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December 1, 2021
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JP O'Hare

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Proposed Federal Waiver for State Accountability Requirements and School Improvement Funding Now Available for Public Comment

Public Comments Accepted Through December 15

Public comments are now being accepted on a proposed waiver request to the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) related to state accountability requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and Title I School Improvement Funding, State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa announced today. 

“New York’s schools continue to feel the impact of the pandemic and the unprecedented circumstances it has caused,” Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. said. “We encourage educators, families, students and, indeed, all those with interest in education to provide feedback on this important matter.”

“The Department is committed to determining the most appropriate timeline and manner for re-starting the ESSA accountability system,” Commissioner Rosa said. “In a year that tested the resolve and ingenuity of our educators, we continue to work with identified schools to provide support models that encourage growth. Stakeholders may rest assured that even if USDE approves a waiver, the critical work to support our schools will continue.”

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) waiver request proposes to eliminate some accountability indicator requirements to identify schools for improvement in fall 2022 based on 2021-22 school year results. The waiver request also seeks the ability to use Title I School Improvement funds to support schools in Good Standing that were previously identified as at risk of becoming identified as a Targeted Support and Improvement School prior to the pandemic but were not identified due to pandemic-related disruptions to the accountability system. 

The full text of the proposed waiver is posted on NYSED’s ESSA webpage, as is information on how to submit a public comment through an online submission form. The submission form can be translated into languages other than English. Public comments will be accepted through Wednesday, December 15.  

Next Steps

If the waiver is approved by the USDE, the Department will propose to the Board of Regents that it adopt such amendments to Commissioner’s Regulations to implement the waiver.