Accountability and Reporting
Under ESSA, states can design new accountability systems that include varied and dynamic indicators of student and school performance, and look more closely at how certain subgroups of students are performing. To support early learning and help close gaps, states might consider including indicators like Pre-K through third grade classroom quality in their accountability system, or as a tool in their school improvement and intervention strategy.
Reporting as an Intervention Strategy
CT S 1018—Requires the commissioner of education to monitor whether the accountability index score for a school district that receives a priority school district grant has consistently and continually increased during FY 2017 and FY 2019, increasing and reducing grants as necessary in accordance with performance. Changes references to "early reading intervention programs" to "intensive reading instruction program".
IL H 3080—Creates the Intergenerational Poverty Mitigation Act. Creates the Intergenerational Poverty Plan Implementation Pilot Program to provide funding to counties to implement local solutions to address intergenerational poverty, including partnerships with agencies overseeing early childhood services.
IL H 3303—Requires the state board of education to annually assess all students in reading and mathematics in kindergarten through third grade to meet the goals and standards of the federal Every Student Succeeds act. Requires the state board of education to support assessments that measure academic grade‑level proficiency and academic growth measured against a stable, grade‑independent scale.
NJ A 1331—Provides supplementary funding for K‑3 literacy programs in districts with low proficiency rates.
WV H 2824— Establishes a teacher‑pupil ratio for first through third grade and proficiency requirements for advancement to fourth grade.
Monitoring Early Childhood Suspensions
AZ H 2385—Prohibits a school district or charter school from suspending or expelling a preschool pupil unless certain conditions are met. Provides that, as an alternative, the student may be transferred to another program or temporarily suspended.
CO H 1194—Authorizes a state‑funded, community‑based preschool program, school district, or charter school to impose an out‑of‑school suspension or expel a student enrolled in preschool through second grade under specified circumstances. Limits the length of suspension to three days. Provides that the state board of education cannot waive the provisions concerning suspension and expulsion of young students for school districts or charter schools.
HI S 1220 (Companion: HI H 994)—Prohibits the suspension and expulsion of children participating in the executive office on early learning public prekindergarten program, except in limited circumstances.
NE L 165—Creates The Too Young to Suspend Act. Prohibits early childhood education and kindergarten students from being suspended or expelled from school except in limited circumstances.
NY S 767 (Same as: NY A 1981)—Requires every school district to promote safe and secure environments and implement restorative practices designed to promote social and emotional learning. Prohibits the suspension of students in kindergarten through third grade, except in cases of serious physical injury.
VA H 296—Prohibits students in preschool through third grade from being suspended or expelled from school.
Funding and Resources
Under ESSA, states can build better systems for tracking how funds are distributed to students to evaluate and address inequities. By looking more closely at how funding effects schools and students, states can better determine which students need more resources and support. To support early learning and help close gaps, states might consider using Title I funds for early childhood programming in a number of new ways now permitted under ESSA, such as increasing access and improving transitions to kindergarten. Additionally, states might apply for Preschool Development Grants to support needs assessments, increase parental access and choice, and to expand and improve quality early learning programs, allowed under Title IX.
AZ H 2518—Appropriates $500,000 to administer an online early learning program to improve a child's transition into elementary education.
CA A 197—Requires that, in the 2021‑22 school year, school districts offering kindergarten will implement a full‑day kindergarten program, imposing a state‑mandated local program. Requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state.
(2017) DC B 26—Amends the Pre‑K Enhancement and Expansion Amendment Act of 2008 to include pre‑K age students identified as at‑risk in the allocation of funding that each provider receives.
HI H 243—Requires the state department of education to contact with a consulting firm that specializes in school finance so as to evaluate the impact of school funding on access to public preschool and afterschool programs, among other measurements.
HI H 317—Creates pilot program to offer low‑cost or no‑cost daycare to help prepare children for preschool and kindergarten.
HI S 736 (Companion: HI H 310)—Establishes an income tax credit for employers who create on site early childhood facilities, establishes and appropriates funds for one full time employee on site early childhood facility coordinator position, applies to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2019.
IA H 273 (Similar: IA H 184, IA H 242)—Expands eligibility for the statewide preschool program.
IN S 338—Amends requirements for eligibility for the prekindergarten pilot program.
KY H 113—Requires each school district to provide full‑day preschool. Requires that all four‑year‑olds in the district be eligible.
MN H 760 (Companion: MN S 1619)—Expands the requirements for an early learning scholarship to include five year olds.
MS H 201—Establishes a program called "A Better Chance" for the purpose of providing online prekindergarten instruction throughout the state.
MS H 314— Establishes a universal prekindergarten program for the state of Mississippi.
OR H 2025—Alters the preschool program administered by the Early Learning Division and establishes the program as the Preschool Promise Program.
TX S 36 (Identical: TX H 189)—Relates to providing free full‑day prekindergarten for four‑year‑olds and certain three‑year‑olds.
WA H 1574 (Companion: WA S 5820)— Designates homeless children as a vulnerable population to allow eligibility for early learning programs and twelve-month authorizations for working connections child care subsidies for homeless children.
Improving Early Learning Programs
IL H 817—Establishes an Office of Computer Science Education to ensure that every student in kindergarten through 12 is afforded a world‑class computer science education.
