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Support on ESSA: Supplement not Supplant

ERS served as expert support to U.S. Department of Education

Last week, ERS Principal Associate Courtney Hitchcock and I were in Washington, D.C. to serve as the official Department of Education “expert support” for the negotiating committee for regulations to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), particularly on the “supplement not supplant” issue.

The new ESSA regulations reduced compliance requirements, significantly eliminating the need for districts to track specific services and time to prove they are targeting Title I dollars to low-income students. In return, the law requires that districts report school-level spending using actual teacher salaries. The question before the committee is whether the regulations should be more specific about requiring that districts actually spend more in Title I schools, and whether that calculation should be based on actual or average salaries.

Take a look below at the short set of charts we shared aimed at a widely diverse committee, including parents, teachers, civil rights advocates, and district and state leaders. Our data got the group focused on the key questions, and we were able to answer numerous questions about the practical implications of different solutions.

This Department of Education process will continue over the next two months. In the next three-day session, negotiators will review draft regulation created by the DOE based on the conversation. It’s hard to say where it will end up. Yet regardless of what happens, going forward, ERS will be working with states and districts to build understanding of the full set of metrics they need to be monitoring to ensure not just that the dollars are distributed to schools equitably, but that once they get to schools—resources (people, time, and money) are targeted in ways that help every student succeed, especially those who struggle and often get less. 

Support on ESSA:  Supplement not Supplant
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