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TEA News Releases Online Jul 25, 2017

Commissioner Morath announced public comment period for ESSA state plan to begin July 31

AUSTIN – Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced today that a public comment period for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) consolidated state plan will begin Monday, July 31. The ESSA consolidated state plan is scheduled to be submitted by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to the U.S. Department of Education later this year.

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 requires federal review and approval of a state consolidated plan, which provides a comprehensive overview of how each state will use federal funds to advance its own goals and visions of success for students.

“The Every Student Succeeds Act represents the first major overhaul to federal education policy in almost two decades,” said Commissioner Morath. “ESSA 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 in January 2016, Commissioner Morath has focused on developing systems within the agency that support ESSA implementation through an established TEA Strategic Plan. All work at the agency is now centered around four strategic priorities. The four strategic priorities include: (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, the Commissioner and TEA staff 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.

A draft of Texas’ state consolidated plan will be posted on July 31. The public comment period will formally begin on that date and run through Aug. 29, 2017. TEA will submit the Texas consolidated state plan to the U.S. Department of Education sometime in September.

For more information regarding the state’s efforts on ESSA implementation, please visit the TEA website at http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/Laws_and_Rules/ESSA/Every_Student_Succeeds_Act/.