The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) negotiated rulemaking committee met earlier this week in its third and final session. Negotiated rulemaking is a process where stakeholders convene to hash out differences and reach consensus on language for rules. The ESSA negotiated rulemaking committee was tasked with writing new rules that will govern two particular pieces of the new law: assessments and the concept of ‘supplement, not supplant,’ which is language that says states cannot replace state and local dollars with federal dollars.
The committee needed to reach consensus on its rule language for both areas. Ultimately, they agreed on new rule language for assessments, but they could not work out final language on the complex issue of ‘supplement, not supplant.’ As a result, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) will now proceed with its typical rulemaking process and propose language as it sees fit. ED has said it will take the negotiators’ input into consideration as they develop the proposed rules.
The negotiated rulemaking committee began its work in late March and met again last week. ED has already begun its typical rulemaking process for other aspects of the law that did not require negotiated rulemaking. Among the issues ED will tackle is accountability, which is a big aspect of the law. U.S. Secretary of Education John King has said his timeline for completion of all rules for ESSA is this fall; expect many more rulemaking updates from the Teach the Vote!