State Board of Education Approves ESSA Plan
TOM TORLAKSON, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
MICHAEL W. KIRST, President
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 13, 2017
Contact: Janet Weeks
State Board of Education Approves Every Student Succeeds Act Plan
SACRAMENTO—The State Board of Education today approved a plan for using federal assistance that upholds California’s commitment to the ground-breaking educational reforms of the Local Control Funding Formula.
Every state that receives federal funding to support low-income students and English language learners is required to submit an Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan to the U.S. Department of Education. Several states submitted their plans earlier this year, while California and more than 30 other states will be submitting their plans on September 18.
The plan—essentially a grant application—allows each state to make a case for how it will utilize and manage federal dollars.
California’s ESSA plan meets federal requirements while ensuring the state retains maximum flexibility to continue its shift away from top-down decision-making and toward local control that allows local school districts to better meet local needs. The plan was developed over 18 months with input from thousands of Californians.
“With the ESSA plan, we believe we have achieved the right balance between meeting federal requirements and focusing on our state priorities that will help prepare all students for college and careers,” said State Board President Michael W. Kirst, a Stanford University professor emeritus. “We look forward to working with the U.S. Department of Education as our application moves through their process.”
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson thanked the plan’s many contributors for working in partnership throughout the process. “This plan reinforces the California Way, giving flexibility to local leaders and communities so they can make decisions that address local needs and are not restricted by a one-size fits all approach, Torlakson said.
“It fits in very well with California’s own massive efforts to improve education and pay special attention to students with the greatest needs. I want to thank staff at the California Department of Education for their hard work in traveling up and down California to gather input and thank all the educators who took the time to provide the feedback and thoughtful analysis that helped make this plan successful.”
California receives $2.6 billion in ESSA funds annually—approximately 2.5 percent of California’s overall education budget and one-fourth of the money provided to improve services for low-income students, English language learners, and foster youth through the Local Control Funding Formula.
The ESSA plan honors California’s promise to educators, parents, and students to develop a single state and federal school accountability and support system, ending years of confusion caused by dueling systems. The new integrated model uses multiple data points—graduation rates, suspension rates, test scores, and more—to give a more complete picture of school success.
The California Department of Education is a state agency led by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. For more information, please visit the California Department of Education’s Web site or by
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