Tell Congress to Not Overturn Every Student Succeeds Act Regulations
On February 7, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to overturn the U.S. Department of Education’s regulation implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in regards to accountability, state plans and data reporting. Congress has never voted to overturn a final regulation in regards to education! NACDD, along with other disability and other civil rights organizations all worked on the passage of ESSA and the implementing regulations. The regulations were created to provide states and districts with additional guidance on how to implement the law. ESSA was passed with bi-partisan support in 2015, is the nation’s most important federal K-12 education law.
The U.S. Senate will possibly vote as soon as this week on whether to overturn the regulation, and President Trump has indicated his willingness to sign it. Please call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, and tell Senators that states and schools need direction on how to implement ESSA, and the regulation should not be overturned.
The regulation addresses the core requirement that schools must be held accountable for the performance of disadvantaged students, including students with disabilities, and report on their progress. The U.S. Department of Education issued the regulation after the opportunity was provided for public comment from all stakeholders including students, their families, educators, civil rights organizations and other vested stakeholders. Over 21,000 comments were considered before the regulation was published at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/12/08/2016-29128/title-i-improving-the-academic-achievement-of-the-disadvantaged-academic-assessments.
The ESSA provides states with flexibility in how they identify schools where students are struggling, how they will hold schools accountable for the outcomes for all students, and how the states will support those schools. Also, ESSA provides strong protections to ensure that schools are accountable for all students, including students with disabilities, and work to ensure they learn and are proficient.
The House used a law called the Congressional Review Act (CRA) that allows a new Administration to review recent regulations issued by the prior Administration. The CRA has only been used once to overturn a regulation in its history. Given that an education regulation has never been overturned, and if overturned no new similar regulation can be passed, it is possible that states and local education agencies would have no or minimal direction on how to implement the law until Congress decides to reauthorize it.