Secretary DeVos Releases New ESSA Guidance

The U.S. Department of Education released a new guide for states to use in developing their education plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). While ESSA requires meaningful stakeholder engagement, the new guide does not compel states to include a description of how they are engaging and consulting stakeholders in developing their plans. 

Although the Department of Education does not require states to detail how they have engaged multiple stakeholders in the development and refinement of their state plans, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governor's Association (NGA) both indicate that they remain committed to continued stakeholder engagement as states finalize their ESSA plans.  CCSSO and NGA have been leading state's ESSA efforts thus far, and their commitment to continued engagement is encouraging.  More importantly, the statutory language of ESSA requires stakeholder engagement, and we must work with our allied partners to ensure that this requirement is being met.   

NASP believes that engaging all stakeholders is critical, not optional.  Stakeholders, particularly school psychologists, play an integral role in the successful implementation of ESSA at the state, district, and school level.  Our input is crucial to help ensure that all children receive a quality education by providing valuable input and holding states and districts accountable.  Due to the thoughtful input from school psychologists, many states are making meaningful effort to provide educational equity for all children and make sure every child has access to the comprehensive supports needed to be successful.  We must ensure that states and local school districts continue to seek input from multiple stakeholders.  

At this time, it is not expected that states will need to make significant changes to existing state plans in order to comply with the new guidelines. However, as more information becomes available, we will be sure to keep you updated.  In the meantime, please continue to work with state and local leaders to educate them about the value school psychologists bring in helping to ensure school and student success, and successful implementation of ESSA.