On Jan. 8, 2018, the Texas Education Agency submitted to the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) a revised version of our state’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) consolidated plan.
A revised version was necessary following initial feedback we received from USDE just before the holidays. That feedback requested specific clarifications to our plan to ensure the state is complying with the new federal statute.
The major areas of clarification requested by USDE centered on our new academic accountability system outlined in House Bill 22, which was passed by the 85th Texas Legislature. Due to federal timeline requirements, TEA was forced to make preliminary decisions on the new House Bill 22 accountability system ahead of the timeline for our state rulemaking.
Over the past several months, we have been working diligently to solicit and receive feedback from stakeholders across the state on the design of that new state accountability system with a target of releasing proposed accountability rules in March.
I have emphasized to our school districts and charters that the decision laid out in our revised ESSA plan does not reflect final stakeholder input. The revised plan to USDE simply reflects an effort to comply with federal timelines and requirements. Our feedback efforts will continue as we finalize proposed state rules.
It is important to note that if additional feedback leads to decisions different from what is proposed and already submitted in our ESSA plan, we will submit amendments to USDE that reflect input from stakeholders. We anticipate receiving additional feedback from USDE officials before a final decision on our state plan is made.
A copy of the revised state plan, as well as additional information related to our ESSA plan (including the original submission and response letter from USDE) can be viewed on the TEA website at https://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/Laws_and_Rules/ESSA/Every_Student_Succeeds_Act/.
Commissioner Mike Morath
Jan. 18, 2018