December 13, 2016

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Final ESSA Accountability Regulations

The U.S. Department of Education released final ESSA accountability regulations. As we said earlier, our three main concerns from the draft were addressed, albeit not perfectly.

Regarding the requirement for a summative indicator, the changes made were a step in the right direction, but did not fully address our concerns. The final regulations allow states to use a dashboard to explain how schools are doing on different indicators and to use ratings within ESSA as their summative rating without identifying a specific grade.

As for the timeline for identification of schools, the final regulations provide states with an extra year over the draft regulations to identify schools in need of support, requiring this identification starting in the 2018-19 school year. State accountability plan deadlines were also pushed back to April 3 or September 18 (from the proposed March and July deadlines).

We detailed the final regulations for transportation of students in foster care previously here. The final rule is much more closely aligned with the statute of ESSA, requiring LEAs to collaborate with state and local child welfare agencies to develop procedures around which agency will be responsible for the payment of transportation services.

A full description of the changes made is found in the italicized sections of this document.