Dear Colleague Letter on ESSA – January 28, 2016
This letter provides additional guidance regarding ESSA implementation, particularly regarding issues that impact state operations during the 2016-2017 school year. For the 2016-2017 school year, formula grant recipients are expected to operate under the plans, procedures, and requirements in placed for the 2015-2016 school year. States will not be required to address provisions related to ensuring “highly qualified” teachers in all core academic subjects through the 2016-2017 school year.
States with ESEA Flexibility Waivers will continue to implement interventions for identified priority and focus schools through the 2016-2017 school year. States without ESEA Flexibility Waivers may, but are not required to, ensure that local education agencies (LEAs) are providing supplemental educational services, public school choice, and related notice to parents through the 2016-2017 school year. Of the states without ESEA Flexibility Waivers, those that do not require LEAs to provide supplemental educational services and public school choice must develop and implement a one-year transition plan that ensures LEAs provide alternative supports to students eligible for supplemental educational services and to schools with the greatest need.
States will not be required to hold LEAs accountable for the performance of English language learners (ELLs) against state annual measurable achievement objectives (AMAOs), and will continue to provide corresponding supports and interventions for ELLs through the 2016-2017 school year.