Take Action to Protect Charter School Autonomy!
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) released draft regulations that will govern state accountability plans under Title I of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
As proposed, the regulations would give state education agencies a much larger role in charter school oversight. It is critical that the voice of the charter school community is heard! The National Alliance has drafted a letter that any charter school supporter can submit. To read this letter and submit it to ED, click here. The deadline for public comments is August 1, 2016, but we encourage all to submit comments by COB on Friday, July 29, 2016 to ensure receipt.
For more information on the impact of ESSA on charter schools, please review these webinars, presentations at our conference, and other collateral on our website.
Charter Schools Program Funding
The House Appropriations Committee has approved $333.1 million for the Charter Schools Program for fiscal year 2017 – which holds funding steady from the current fiscal year. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a $10 million (3 percent) increase in funding over the current year. The spending bills will be completed after the November elections.
ED released the proposed rule for Title I Academic Assessments, which is based on the consensus reach in the negotiated rulemaking panel earlier this spring. See this this memo from our partners at Penn Hill Group summarizing the consensus-based proposal. Comments on this proposed rule are due by September 9, 2016.
ED also released a proposed rule for the Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority. ESSA created an Innovative Assessment pilot which will allow states to pilot new approaches to develop the next generation of high-quality statewide assessments. The rules outline the requirements for applying for and implementing the innovative assessment demonstration authority. This memo from our partners at the Penn Hill Group summarizes the proposal. Comments are also due by September 9, 2016.
ED released guidance on the new provisions in ESSA supporting homeless youth. The guidance will assist state and local partners in understanding and implementing the new law in order to better protect and serve homeless students and help schools in providing these students with stability, safety, and support.
Finally, ED has released an updated set of Frequently Asked Questions to further support states’ and districts’ transition to ESSA.
To learn more about ESSA and the impact on charter schools, visit the National Alliance website.
Promise Neighborhoods Grant Competition
ED is accepting applications now for the Promise Neighborhoods grant competition. The program seeks to improve the educational and developmental outcomes of youth in the most distressed communities and to transform those communities. Nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, and Indian tribes are eligible to apply. ED anticipates making five awards with an estimated $30M in total program funding for a grant period of 3-5 years. Notice of intent to apply is due August 11, 2016 and the final application is due September 6, 2016 at 4:30PM EST.