The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) today (April 28) released a draft for public review of Wisconsin’s Consolidated Plan under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The plan describes how the state will implement ESSA and will undergo a public comment period through June 30.
To assist the public and lawmakers to understand the plan, a joint informational hearing of the Senate and Assembly Education committees has been scheduled for Wednesday, May 3 at 10:30 a.m. in room 412 East, State Capitol. At this meeting the DPI will provide a briefing on the draft Wisconsin ESSA State implementation plan. Testimony will be provided by invited speakers only. (View notice.)
Continue reading DPI Releases Draft of Wisconsin ESSA Plan
President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday (April 26) directing U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to conduct a study to “determine where the federal government has unlawfully overstepped on state and local control” with regard to K-12 schools. According to the White House, the executive order is “intended to return authority to where Congress intended—state and local entities.”
In response to the executive order, an Education Department task force, led by Robert Eitel, a senior adviser to the secretary, will take a close look at all of the K-12 regulations put out by the past administration and decide which intrude upon local control. After 300 days, the department will release a report on its findings, according to a department spokesperson.
You can find the executive order here.
Continue reading President Trump Orders Study of Federal Role in Education
Yesterday (April 20), the Assembly Education Committee held a public hearing on a bill (Assembly Bill 233) that would prohibit the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) from submitting the state plan required under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to the U.S. Department of Education without first responding to any objections submitted to DPI by the Assembly Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Education.
The bill illustrates one of the tensions in implementing the new federal law. Continue reading Lawmakers Debate Degree of Stakeholder Input Needed on State’s ESSA Accountability Plan
The U.S. Department of Education faces a 13.5 percent cut ($9.2 billion) under the Trump administration federal budget blueprint released today, a plan that also boosts charters and vouchers and calls for certain federal funds targeted to aid the education of low-income students to follow children who move from one public school to another.
The Washington Post reports that the so-called “skinny budget” plan would downsize or eliminate a raft of grant programs, including grants for teacher training and after-school and summer programs, among others. The cuts, among the steepest the agency has ever sustained, would be coupled with a historic investment — $1.4 billion — in charter schools, private schools and other school-choice initiatives. Continue reading Trump Administration Budget Plan Slashes Education Department, Boosts Charters and Vouchers
On Thursday (March 9), the U.S. Senate by a vote of 50-49 approved a resolution (H.J.Res. 57) to invoke its authority under the federal Regulatory Control Act to repeal the Accountability and State Plan regulations promulgated last November by the Obama Administration under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). (The Regulatory Control Act allows congressional disapproval of previously promulgated federal regulations under certain conditions.)
Earlier, the U.S. House of Representatives had approved the measure 234 – 190 on Tuesday (March 7). The measure heads to the White House, where President Trump is expected to approve it, effectively repealing the regulations issued under the former Administration.
Continue reading Congress, President to Repeal Obama-era Accountability Regulations
Federal Enforcement Actions: The joint decision by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education to withdraw and rescind past guidance on transgendered students means those departments will not be independently pursuing enforcement actions against schools and/or threatening the loss of federal funds based on a school district’s alleged failure to implement each and every aspect of the former guidelines.
As a practical matter, enforcement of the rescinded guidance has been on hold since last August when a federal district court in Texas issued a nationwide injunction blocking enforcement. (See previous post.) The Wisconsin Department of Justice was one of several state departments that joined a federal lawsuit challenging the guidance that resulted in the issuance of that injunction. (See previous post.) Given the latest action from the new Trump administration, that lawsuit is “essentially moot,” according to a state DOJ spokesman. Continue reading Where Does The Feds’ Withdrawal of Transgender Guidance Leave School Districts?