National education and labor news

Republicans roll back ESSA requirements

Congressional Republicans voted in early March to repeal crucial regulations under the Every Student Succeeds Act in favor of leaving education policy largely in the hands of state governments.

Congress’ action leaves the federal education law on the books, but the Education Department now has more flexibility in how to apply the law.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos later released a new Every Student Succeeds Act application for state agencies that asks fewer questions about states’ accountability plans. She also eliminated the law’s requirement that states seek input from teachers, parents and policymakers, issuing new guidelines that make such outreach optional.

When President Barack Obama signed ESSA into law in 2015, many Democrats and Republicans alike celebrated the law for removing punitive sanctions and taking a more collaborative approach than the previous administration’s No Child Left Behind Act. But many Republicans have since expressed misgivings with having any federal education protections at all.

DeVos told state education chiefs and school board members on March 20 that she intended to “get out of the way to let you do your job.”

Politico, March 9
Education Week, March 20

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