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ESSA and Students with Disabilities


On December 10, 2015, the President signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), most recently known as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Watch the signing ceremony. Get the Every Student Succeeds Act online or in PDF (392 pgs).

Note: Under ESSA, waivers granted to states through ESEA flexibility became null and void on August 1, 2016.


Students with Disabilities:

Stakeholder Reports

Amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (PDF, 14 pgs.)

IDEA regulations
(effective July 1, 2017) and a summary chart.

Other Student Populations:

General Information:

Information on Current State Accountability Systems

Stakeholder Engagement

News and Commentaries

US Dept. of Education

U.S. Department of Education
(USED):: Every Student Succeeds Act website

Dear Colleague Letter to state education agencies (SEAs) (Dec. 18, 2015): This letter provides some initial information on transition to the programs authorized by the ESSA, Title I Assessment Peer Review, AMOs and AMAOs, ESEA Flexibility, Priority and Focus School Lists, educator evaluations.

Dear Colleague Letter to Chief State School Officers (Dec 22, 2015): This letter reminds States of the obligation to assess all students (no less than 95%) on all state assessments required under No Child Left Behind. This requirement remains in effect for the 2015-2016 school year. In addition, the following 12 states received letters relating directly to the failure to assess at least 95% of students as indicated by 2014-2015 assessment results: CaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareIdahoMaineNew YorkNorth CarolinaOregonRhode IslandWashington, and Wisconsin.

Dear Colleague Letter to state educational agencies (SEAs) (Dec. 28, 2015) regarding several issues involved in transition to ESSA.

Dear Colleague Letter to state educational agencies (SEAs)(Jan. 28, 2016) regarding flexibilities available in the 2016-2017 school year designed to ensure an orderly transition to the ESSA.

Dear Colleague Letter to state educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs) (June 23, 2016) stressing the importance and utility of stakeholder engagement as they begin to transition to ESSA.

ESSA Transition FAQs (June 29, 2016)

IES Report: Best Practices for Determining Subgroup Size in Accountability Systems While Protecting Personally Identifiable Student Information (January 2017)

Federal Register March 17, 2016: USED issued guidelines for States related to requirements under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). These guidelines address ways in which a State may (1) assist local educational agencies (LEAs) to implement the provisions related to homeless children and youths amended by the ESSA and (2) review and revise policies and procedures that may present barriers to the identification, enrollment, attendance, and success of homeless children and youths in school.

March 13, 2017: USED released Revised Consolidated State Plan Template.

Information on state plan submission and review.

Negotiated Rulemaking:

List of Non-Federal Negotiators (March 4, 2016)

Sessions Materials

Letter to ED expressing concerns regarding the composition of the negotiated rulemaking committee (March 10, 2016).

Request for Information, Published Dec. 22, 2015:- Text - PDF

In this Federal Register notice, the Secretary of Education is soliciting advice and recommendations from interested parties prior to publishing proposed regulations to implement programs under title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Written comments on or before January 21, 2016.

Additionally, the Secretary announces two regional meetings for the public to provide advice and recommendations:

Comments submitted to the U.S. Dept. of Education in response to its Request for Information January 2016 (PDF)

Notices of Proposed Rulemaking :: Final Regulations

Activities in the U.S. Congress relating to ESSA implementation

US Senate

U.S. Senate

Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee



US House of Representatives
U.S. House of Representatives

Education and the Workforce Committee

Legislative activities prior to passage of ESSA.
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