” Whiston said. “We support strong collaboration between public and private schools that results in a positive impact on students and teachers.”
“Equitable Services” requires that whatever federal Title program funds and services public school districts offer to eligible private school children must be comparable to services and other benefits that public school children, teachers, and other educational personnel receive.
Nugent comes to the Michigan Department of Education from the Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo, where she was the Associate Superintendent of Schools. Prior to that, she was the Interim Director of Leadership Development for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. She has taught in public and private schools in Michigan and Massachusetts.
She has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Rochester (NY), a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Nazareth College in Kalamazoo, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University.
Section 1117(a)(3)(B) of ESSA requires that each state department of education designate an Equitable Services Ombudsman to monitor and enforce the requirements of that 2015 federal law.
With this ombudsman position, the Michigan Department of Education will provide clear guidelines for public school districts and private schools to ensure that equitable-services resources are proportionately shared and implemented under federal statue.
The duties of the Equitable Services Ombudsman include:
The specified federal Title programs cover:
For more information on the Equitable Services Ombudsman, go to: www.michigan.gov/mde-esombudsman.