NSBA's public comment on the Dept. of Education's Consolidated State Plan Template

NSBA today submitted public comments in response to the U.S. Department of Education’s (Department) request for feedback on the Consolidated State Plan Template. Excerpts from the comments follow:

NSBA appreciates the Department’s effort to reduce federal overreach and amend the Consolidated State Plan Template so that it focuses exclusively on the legal requirements established in ESSA.

The Department should implement the meaningful consultation requirements included in ESSA by taking every step to ensure that local education leaders have a voice in the development of the State plan. The Consolidated State Plan Template should be amended to require States to demonstrate how stakeholders participated in the development of the State plan. The intent of the law is clear.  ESSA requires States to engage with stakeholders directly responsible for the governance of public schools and consider such input prior to the submission of a State plan. 

The Department has an opportunity to reaffirm ESSA’s clear directive to restore local governance and community ownership in public education. This directive is significant; it is a devolution of federal authority and an opportunity to restore the authority of local education leaders. Ensuring stakeholders, including locally elected school board members, have an opportunity to participate in the process preserves the integrity of ESSA. The law provides a mechanism for local school board members to be directly involved in the development of State plans and the Department has an obligation to ensure that the minimum legal requirements of the law are met. 

More information is available in the full comments.

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