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Facing Federal Deadline, More ESSA Plans Head to Governors’ Desks


September 6, 2017
Daarel Burnette II
Education Week

In the final weeks before 34 states are to give the U.S. Department of Education their accountability plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act, governors are weighing in on what they think about their state’s proposed education agendas.

Already, in states such as MissouriNorth Carolina, and Pennsylvania, governors have given detailed responses to plans and requested that their education departments either move forward with testing, accountability, and teacher quality initiatives as outlined, or make changes before submitting those plans to the feds.

Governors, under the new federal K-12 law, have 30 days to review state accountability plansbefore they’re submitted to the federal Education Department. Though there’s a box for governors to sign off on the ESSA templates, their signatures aren’t required. Policy experts, though, say the presence of a governor’s signature signals to the Education Department that there’s widespread political support of a state’s plan.

In the prior round of submissions, this stakeholder provision led to some disputes between legislatures, governors, departments of education, and boards that oversee the departments of education.