Advocacy Update: Tracking ESSA

Inside the Beltway

What’s going on in Washington?

On August 31, the U.S. Department of Education released proposed regulations on the supplement, not supplant provisions of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), recently revised by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Public comments will be accepted until November 7, and the final regulations are expected to be issued before President Obama ends his term in office in January 2017.

Why should principals care?

As reported on the School of Thought blog, the purpose of the draft regulation is to ensure that federal funds are being used to supplement state and local funds for education, when in many cases they have been used to supplant funds that have been eliminated by states and districts. The proposed rule clarifies for school districts how to comply with the supplement, not supplant provision in Title I and gives districts four different options aimed at increasing overall funding for education. The proposed regulation could provide as much as $2 billion in additional state and district funding for high poverty schools.

In the Press

Obama Administration Releases Resources for Schools, Colleges to Ensure Appropriate Use of School Resource Officers and Campus Policy, U.S. Department of Education

On September 8, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice released tools to help states and districts incorporate school resource officers (SROs) into the learning environment and ensure SROs follow best practices. The Safe, School-based Enforcement through Collaboration, Understanding, and Respect Rubrics can help education and law enforcement agencies revise SRO–related policies to improve school safety and better outcomes for students while safeguarding their civil rights.

Donald Trump Releases Education Proposal, Supporting School Choice, The New York Times

On September 8, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump announced his first platform in K–12 education, including a promise that his first budget would propose a $20 billion block grant for school choice programs. He also expressed his support for merit pay programs to reward high-performing teachers.

The Broadband Imperative II: Equitable Access for Learning, State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA)

A report released last week by SETDA advocates for increasing robust access for broadband both in and out of school to help prepare students for college and careers. The report provides four recommendations for policymakers and school leaders: 1) Increase infrastructure to support student-centered learning; 2) Design infrastructure to meet capacity targets; 3) Ensure equity of access for all students outside of school; and 4) Leverage state resources to increase broadband access.

Preventing Missed Opportunity: Taking Collective Action to Confront Chronic Absence, Attendance Works and the Everyone Graduates Center

An analysis released this week by Attendance Works and the Everyone Graduates Center finds that chronic absenteeism is a concern in nearly 90 percent of the nation’s school districts, but nationwide half of the chronically absent students are concentrated in just four percent of school districts.

Are Dual Enrollment Programs Overpromising?, Education Week

As dual enrollment programs that allow students to earn college credits while in high school grow, studies find that participants are more likely to enroll in college after high school, get better grades when in college, and are more likely to graduate in four years. Nonetheless, very little research exists about whether or not those credits are actually accepted by the colleges they attend.

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