Feb. 10, 2017
Colorado releases ESSA state plan for comment
State to formally submit plan to federal government in April
DENVER - The Colorado Department of Education today released the draft of its state plan for how it intends to implement the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for public review and to collect feedback.
“We are proud today to release the draft of Colorado’s ESSA plan, which is the culmination of a year’s worth of hard work, thoughtful conversations and deep consideration about Colorado’s education system,” said Colorado Education Commissioner Katy Anthes.
This plan will be open for public comment for 30 days, from today to March 10. The comments the state receives will be compiled and included with the plan when it is submitted to the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and incorporated into the plan as appropriate.
ESSA was signed into law in December 2015 with the intention of shifting the country’s education law from relying more on federal oversight to giving states more flexibility and more decision-making power at the local level. Colorado, with a history of innovation and fierce individualism, fully embraces this approach to education.
Last year CDE launched a statewide tour that visited seven sites and discussed the plan with approximately 1,500 attendees. Since February 2016, the state has held more than 170 meetings on ESSA and received nearly 4,000 comments about the plan.
In August, CDE created a hub-and-spoke committee process to consider every aspect of the ESSA guidelines. About 130 community members joined seven topical spoke committees that held 30 meetings altogether since August. The hub committee with more than 20 statewide leaders held eight lengthy meetings. Since they began meeting last summer, committee members have given generously of their time, made some tough decisions, and have worked hard to produce this draft of the ESSA plan. The public also engaged in decision points through online surveys that collected about 840 responses.
The final plan to be approved by the State Board of Education and signed off on by the governor will be submitted to the USDE in April.
CDE will also issue a report in the coming months that highlights the various perspectives and feedback considered through this entire process.