The National Association of Councils on Developmental disabilities (NACDD) issued the following action alert, and we wanted to share it with you.
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) affecting accountability, state plans and data reporting. Congress has never voted to overturn a final regulation in regards to education. This would be a first.
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. Let Senators know that states and schools need direction on how to implement ESSA, and the existing regulation provides that guidance.
What is ESSA?
ESSA replaced No Child Left Behind. While IDEA provides access to education, ESSA ensures accountability and meaningful learning opportunities for all students. ESSA offers states significant flexibility in identifying struggling students, measuring their outcomes, and how states will support schools.ESSA also 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. This law was passed with significant bipartisan support in 2015, and over 21,000 comments were received and considered before regulations were issued.
Why is the existing regulation important?
The regulation the Senate will vote on 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. 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 (which could be several years from now).