A little-known provision of the Every Student Succeeds Act allows students who attend a “persistently dangerous school,” or who become the victim of a violent crime on school grounds, to transfer to a safer school.
Now department wants to know how that’s working. The department is planning to study state implementation of the provision, according to a notice scheduled to be published in the Federal Register.
“Given ongoing, cross-Federal-agency efforts to help ensure students are safe in school, it is essential for the Department to understand how State Educational Agencies (SEAs) are implementing the requirement,” the notice says.
The idea isn’t new under ESSA. States also had to flag “persistently dangerous” schools under the law that proceeded it, No Child Left Behind. But because states got to decide what “persistently dangerous” meant, very few schools got slapped with the label. In the 2005-06 school year, for example, just 41 schools across the country were flagged as “persistently dangerous.” States also get to define the term under ESSA.
The provision is one of a handful in the law that deal with school choice, a huge priority for U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Most states choose not to take advantage of the opportunities to expand choice under ESSA. And so far, DeVos has been unsuccessful at persuading Congress to create a new, federally funded private school voucher program, or allow federal funding to follow students to the public school of their choice.
Want to learn more about the Every Student Succeeds Act? Here’s some useful information:
- Check Out Our Latest Blog Posts on ESSA
- Read an Overview of ESSA
- Sign Up for Our Newsletter on ESSA
- See Key Trends in States’ ESSA Plans and Where They Stand
Follow us on Twitter at @PoliticsK12.