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At Least 17 States Plan to Turn in ESSA Plans in April

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This post was written by Alyson Klein and originally posted on the Politics K-12 blog

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have told the U.S. Department of Education that they are aiming to file their plans for implementing the Every Student Succeeds Suceeds Act by early April, in time for the first deadline set by the Obama administration.

Those states are Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, and Vermont, plus the District of Columbia.

States have spent the past year reaching out to educators and advocates to decide how to handle everything from teacher effectiveness to school ratings to that brand new indicator of student success and school quality.

The Obama administration gave states two optional deadlines in 2017 for turning in their ESSA plans, which are supposed to be in place by the 2017-18 school year. The first is April 3, and the second is September 18. The Trump administration could decide to pushback that timeline.  

But some state chiefs have told us they aren't waiting for the Trump team to be in place for ESSA before they move forward on their state plans—they're ready to get on with ESSA implementation.

One big question: Will the Trump administration be ready to read their plans? After all, the April 3 deadline is right around the corner, and the Trump team may still be hiring its staff or waiting for key players to get confirmed. 

"I'm doubtful that they are going to have enough staff in place to start reviewing plans unless they simply rubber stamp them," said Mike Petrilli, who served in the department at the start of the George W. Bush administration and is now president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. 


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