Input sought on application for federal waiver extension

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The Kentucky Department of Education is seeking feedback on its request for a one-year extension of a federal waiver granting the state flexibility under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 – reauthorized in 2001 as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.

The waiver, first granted in 2012, allows the state flexibility in determining Adequate Yearly Progress, implementing school improvement requirements, and allocation of federal funding among other things. It also has allowed Kentucky to operate with one comprehensive system of accountability for both state and federal purposes.

After Congress failed to reauthorize NCLB, which expired in 2007, the United States Department of Education (USED) provided relief from some specific requirements in exchange for rigorous and comprehensive state-developed plans designed to improve educational outcomes for all students, close achievement gaps, increase equity, and improve the quality of instruction. Kentucky is among 43 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico approved for ESEA flexibility.

The Kentucky Department of Education has posted the state’s draft extension request (in redline format as required by USED) on the KDE website and welcomes public comment prior to submission to USED in early May. Comments and feedback may be sent to Mary Ann Miller, executive director of the Kentucky Board of Education at maryann.miller@education.ky.gov.

Comments will be accepted until the close of business on Wednesday, April 30.

USED is offering states a one-year extension to allow them to move forward with the work of implementing college- and career-ready standards, more effective accountability systems for all students, and teacher and principal evaluation and support systems. The one-year extension will allow USED and state education agencies to gather additional information on successes and challenges in the implementation of reforms committed to under ESEA flexibility, in order to improve current systems and better support students and teachers.

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