By Lucia Bragg
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has issued a revised template for state education plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
Considering education regulations from the previous administration have been under review, the department sought to revise the original state plan template to reflect only what is “absolutely necessary,” according to the statute.
The Congressional Review Act allows Congress and the new president to abolish any federal regulation finalized on or after June 13, 2016, by a simple majority vote in both chambers. H.J.Res 57, which awaits the president’s signature, would block accountability regulations under ESSA.
While the new template is meant to be more concise, it unfortunately no longer contains the requirement that state education agencies (SEA) provide evidence of consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, including state legislators, before submitting a plan to the Department of Education.
Now, “each SEA may, but is not required to, include supplemental information such as … its efforts to consult with and engage stakeholders when developing its consolidated state plan.”
The underlying ESSA law still requires SEA’s to seek input from state legislatures when creating the state plans. However, because evidence of that consultation is not required, it might be advisable for state legislators to take initiative when it comes to their statutory right to be consulted.
For any questions or concerns on the ESSA state plan template, please contact NCSL staff Michelle Exstrom (303-856-1564) or Lucia Bragg (202-624-3576).
Lucia Bragg is a policy associate in NCSL's State-Federal Relations Division.