Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Assurance on Constitutionally Protected Prayer

Memo Information

Memo Number
COM-23-009
Memo Date
8/9/2022
Memo Type
Regulatory
Unit
Central Administration
Regulatory Authority
Sec. 8524 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), 20 U.S.C. 7904, as reauthorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA), P.L. 115-224.
Response Required
YES
Attention
Superintendents; Assistant Superintendent; Principals

Primary Contact Information

Memo Reference

No references available.

Memo Text

Section 8524 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as reauthorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA), requires that, as a condition of receiving ESEA funds, each school district must certify in writing to the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) that it has no policy that prevents, or otherwise denies participation in, constitutionally protected prayer in public schools as set forth in guidance from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) to all school administrators, dated January16, 2020.

This guidance is available at the following website:

http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/religionandschools/prayer_guidance.html

 

 DESE must send USDE a list of those school districts or charter schools that have not filed the required assurance or against which complaints have been made to DESE that the school district or charter school does not comply with the guidance. USDE may withhold federal funds until the LEA comes into compliance.

In order to be in compliance for the 2022- 2023 school year, each school district and charter school must complete the attached assurance form and return it to DESE, no later than September 15, 2022, by email to ADE.equityassistance@ade.arkansas.gov.   

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