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Every Student Succeeds Act

The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA), requires state education agencies, school districts, and individual schools to provide numerous notices to parents, the public, and others. ESSA reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the nation’s national education law and longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students. Several ESSA provisions are summarized in the U.S. Department of Education’s Transitioning to the Every Student Succeeds Act Frequently Asked Questions (January 2017), which also has information about ESSA notice requirements that differ from those under No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

ESSA requires that states and school districts engage families and parents in the work of ensuring positive outcomes for all students. School districts that receive Title I funds must have written family and parent engagement policies with expectations and objectives for implementing meaningful family and parent involvement strategies. They are required to involve family members and parents in developing district plans and to provide technical assistance to schools on planning and implementing effective family and parent involvement activities to improve student academic achievement and school performance. ESSA requires all school districts that receive Title I funds to implement an effective means of outreach to parents of English learners and hold regular meetings for those parents. See the U.S. Department of Education’s Policy Statement on Family Engagement for more information. Also, see the Department’s guidance on ESSA Assessments under Title 1, Part A and Title I, Part B: Summary of Final Regulations and chart, which compares drafted guidance with relevant prior guidance on Title I.

Under ESSA, SEAs and LEAs that receive Title I funds must publish state and local report cards on their websites that are concise and in an accessible format. ESSA makes Title I funds accessible to private schools and the Department of Education has provided non-regulatory guidance on this topic. See the non-regulatory guidance here: Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as Amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act: Providing Equitable Services to Eligible Private School Children, Teachers, and Families (October 7, 2019). For additional guidance, see also the U.S. Department of Education’s Crosswalk Between Draft Title I, Part A Guidance on Equitable Services and Prior Non-Regulatory (March 28, 2019) and Dear colleague letter on state plan amendments, school identification, reporting, and technical assistance (October 24, 2019).

The supplement-not-supplant requirement under Title I changed under ESSA, but the U.S. Department of Education has not issued draft regulations. Instead, in 2019 the Department provided a Title I, Part A supplement non supplant non-regulatory informational document along with a summary response to comments on the informational document.