Now Accepting Comments on ESSA State Plan

From now through Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, the Texas Education Agency will be accepting public comments regarding the Every Student Succeeds Act consolidated state plan for Texas. A draft of Texas’ state consolidated plan is posted http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/Laws_and_Rules/ESSA/Every_Student_Succeeds_Act/.

The Every Student Succeeds Act – also known as ESSA – became law in December 2015, replacing the No Child Left Behind Act. The new law increases flexibility and decision-making authority afforded states, encourages states and schools to be innovative, and holds states accountable for results. 

ESSA represents the first major overhaul to federal education policy in almost two decades. It provides an opportunity to leverage new flexibilities that bring greater emphasis to our state’s own priorities while working to strengthen public education outcomes for our more than five million schoolchildren.

Since taking office last year, I have focused on developing systems within our agency that support ESSA implementation through an established TEA Strategic Plan. All work at TEA is centered around four strategic priorities: (1) recruiting, supporting and retaining teachers and principals; (2) building a foundation of reading and math; (3) connecting high school to career and college; and (4) improving low-performing schools. 

An overview of TEA’s strategic plan is available on the agency website at http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/Welcome_and_Overview/TEA_Strategic_Plan/

Over the past year and a half, we have taken part in more than 200 stakeholder meetings statewide. In addition, TEA has engaged with outreach to a wider range of stakeholders, including meetings with teachers, school board members and parents. These meetings have focused on gathering feedback on the broad aspects of the agency’s overall strategic plan, as well as specific input on the development of key policy decisions related to ESSA implementation. The draft consolidated plan is reflective of input provided. 

Comments can be submitted via email at essa@tea.texas.gov. The ESSA consolidated state plan will be submitted by TEA to the U.S. Department of Education in September. To learn more about ESSA implementation in Texas, visit the TEA website at http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/Laws_and_Rules/ESSA/Every_Student_Succeeds_Act/

Commissioner Mike Morath
Aug. 9, 2017