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Draft ESSA State Plan Executive Summary

A brief summary of California's draft Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 10, 2015, and goes into effect in the 2017–18 school year. The ESSA reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the nation’s federal education law, and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

As part of California’s transition to the ESSA, California must submit an ESSA Consolidated State Plan (State Plan) to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) in 2017. The State is required to develop the plan in consultation with stakeholders and make the plan available for a 30-day public comment period.

The complete draft of California’s ESSA State Plan is being made available for public comment May 22–June 30, 2017.

The State Plan describes the State’s implementation of standards, assessments, accountability, and assistance programs. It also describes how the State will put into place federal programs that support:

  • Low-income students
  • Minority students
  • English learners
  • Migratory children and youth
  • Neglected, delinquent, or at-risk children and youth
  • Homeless children and youth
  • Effective instruction
  • Well-rounded education opportunities
  • Community learning centers
  • Rural and low-income schools

Since 2010, California has been engaged in an extensive redesign of its education system, including new standards and assessments, a new funding formula, and a new accountability and support system. Most of the content in the current draft of the State Plan reflects policy decisions that have been made by the State Board of Education (SBE) during the course of this multi-year redesign.

Additional content in the draft is less well-defined and will benefit from further research, stakeholder input, and SBE deliberation. For example, many features of the statewide system of support, including the design and implementation of strategies to support schools identified for additional assistance and the best, evidence-based investment of ESSA optional and required reservations for state-level activities, will be developed collaboratively in the coming months with a variety of local, regional, and state entities. California will also need to develop a definition for “ineffective” teacher and determine how best to support local educational agencies as they address any identified local educator equity issues.

The initial draft of the State Plan does not include specific policy proposals on these topics. Continued stakeholder input and SBE deliberations will inform further development in these areas, some of which may remain a "plan to plan" in the final State Plan submitted to ED in September 2017.

All members of the public are encouraged to review the Phase IV Draft ESSA State Plan Public Comment Toolkit, which includes the complete draft plan, videos explaining the contents of the plan, facilitator instructions, and the public comment survey.

During the public comment period, CDE staff is collaborating with county offices of education and education organizations to host regional and online stakeholder meetings to review the contents of the draft State Plan and the public comment process. Information regarding these opportunities is available on the CDE ESSA State Plan Development Opportunities Web page.

Questions:   ESSA Team | | 916-319-0843
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, July 15, 2020
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