OR H 2897—Creates the Early Childhood Equity Fund to provide grants to culturally-specific early learning and early childhood and parent support programs.
OR S 217—Requires the state department of education to award grants to school districts with a focus on reducing disparities for students of color, students with disabilities, students who are English language learners, rural students, students from tribal communities and low‑income students. Authorizes grants to be used for supplemental early childhood support, including programs that address early literacy and transitions from prekindergarten to kindergarten, and practices, supports, and interventions to improve student outcomes by third grade.
Teaching and Learning
Under ESSA, states are required to look closely at how highly effective teachers are distributed among student groups and redefine how to evaluate teachers. To support early learning and help close gaps, states might consider creating new tools to evaluate the effectiveness of Pre-K through third grade teachers, and provide professional development for increasing their effectiveness. Additionally, states could consider including early childhood education and school readiness as priorities in SEA professional development plans. ESSA specifically allows support for state efforts to address transitions and school readiness.
IL H 35—Expands the definition of "eligible school" in the Grow Your Own Teacher Education Act to include early childhood programs.
MN S 1012 (Companion: MN H 824)—Provides scholarships to American Indian peoples who are progressing toward obtaining an early childhood family education or prekindergarten licensure. The Aspiring Minnesota Teachers of Color Scholarship Program: Requires candidates to be completing a two‑year program designed to prepare early childhood educators.
NM H 5—Repeals the K‑3 Plus Program and makes the K‑5 Plus program ongoing. Increases base teacher salary to $40,000 from $36,000, with teachers in the K‑5 Plus Program receiving $45,600.
OR H 2248—Requires the state department of education to provide grants to enable school districts to provide at least one teacher for every 15 kindergarten students.
SC S 419 (Companion: SC H 3759)— Amends the Read to Succeed Initiative to include references to a Response to Intervention framework and to require scientifically based reading practices and evidence‑based interventions. Amends third grade retention exemptions and requirements for reading coaches. Requires that students enrolled in prekindergarten through grade three be screened for reading proficiency and provided evidence‑based interventions to ensure that students are on track to be reading on grade level by the end of the third grade. Requires that the Commission on Higher Education conduct an analysis to determine the effectiveness of each teacher education program in preparing teachers to diagnose a child's reading problems and provide small group and individual student interventions that are scientifically based and evidence‑based.
TN S 327 (Companion: TN H 619)— Requires that the state department of education create and administer a coaching network for prekindergarten and kindergarten teachers throughout the state.
VT S 90 (Similar: VT H 194)—Appropriates $2 million to the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation to provide student loan repayments to early learning repayments for early learning professionals who meet certain requirements. Expands the recipients of an early childhood scholarship to include those pursuing early childhood education or early childhood special education. Establishes a tax credit for early learning professionals. Creates the Early Care and Learning Fund.
Under ESSA, states can reimagine how to best support students during early childhood, and find new ways to get students the resources they need. To support early learning and help close gaps, states might use new provisions in Title II to apply for Literacy Education for All or Results for the Nation (LEARN) grants, which include a 15 percent set aside for evidence-based birth-kindergarten literacy activities. Title IV allows states to support early childhood through 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Promise Neighborhoods, full-service community schools and Ready to Learn programming, all of which focus on community and family engagement.
MO H 58—Establishes the Missouri Parent/Teacher Involvement Act.
NJ S 371—Establishes two‑generational school readiness and workforce development pilot program for certain low‑income households.
CO H 1017—The Colorado K‑5 Social and Emotional Health Act‑‑Creates a pilot program that places school social workers in each grade K‑5.
ME H 369—Creates a task force to study and plan for the implementation of early childhood special education services.
NM H 134—Expands the Community Schools Act to include early childhood programs and voluntary public pre‑kindergarten. Requires that applicants for grants for community school initiatives include a baseline analysis of needs at the community school that include enrollment and retention rates for ELLs, analyses of suspension and expulsion data, evaluation for the need and availability of wraparound services and a baseline analysis of needs in the community for high‑quality, full‑day child care and early childhood education programs.
Supporting English Learners
Under ESSA, states are required to track EL performance as part of Title I, moved from Title III and representing a significant shift from No Child Left Behind. To receive Title I funding, states must include the English language proficiency of ELs in grades three and above on state accountability frameworks. Additionally, the ESSA requires states to standardize their processes for identification and reclassification (exiting from language support programs) of ELs. Monitoring ELs (tracking their achievement after reclassification) has increased from two to four years, providing a longer safeguard for these students to help prevent their achievement in English from regressing. States can also now apply (in partnership with higher education institutions and community organizations) for National Professional Development Project grants that can support EL professional development in Pre-K-3 grades.
IA H 36—Creates a world language education pilot program aimed at enhancing foreign language education in Iowa elementary schools. Provides that research based foreign language instruction be provided.
OR H 2440—Requires that the state department of education develop and implement a statewide education plan for students in early childhood through post‑secondary education who are Latino or Hispanic and have experienced disproportionate educational results. Directs the state department of education to form an advisory group to advise on the development and implementation of the plan, grant awards, and rulemaking.
WA S 5607 (Companion: WA H 1322)—Requires the state department of education to develop and administer the early learning dual language grant program to grow capacity for high quality dual language learning in child care and early childhood education.