ESEA FLEXIBILITY INFORMATION FROM STATE SUPERINTENDENT PATRICIA I. WRIGHT
November 20, 2013
Removal of ESEA Request from November 2013 Board of Education Meeting
Last Thursday, November 14, 2013, the United States Department of Education (USED) notified states that it has changed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility two-year renewal process and is now inviting states, instead, to request a one-year extension of their existing ESEA waivers. (See attached letter.) The two-year renewal is no longer an option.
After participating in a phone conference with USED on November 19, Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) staff recommended to the Virginia Board of Education that the ESEA renewal item (Item L) be removed from the Board agenda for Thursday, November 21, 2013. This action will be discussed at today’s Accountability Committee meeting, and it is anticipated that the Board will amend its agenda to remove Item L at the beginning of tomorrow’s Board meeting.
There are two issues that influenced the recommendation to withdraw the item:
- States were monitored for waiver implementation this fall. Virginia’s monitoring occurred on September 30; the next day, the federal government shut down for two weeks, thus delaying preparation of the resulting monitoring report. Based on a monitoring “exit” call with USED on November 13, there will likely be some issues to address that must be part of the flexibility extension request. We will not be able to address these items until the VDOE has received the monitoring report, which we believe will be provided in December or January.
- For the one-year extension option, USED has removed several Title II, Part A, requirements related to the collection of teacher evaluation data and to the development of a plan related to the distribution of highly effective teachers that were originally required in the ESEA renewal application. VDOE staff recommended that Virginia make no commitment on additional data collection or plan development until further clarification has been received from USED.
USED has extended the timeline for submission of the extension requests. They are due by February 28, 2014, or 60 days from Virginia’s receipt of its monitoring report, whichever is later. As such, there would be time to bring the flexibility extension request to the Board of Education for first review in January 2014 and final review in February 2014.
If you have questions, please contact Dr. Linda Wallinger, assistant superintendent for instruction, at Linda.Wallinger@doe.virginia.gov or (804) 225-2034.