On August 31, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) released proposed regulations on the supplement, not supplant provisions of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as recently revised by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The USED will now consider public comments until November 7 with the goal of issuing final regulations before the end of the Obama Administration.
The purpose of this proposed regulation is to ensure that federal funds are being used to supplement state and local funds, when in many cases they have been used to supplant funds that have been eliminated. When ESEA first passed in 1965, the intention was to reduce the educational inequities for low-income and minority students. Unfortunately in 2016, resource inequities continue. The proposed rule clarifies for school districts options for how to comply with the supplement, not supplant provision in Title I and gives districts four different options for compliance and encourages 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. A more detailed summary of the propose regulation can be found here.
Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has already vowed that if the final regulation looks anything like this current draft, he will do everything in his power to dismantle it. House Education and Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN) echoed this sentiment and called the proposed regulation “unlawful.” The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the Council of Chief State School Officers also expressed concerns with the proposed regulation. Meanwhile, HELP Ranking Member Sen. Patty Murry (D-WA) and House Education and Workforce Ranking Member Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) issued a joint press release applauding the proposed regulations. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights also praised the draft rule.
NASSP will continue to monitor regulations, nonbinding guidance, and technical assistance from USED as they scramble to complete as much ESSA implementation work as possible before the new administration takes over. If you have any thoughts on the proposed regulations or if you are planning to submit feedback to USED, please let us know.
The Alliance for Excellent Education put together this video to bring clarity to why the supplement, not supplant provision is so important and why it is contentious.