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May 9, 2018
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JP O'Hare

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Public Comment Period on Proposed Every Student Succeeds Act Regulations Begins Today

Proposed Regulations Will Implement NY’s Approved ESSA Plan

60-Day Public Comment Period Continues Through July 9

Updated June 11, 2018

The public comment period on proposed regulations to prepare for implementation of New York’s approved Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan begins today, Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced. The public comment period continues through July 9.

“We remain focused on our top priority of promoting equity and achieving success for all children through New York’s ESSA plan,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “Our proposed ESSA regulations are based on our approved ESSA plan, which so many educators, parents and national experts helped us create. Through these proposed regulations, we will help establish a more well-rounded educational system, critical for educating students no matter who they are, where they live, where they go to school or where they come from. We encourage the education community to review the regulations and provide us with feedback.”

“These amendments are an important first step in implementing New York’s ESSA plan, but it’s important to remember that this is a living, breathing document and that we will continue to work with teachers, district leaders and parents to gather feedback and make improvements to it as needed,” Commissioner Elia said. “We are committed to ensuring that all students succeed and thrive in school by advancing equity, access and opportunity across New York state.”

Amendments and additions to Commissioner’s Regulations are necessary to implement New York’s approved ESSA plan. The final approved ESSA plan is posted on the Department’s ESSA webpage.

The ESSA plan emphasizes fostering equity in education for New York’s students; expands measures for school support and accountability and student success; and requires school-level improvement plans for the lowest performing schools overall, as well as schools with the lowest performance for certain student populations. The plan also includes strategies for supporting the professional growth of educators and ensuring that all students, including English language learners/Multilingual learners, immigrant students, migratory youth, homeless youth, and neglected and delinquent youth, have access to a well-rounded, culturally responsive education that supports students’ academic and social-emotional development.

After an extensive, more than year-long public engagement process, the Department, with Board approval, submitted New York’s ESSA plan to the USDE for review on September 17, 2018. Subsequently, the Department met regularly with the USDE to provide clarifications on the plan. On January 17, 2018, the USDE approved the State’s plan. In March 2018, the Department provided the Board of Regents with an update regarding the financial transparency requirements related to ESSA and in May 2018, the Department provided the Board of Regents with a detailed summary of what would be contained in the draft regulations.

Stakeholder Engagement

In developing the plan, NYSED engaged diverse groups of stakeholders to solicit recommendations on how to craft an ESSA plan that best meets the needs of the state’s students, schools and communities. In support of these efforts, NYSED established an ESSA Think Tank with representatives from more than 100 organizations, including district leaders, teachers, parents, and community members. The Department also consulted with national education experts regarding ESSA, including Linda Darling-Hammond (Learning Policy Institute) and Scott F. Marion (National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment).

In addition, NYSED held more than 120 fall and winter regional in-person meetings across the state in coordination with the state’s 37 Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) and the superintendents of the state’s five largest City School Districts, which were attended by more than 4,000 students, parents, teachers, school and district leaders, school board members, and other stakeholders.

The Department received more than 800 written comments and 270 verbal comments at the meetings during the public comment period. In addition to hosting 13 public hearings on the plan from May 11 through June 16, NYSED also held more than 120 stakeholder and public meetings between October 2016 and May 2017 to gather input to help inform the development of the draft plan.

Next Steps

The Department will continue its work with district and school leaders, teachers and other educators and other stakeholder groups to implement the ESSA plan. The Department will continue to create explanatory materials for stakeholders, revise the application that districts will use to apply for funding under ESSA, and prepare to implement the new accountability system to identify schools for Comprehensive Support and Improvement and Targeted Support and Improvement based on 2017-18 school year results.

The Department is in the process of developing various guidance documents for school districts on implementing the ESSA plan and is currently conducting a series of regional meetings to inform district leaders regarding the new accountability system under ESSA. In addition, as warranted, the Department will create and provide webinar materials to help further explain changes to guidance documents and school requirements.   

At a later date, Department staff may propose amendments to Commissioner’s Regulations pertaining to health education and physical fitness as well as the inclusion of additional indicators into the state accountability system, such as out of school suspensions. 

A Notice of Proposed Rule Making was published in the State Register today. Comments on the proposed changes will be accepted through July 9 and can be submitted by email to

Following the 60-day public comment period required under the State Administrative Procedure Act, it is anticipated that the proposed amendment will be presented to the Board of Regents for adoption at its September 2018 meeting. To ensure that these requirements are in effect for implementation at the start of the 2018-2019 school year (on July 1, 2018), it is anticipated that the proposed amendment will be presented to the Board of Regents for adoption as an emergency action at the June Regents meeting and become effective on July 1, 2018 as an emergency measure.

Update on Proposed ESSA Regulations and Public Comment Periods: June 11, 2018

On May 9, 2018, proposed regulations to prepare for implementation of New York’s approved Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan were published in the State Register. The public comment period continues through July 9.

At its June 2018 meeting, the Board of Regents adopted revised proposed amendments to the regulations based on feedback from the field. As a result, a Notice of Emergency Adoption and Revised Rulemaking will be published in the State Register on July 18, 2018. The State Education Department will post the revised proposed amendments on July 18 here and will receive public comment on those amendments until August 17, 2018.