The U.S. Department of Education recently provided additional guidance for states and school districts regarding the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) titled “Transitioning to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):  Frequently Asked Questions.”

The document includes sections on general guidance, ESEA flexibility, Title I (grants for disadvantaged students) programs and requirements, Title II (teachers, principals, or other school leaders) programs and requirements, and Title III (English language acquisition) programs and requirements.

Questions that the department addresses in this document include the following:

  • Must a state and its local education agencies (LEAs) continue to implement ESEA state formula grant programs in accordance with NCLB in the 2016-2017 school year?
  • What accountability requirements must a state and its LEAs meet in the 2016-2017 school year?
  • Are there any NCLB requirements with which a state or LEA need not comply during the 2016-2017 school year?
  • Must an LEA in a state implementing ESEA flexibility include on its LEA report card the names of schools it serves as focus and priority schools for the 2016-2017 school year?
  • What are the general requirements for schools and LEAs identified as in need of improvement, corrective action, or restructuring in the 2016-2017 school years?
  • If the definition of “highly qualified” is no longer applicable to special education teachers, what are the federal requirements related to the professional qualifications of those teachers?
  • Must a state make new annual measurable achievement objectives determinations based on 2014-2015 or 2015-2016 assessment results?

ESSA was signed by President Barak Obama on Dec. 10, 2015, and replaced the previous version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, nicknamed “No Child Left Behind,” which went into effect 14 years ago.