US Ed Sec Betsy DeVos’ Letter to State Superintendents Re: ESSA State Plans
On Friday, February 10, 2017, US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos sent to state superintendents a letter regarding the formulation of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plans.
In short, she notes that the ESSA guidance composed under the direction of former US Ed Sec John King could be scrapped by Congress but that states should continue drafting plans knowing that any revised ESSA guide will include fewer requirements, not more.
In her February 10, 2017, letter, DeVos also offers what appears to be an olive leaf to Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) by specifically mentioning education of homeless youth, a major concern of Murray’s. (Prior to DeVos’ confirmation, Murray asked DeVos numerous questions in writing about the care of homeless youth; Murray also voted against DeVos’ confirmation.)
Below is the full text of DeVos’ letter, which can be found her among the US Department of Education (USDOE) press releases:
February 10, 2017Dear Chief State School Officer:Thank you for the important work you and stakeholders in your State are engaged in to develop new State plans and transition to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). I am writing today to assure you that I fully intend to implement and enforce the statutory requirements of the ESSA. Additionally, I want to provide you with an update on the timeline, procedures, and criteria under which a State Educational Agency (SEA) may submit a State plan, including a consolidated State plan, to the Department. States should continue to follow the timeline for developing and submitting their State plans to the Department for review and approval.On November 29, 2016, the Department issued final regulations regarding statewide accountability systems and data reporting under Title I of the ESEA, as amended by the ESSA, and the preparation of State plans, including consolidated State plans. However, in accordance with the memorandum of January 20, 2017, from the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, titled “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review,” published in the Federal Register on January 24, 2017, the Department has delayed the effective date of regulations concerning accountability and State plans under the ESSA until March 21, 2017, to permit further review for questions of law and policy that the regulations might raise. Additionally, Congress is currently considering a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) (5 U.S.C. §§ 801- 808) to overturn these regulations. If a resolution of disapproval is enacted, these regulations “shall have no force or effect.”In a Dear Colleague Letter dated November 29, 2016, the Department notified SEAs that it would accept consolidated State plans on two dates: April 3 or September 18, 2017. The Department also released a Consolidated State Plan Template that States were required to use if they submit a consolidated State plan. Due to the regulatory delay and review, and the potential repeal of recentUS Ed Sec Betsy DeVos’ Letter to State Superintendents Re: ESSA State Plans | deutsch29: