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Updated templates available for ESSA 

The U.S. Department of Education has released the updated consolidated plan template that states are to use when submitting their new state plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act. The updated template is more reflective of federal law and aligns with the recent actions of Congress to repeal the accountability/state plan regulations.  

According to the U.S. Department of  Education, the revised template:

  • Cuts prescriptive mandates on the structure of school accountability systems and how they should function. States will no longer be told exactly how to evaluate schools or how to hold failing schools accountable. 
  • Provides states with greater flexibility about how to use federal funds to help local schools improve without having to get permission from the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Creates a significant reduction in regulations regarding reporting on teacher equity. However, ESSA still requires states to evaluate the extent to which low-income and minority students have access to effective teachers. States must also work with local schools to prevent bullying and harassment.

State education agencies must submit their consolidated state plans by either the April 3 or Sept. 18 filing dates. U.S. Department of Education will conduct two peer review processes — one following each submission deadline. To prioritize state flexibility, The U.S. Department of Education will engage with chief state school officers and their staff, and with governors and their staff as state plans proceed through the peer review and Education Secretary review process.

Copies of the new Consolidated State Plan and a new set of FAQs can be found at the following: