Secretary DeVos: “Supplement, not Supplant” Proposal Helps Promote Effective Spending, Flexibility

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released proposed non-regulatory guidance to support school districts’ compliance with the requirement that federal funds supplement, and do not supplant, state and local funds, under section 1118 of Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The guidance explains how ESSA changed the longstanding requirement in order to reduce administrative burden, simplify the compliance demonstration and promote effective spending.

While important and well-intentioned, the supplement not supplant requirement had become restrictive and burdensome—to the point that some school districts made ineffective spending choices in an effort to avoid noncompliance. Under ESSA, the supplement not supplant requirement changed to provide more flexibility to school districts while still ensuring that federal dollars are supplemental to state and local funds and cannot be used to replace them.

Full story at ed.gov

Are you ready to be engaged in education?

“With [ESSA], we reaffirm that fundamentally American ideal—that every child, regardless of race, income, background, the zip code where they live, deserves the chance to make of their lives what they will.” — President Barack Obama

On December 10, 2015, President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act, reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), our national education law and longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students.  In developing plans and implementing ESSA, stakeholder engagement – including parents – plays a crucial role in improving student outcomes in our schools.

Family engagement is crucial at the national, state and, particularly, local level where you can make a difference in your child’s school and classroom.

Full story of engaging in education with ESSA at ed.gov

U.S. Department of Education Releases Guidance on English Learners

The U.S. Department of Education today released non-regulatory guidance to help states, districts and schools provide effective services to improve the English language proficiency and academic achievement of English learners (ELs) through Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The guidance is an effort to ensure that students who are English learners receive the high-quality services they need to be college and career ready.

“In too many places across the country, English learners get less access to quality teachers, less access to advanced coursework, and less access to the resources they need to succeed. Together, we can change that reality,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. “Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, we have an opportunity to give students the gift of bilingualism and of multilingualism so they are prepared for college and career with a better sense of themselves, their community, their future, and a better appreciation for our diversity as a country.”

Full story on the non-regulatory guidance on English learners at ed.gov

U.S. Department of Education Approves ESEA Flexibility Renewal for Seven Additional States

Building on the significant progress seen in America’s schools over the last six years, the U.S. Department of Education announced today that Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Mississippi, New Hampshire and Wisconsin have each received continued flexibility from provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

These states are implementing comprehensive, state-designed plans to ensure student success and a continued commitment to college- and career-readiness for every student.

“The last six years have seen dramatic progress for America’s school children. The high school dropout rate is down, and graduation rates are higher than they have ever been,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “As a result of our partnerships with state and district leaders to couple flexibility with reform, we are seeing remarkable strides and bold actions to improve student outcomes. States, districts, principals and teachers are showing incredible creativity in using different means to achieve the same goal—getting every student in America college- and career-ready.”

Full story of ESEA renewal for seven additional states at ed.gov

U.S. Department of Education Approves ESEA Flexibility Renewals for 5 States, Puerto Rico

Building on the significant progress seen in America’s schools over the last six years, the U.S. Department of Education announced today that Delaware, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Puerto Rico have each received continued flexibility from provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

These states and Puerto Rico are implementing comprehensive state-designed plans to ensure student success and a continued commitment to college- and career-readiness for every student.

“The last six years have seen dramatic progress for America’s school children. The high school dropout rate is down, and graduation rates are higher than they have ever been,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “As a result of our partnerships with state and district leaders to couple flexibility with reform, we are seeing remarkable strides and bold actions to improve student outcomes. States, districts, principals and teachers are showing incredible creativity in using different means to achieve the same goal – getting every student in America college- and career-ready.”

Full story of approval of ESEA at ed.gov

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to Discuss Progress and the Future of Education at the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches in Florida

Secretary Duncan will speak at the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Monday, March 9. He will highlight the success of key education efforts, thanks to the hard work and leadership of parents, teachers, principals, and district and state officials, and his vision for the future of education.

Duncan will outline his vision for the future and the need to replace the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)—also known as the No Child Left Behind Act—with a law that delivers on the promise of equity and real opportunity for every child. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has called on Congress to create a bipartisan law that gives teachers and principals the resources they need, expands high-quality preschool for families and supports schools and districts in creating innovative solutions to problems that translate into better outcomes for students.

For more information on the event, visit ed.gov

New Data Show House Republican Bill Would Allow Billions in Cuts for Largest School Districts Serving High Populations of Black and Hispanic Students

The U.S. Department of Education is releasing new data today detailing the impact of potential cuts to school districts serving high concentrations of Black and Hispanic students as a result of proposed legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The data show that the House Republicans’ proposal would provide the largest 33 school districts with high concentrations of Black and Hispanic students over $3 billion less in federal funding than the President’s budget over six years. The cuts in education spending would be the result of locking funding at sequestration levels and allowing states to divert money from schools serving vulnerable student populations to wealthier districts.

“The partisan proposal in the House flies in the face of what ESEA was created to do—give every child an equal opportunity to be successful. This bill is bad for children and would turn back the clock on progress. At exactly the time we should be expanding opportunity for America’s students and helping schools recover from the recession, this bill would allow unconscionable funding cuts. Our teachers and students deserve better,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Full story of bill to allow school district cuts at ed.gov

U.S. Department of Education Approves NCLB Flexibility Extension Request for Oklahoma

The U.S. Department of Education announced today that it is reinstating Oklahoma’s authority to implement flexibility from certain provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind, through the end of the 2014-15 school year.

In August, Oklahoma was unable to demonstrate that it had college- and career-ready standards in place, a key principle in ESEA flexibility, which is why the Department did not approve the state’s request to extend its flexibility. Following a recent review of the standards by the state’s colleges and universities, the state has the certification required to continue its flexibility. Higher, more rigorous academic standards help ensure that all students have the skills they need to succeed in college, career and life.

“I am confident that Oklahoma will continue to implement the reforms described in its approved ESEA flexibility request and advance its efforts to hold schools and school districts accountable for the achievement of all students,” Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Deborah S. Delisle wrote in a letter to the state.

Full story of NCLB extension request for OK at ed.gov

Investing in Evidence: Funding Game-Changing Evaluations

The U.S. Department of Education is committed to helping schools, districts, states, and the federal government use funds as wisely as possible – which means in ways that yield better results for students. As part of that, we are working to build evidence of effective practice – and one of the ways we do that is through conducting evaluations that offer useful guidance for future investments. We are looking to the field to help figure out what evaluations are most useful.

The Congressionally enacted Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 allows the Department to strengthen the impact of our evaluation work by pooling resources across Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) programs. This makes it possible to fund rigorous evaluations of individual Federal education programs that currently lack sufficient evaluation dollars, and to evaluate the impact of various strategies that cut across a wide range of ESEA programs.

Full story of investing in game changing evaluations at ed.gov

U.S. Department of Education Approves Extensions for States Granted Flexibility from No Child Left Behind

The U.S. Department of Education announced today that six states – Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Nevada, South Dakota and Virginia – have received a one-year extension for flexibility from certain provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

These extensions allow states to move forward with the critical work of implementing the bold reforms they committed to in their original ESEA flexibility requests—which expire this summer—with the ultimate goal of improving achievement for all students.

“ESEA flexibility has allowed states to move beyond the one-size-fits-all mandates of NCLB, to be more innovative, and to engage in continued improvement in ways that benefit educators and students,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “As a result, we have seen a renewed focus by states on improving student achievement, and to address the needs of all students, especially those groups of students that have been historically underserved.”

Full story of extended grants for No Child Left Behind at ed.gov