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A Brief Description of Supplemental Educational Services (SES)

God has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do.

Ephesians 2:101

The nation’s education law—No Child Left Behind (NCLB)—has created outstanding opportunities for faith-based and community-based organizations to serve their congregations and communities by helping children and youth to succeed in school. By becoming Supplemental Educational Services (SES) Providers, faith-based and community-based organizations can receive federal funds to support after-school and summer programs for at-risk children and youth.

NCLB requires school districts to provide free tutoring—called SES—to low-income children2 who attend low-performing schools—i.e. Title I schools that fail to make adequate yearly progress(AYP)3 for three years or longer. SES tutoring must be provided in core academic subjects—including reading, English language arts and mathematics. SES must be provided outside the regular school day—before or after school, on weekends, or in the summer. Lists of schools that are required to offer SES can be found on the websites of most state education departments.

The purpose of SES is to improve academic outcomes for at-risk students in low-performing schools—and expand educational options for parents—by providing students with high-quality tutoring services and by enabling their parents to select tutors from a variety of qualified, pre-approved SES Providers.

SES can be delivered by only by organizations that are approved by state departments of education to be SES Providers. Among the types of organizations eligible to become SES Providers are: a) faith-based organizations; b) community-based organizations; c) for-profit organizations; d) colleges; and e) K-12 schools and school districts that have not failed to make AYP for three years or longer. Each state develops a list of potential SES providers. In order to become a state-approved SES Provider, an organization must submit an application to the state education department and meet all federal and state requirements.

Most states solicit and review applications from organizations interested in becoming SES Providers at least once-a-year. These states issue Requests for Qualifications (RFQs), to which interested organizations can respond.

Once an organization is approved to provide SES services in a district, the family of any SES-qualifying student in that district may select it to tutor its child. The district must then contract with the provider to deliver SES services.

SES providers are paid for delivering tutoring services. Each district must set aside a portion of its Title I funds to pay SES Providers for tutoring services. The amount each SES Provider is paid is determined by contract, and it may be as much as the legal maximum “per-student amount” determined by the state. Typical “per-student amounts” are listed in the following table4.

State School District Maximum per-pupil amount
California Los Angeles
  Oakland $1,414
  San Diego $1,455
  San Francisco $1,420
Colorado Denver $1,535
Connecticut Bridgeport
  Hartford $2,151
  New Haven $2,079
District of Columbia D.C. $2,356
Florida Dade County (Miami) $1,497
Georgia Atlanta $1,619
Illinois Chicago $1,979
Louisiana New Orleans $1,562
Maryland Baltimore $2,006
Massachusetts Boston $1,147
  Cambridge $1,660
  Worcester $1,973
Michigan Detroit $2,163
Minnesota Minneapolis
  Saint Paul $1,726
New Jersey Camden $2,380
  Jersey City $2,090
  Newark $2,297
New York Albany $1,701
  Buffalo $1,866
  New York City (NY, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx) $2,100
  Syracuse $1,747
Ohio Cincinnati
  Cleveland $1,926
Pennsylvania Philadelphia
  Pittsburgh $2,136
Oregon Portland $1,667
Rhode Island Providence $2,016
Texas Dallas $1,447
  Houston $1,474

1Today's English version

2"Low income" is generally defined as qualifying for free or reduced meals.

3AYP is the minimal acceptable level of improvement that school districts and schools must reach every year on state achievement tests.

4These are 2006-2007 figures. Information about maximum per-pupil amounts in other districts can be found on the U.S. Department of Education’s website.

Any faith-based or community-based organization that delivers supportive services children and youth should consider becoming a SES Provider. SESProvider can help you assess whether SES is appropriate for your organization and can guide you to becoming a successful SES Provider.

© 2016, JPS Solutions, LLC