Wednesday, September 7, 2016

ESSA Regulations Expanded: Will They be Enough?

ESSA Regulations Expanded: Will They be Enough?:

ESSA Regulations Expanded: Will They be Enough?

essa regulations

St. Tammany Parish in Louisiana hugs the northern shores of Lake Pontchartrain and is considered one of the most affluent areas in the state. The school system is nationally recognized. Many of the students are consistently rated top performers. Extracurricular activities are bountiful. Free and reduced lunch recipients dip under 50 percent.
Drive about an hour northwest to St. Helena, a small rural area, and you’ll find one of the poorest communities in Louisiana. Earlier this year, The Advocate, the state’s daily newspaper, reported that “about 27 percent of parish residents live below the poverty line. Roughly 10 percent have a college degree, which is half the state average. The district has long been plagued by problems attracting teachers, in part because of its rural location.”
Schools here are regularly deemed low performing. Last year, the state gave the school district a “D” for reaching 54.9 points out of a possible 150.
“Not every student is being given the same opportunities,” says Debbie Meaux, president of the Louisiana Association of Educators (LAE), explaining how many of their affluent districts have updated buildings, with sport stadiums and swimming pools, and updated and readily available technology.
“Those are luxuries in St. Helena,” she says, “where students may not get tutoring or opportunities to play outside sports or participate in supplementary music lessons.”
“Some districts tend to shortchange the arts in order to provide extra time in core subjects because those are the ones that determine district scores on state testing,” says Meaux, a classroom teacher for 38 years before taking over as LAE’s top official. “It’s not an equal footing for kids who are in schools in less affluent areas than if they come from wealthy areas.”

ESSA: A Vehicle to Address Inequity

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education released proposed regulations to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that attempt to tackle the problem in inequities in public education.
The changes include three fiscal requirements—one of which is supplement, not supplant (SNS), a provision that ensures federal funds are added to revenue streams, and are not used to replace state and local funds in low-income schools. This provision has come a long way from the original proposal, which had only one strict expenditures test. NEA heavily criticized the provision for not offering enough ESSA Regulations Expanded: Will They be Enough?:

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