Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

CDE Letter to ED on Accountability Waiver

California Department of Education (CDE) Seal
California State Board of Education (SBE) Seal

State Superintendent of Public Instruction
1430 N Street Sacramento, CA 95814-5901
State Board President
1430 N Street, Room 5111, Sacramento, CA 95814

April 2, 2021


The Honorable Ian Rosenblum, Deputy Assistant Secretary
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20202

Dear Deputy Assistant Secretary Rosenblum:

The California Department of Education (CDE) and the State Board of Education (SBE) are writing to you in response to the invitation to request waivers for accountability, school identification, and related reporting requirements pursuant to Section 8401 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). We are submitting this waiver for your approval as it is imperative for our state as we return to in-person instruction.

This waiver will help to ensure that as our students are transitioning to in-person instruction, we are prioritizing the mental and emotional health of K–12 students. The COVID-19 pandemic created an unprecedented disruption for educational systems throughout the country. It is vital that California be granted these flexibilities in order to ensure we can reduce the stress that educators, students, and families have felt over the span of this pandemic.

California is requesting that the following flexibilities be allowed pursuant to Section 8401 of the under the ESEA:

  • Accountability and school identification requirements in ESEA sections 1111(c)(4) and 1111(d)(2)(C)-(D).
  • Report card provisions related to accountability in ESEA Section 1111(h) based on data from the 2020–21 school year.

California provided an opportunity for public comment in regards to requesting these flexibilities. The period for public comment was held during the SBE meeting on February 24, 2021, and March 16, 2021. The feedback received was overwhelmingly supportive. Considering the feedback, our state is moving forward with this waiver request.

The CDE and SBE have worked to ensure that assessments will take place where they are beneficial to students and educators in this challenging time. California is committed to assisting local educational agencies by providing state-level data to assist with their planning and instruction.

We appreciate your invitation to pursue this waiver, and we look forward to working with you to help our students, educators, and families return to a safe and positive in-person learning environment.

If additional information regarding this request is needed, please contact Joseph Saenz, Federal Policy Liaison, Government Affairs Division, by telephone at 916-591-6391 or by email at [Note: the preceding contact information is no longer valid, and has been replaced by Natasha Middleton at]


State Superintendent of Public Instruction
California Department of Education

California State Board of Education

TT/LDH: js

Last Reviewed: Wednesday, April 3, 2024
Related Content

Recently Posted in Every Student Succeeds Act

No items posted in the last 60 days.