Now that the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has been signed into law, we’re keeping close tabs on national ESSA news as well as ESSA news from the eight most populous states in the union: CA, TX, FL, NY, IL, PA, OH, and GA. Our hope is that these brief round-ups will help you stay current on ESSA and better understand the impact of this new legislation on your role in education.
Last week, President Obama released his Fiscal Year 2017 budget. This press release and this seven page fact sheet are a bit more accessible than the 85 page summary. So far, the biggest news seems to be that Obama has removed all federal funding for abstinence-only education by cutting the last $10 million for such programs. US DoE
DoE Staff Increase
The Obama administration’s proposed 2017 education budget asks for the creation of 269 new DoE positions, which would increase staff by more than 6%. The proposed budget also calls for an increase in $156 million for departmental management costs, which is 7.2% greater than fiscal 2016. Although ESSA mandates that eventually the DoE must shrink, the DoE says that it needs more staff to help handle the number of Civil Rights complaints it receives. Of the 269 jobs proposed, 164 would be assigned to the department’s Office of Civil Rights. EdWeek and Ed Dive
As the House education committee heard testimony last week from state and district superintendents, the partisan divide over bipartisan ESSA appeared stronger than ever. Republicans on the committee emphasized that ESSA is about giving power back to the states and keeping the Department of Education in check, while Democrats made clear they’ll be watchful of the states, making sure they don’t use this newfound flexibility to trample on protections for historically marginalized students. For their part, the state superintendents expressed confidence in their states’ ability to make the best possible use of freedoms afforded by ESSA. EdWeek
On the Clock
Some experts doubt that Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. and the Obama administration will be able to accomplish much of the actual implementation of ESSA. It appears likely that the next administration will play a much larger role, although the current administration can still have considerable influence on states’ plans with the guidance and regulations it releases. EdWeek Blogs
If I missed anything, please let me know in the comments! I may include it next week.