Revisions to Kentucky’s ESSA plan available for public comment

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(FRANKFORT, KY) – Kentucky’s Consolidated State Plan to implement the requirements under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), has been revised. The Kentucky Department of Education has released the plan for public comment and submitted it to Gov. Matt Bevin for review.

The plan required adjustments due to recent legislative changes following the 2019 session of the Kentucky General Assembly. Under the federal law, state education agencies are required to submit a plan detailing the implementation of the law and how federal education dollars will be spent. After public comments and the governor’s review, the state plan must be resubmitted to the U.S. Department of Education (USED) for review. The plan can be accessed online. Changes since March 1 are indicated in yellow.

The Kentucky Consolidated State Plan initially was submitted to USED in September 2017, and after making revisions required by USED, it received federal approval in May 2018. The plan was grounded in a year and a half of extensive outreach and engagement efforts with Kentuckians, including educators at all levels, families, businesses, education partners, policymakers and communities. Senate Bill 1, passed by the Kentucky General Assembly in 2017, further guided the development of the state plan.

The first year of implementation of the state plan occurred in the 2017-2018 academic year, with the first results of the new accountability system being reported in September 2018. In the first year of implementation, schools were identified with the following federally-required designations:

  • Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) – performance in the bottom 5 percent of schools or graduation rate below 80 percent;
  • Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) – at least one significantly underperforming student group; or
  • Other – all other schools not identified as CSI or TSI.[Note: In the second year of implementation, with results to be reported in fall 2019, in addition to schools identified for CSI and TSI, all schools will be rated using the accountability system’s new 5-star rating system. Accountability information for all Kentucky public schools can be accessed online at kyschoolreportcard.com]

Several changes have been made to the new accountability system during its first year of implementation. The Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) approved changes to the state’s accountability system that impact multiple parts of Section A, Title I of the ESSA State Plan on Feb. 6, 2019. An updated Consolidated State Plan was submitted on March 1, 2019, to reflect these changes.

Additionally, during the 2019 legislative session, the Kentucky General Assembly passed and the governor signed Senate Bill 175. To align the state’s accountability system with the statute, the KBE made additional amendments to the state’s accountability system regulation on April 10, 2019. These changes necessitate another modification of Kentucky’s Consolidated State Plan, particularly as it relates to postsecondary readiness and the identification of schools for targeted support and improvement. The plan also has been updated to reflect the current status of new content area standards and the education of migratory children. The changes reflected in the amended plan involve the state’s accountability system as well as Title I and Title 4 sections.

Public comments on the draft revisions to Kentucky’s state plan must be received by close of business May 31. Comments may be emailed to kdecommunications@education.ky.gov or submitted to Todd Allen, Deputy General Counsel, Kentucky Department of Education, 300 Sower Blvd, 5th Floor, Frankfort, KY 40601. You also may submit comments via fax at (502) 564-9321. All comments that are received timely will be considered before submission of the revised state plan to USED.

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