In a letter to Chief State School Officers, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced that states whose Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA; aka No Child Left Behind [NCLB]) waivers expire at the end of the 2013–2014 school year are invited to request renewals of their reform plans for up to 2 more years. State education agencies (SEAs) interested in requesting renewal of ESEA flexibility are asked to indicate—by December 15, 2013—in which of the three phases noted in the letter they will likely submit their request.
Thirty-four states (Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin) and the District of Columbia applied for and received waivers from certain provisions of federal education law in the 2012–2013 school year. Those waivers are set to expire at the end of the 2013–2014 school year. The renewal process applies to only the 34 states listed and the District of Columbia. The remaining states are not yet eligible for renewal as their waivers are not nearing expiration.
The voluntary ESEA waiver gives educators and state and local leaders flexibility in meeting certain requirements of ESEA, as amended by NCLB, in exchange for rigorous and comprehensive state-developed plans designed to improve educational outcomes for all students, close achievement gaps, increase equity, and improve the quality of instruction.
For more information on the guidance document and CSSO letter, visit ED's website orcontact Catherine D. Clarke, ASHA's director of education and regulatory advocacy, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-498-2071, ext. 5611.