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Every Student Succeeds Act

Information regarding California's plan to implement the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

On December 10, 2015, President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), reauthorizing the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and replacing the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the 2001 reauthorization of ESEA.

Information regarding the ESSA and the development of California's plan to implement the new federal education act is provided below. New information and guidance will be added as it becomes available. If you would like to be notified when new information is available, please join the California Department of Education (CDE) ESSA listserv by sending a blank e-mail message to join-essa@mlist.cde.ca.gov.

ESSA State Plan | Waivers | California Correspondence and Resources | ED Correspondence and Resources


ESSA State Plan

California's ESSA State Plan (DOCX) Approved by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) December 4, 2020

For previous versions of the State Plan, associated drafts, and other information relevant to development of the State Plan, please visit the ESSA Initial State Plan Development web page.

Waivers

Communication with the U.S. Department of Education Regarding General Waiver on Statewide Assessments

On April 2, 2021, the CDE and the California State Board of Education (SBE) sent a letter to ED to confirm a conversation between the CDE, SBE, and ED in which California affirmed that we would continue to offer state summative assessments. In response, ED staff indicated that California would not need to submit a general assessment waiver.

Waiver for Accountability, School Identification, and Reporting Requirements for School Year 2020–21

On February 22, 2021, ED invited states to request a waiver for the 2020-2021 school year of accountability, school identification, and related reporting requirements in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). ED published an optional state waiver template on March 8, 2021.

On April 2, 2021, the CDE and SBE, submitted the waiver template for accountability, school identification, and related reporting requirements pursuant to section 8401 of the ESEA.

ED provided California with formal approval for this waiver on April 6, 2021.

COVID-19 Federal Funding Flexibility Waiver

On April 3, 2020, ED invited states to apply for a Federal Funding Flexibility Waiver as a part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Additionally, on December 2020, ED invited states to request a similar waiver under the ESEA section 8401(b) for the 2020–21 school year and fiscal year (FY) 2020 Title IV, Part A funds.

More information about these waivers can be found on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Federal Funding Flexibility web page.

COVID-19 Assessment and Accountability Waiver

On March 26, 2020, the California SBE and the CDE, under ESEA Section 8401(b), requested a waiver to ED for the 2019–20 school year of the following sections:

  • Assessment requirements in section 1111(b)(2);
  • Accountability and school identification requirements in sections 1111(c)(4) and 1111(d)(2)(C)-(D); and
  • Reporting requirements related to assessments and accountability in section 1111(h) as enumerated in the template

A public comment period is open through April 15, 2020, for interested parties and members of the public to submit comments or questions concerning this Waiver request. Please submit comments or questions by email to ESSA@cde.ca.gov or by mail to the California Department of Education, Government Affairs Division, 1430 N Street, Suite 5602, Sacramento, CA 95814-5901.

English Learner Progress Indicator Waiver

The California State Board of Education directed the CDE to submit a waiver request to the U.S. Department of Education related to the English Learner Progress Indicator. The CDE submitted the waiver request on May 16, 2018.

California Correspondence and Resources


U.S. Department of Education Correspondence and Resources

U.S. Department of Education ESSA Web Page External link opens in new window or tab.

ESSA Guidance

ESSA Regulations

Assessment Final Regulations

Accountability, State Plans, and Data Reporting Regulations External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF; Dated 28-Nov-2016)

Letters from ED

All letters from ED related to the development of the State Plan can be found on the ESSA Initial State Plan Development web page.

Questions:   ESSA Team | ESSA@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0843
Last Reviewed: Monday, April 12, 2021
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  • CDE Letter to ED on Accountability Waiver (added 12-Apr-2021)
    Letter from the California Department of Education to the U.S. Department of Education regarding the accountability, school identification, and related reporting requirements waiver.
  • CDE Letter to ED on Statewide Assessments (added 05-Apr-2021)
    Letter from the California Department of Education to the U.S. Department of Education regarding statewide assessments.