Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, State of Washington, in Olympia. Photo by Jim Nieland.
Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, State of Washington, in Olympia. Photo by Jim Nieland.

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has created a draft Consolidated Plan that outlines how the state intends to implement the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Beginning November 14, OSPI will encourage public discussions during a “review tour.” The tour will make stops in Burien, Selah and Spokane and end with a webinar later in the month.

Specifically, the Consolidated Plan draft addresses gaps in the education system and works to promote equitable access and opportunity for all Washington students, particularly low-income students.

ESSA builds on key themes of the bill it replaces, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, while allowing states more say in how to address struggling schools. ESSA allows states to dictate what measures will be taken, working to improve schools by offering professional development opportunities, teacher recruitment and retention incentives, and more.

During the review tours, facilitators Dr. Gil Mendoza, OSPI Deputy Superintendent of K-12 Education, and Gayle Pauley, OSPI Assistant Superintendent of Special Programs & Federal Accountability, will present the key components and recommendations included in Washington’s Draft Consolidated Plan and explain how and when the public can provide formal comment on the plan.

OSPI’s Consolidated Plan draft will be open for review and public comment for 30 days beginning in early to mid-November. After that, public comments will be reviewed and provided to Superintendent Dorn for consideration. The plan will then be finalized and submitted to the U.S. Department of Education for final review in late December.

Sponsored by Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), the U.S. Congress passed ESSA in December 2015. The bill will be implemented in America’s schools in the 2017–18 school year.

Those who wish to learn more about the Consolidated Plan draft review tours and public comment period can do so at www.k12.wa.us/essa.

Review tour dates
November 14, 6:30–8:30 p.m., Highline Performing Arts Center, Burien, WA
November 15, 6–8 p.m., Selah Performing Arts Center/Selah Middle School, Selah, WA
November 16, 6–8 p.m., Spokane Convention Center, Spokane, WA
November 28, 6–8 p.m., Webinar, Registration required: http://bit.ly/ESSA-webinar

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