Federal Guidance Expected on Waiver Renewals

By Charles Edwards — August 08, 2013 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Federal guidance is likely to be issued by the end of the month for states to renew their waivers from provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act, the head of the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Achievement and School Accountability office told state officials at a recent conference here.

Speaking at the annual summer meeting of the National Association of State Title I Directors, held here July 30-Aug. 2, Monique Chism, the director of the achievement and accountability office, said the document was undergoing final clearance by the Office of Management and Budget. This is the last step before the department can release it to the states.

So far, 40 states and the District of Columbia have received waivers giving them relief from increasingly unworkable portions of the law, such as its lock-step school improvement process and its 2014 deadline for universal student proficiency. Of these waiver participants, 34 states and the District of Columbia were approved in the first two application rounds; their waivers expire at the end of school year 2013-14. The five states approved earlier this year in the third round—Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, New Hampshire, and West Virginia—are not yet up for renewal.

“We anticipate that submission [of renewal applications] would occur in January and March,” Ms. Chism told the Title I officials. “We are going to have two windows for that. Our intent is to do this quickly and early, so if there are any legislative changes or policy changes required, you guys have enough time to work on that.”

“We are working to make this a ‘light lift,” she added.

Monitoring Rounds

Also entering into the Education Department’s waiver renewal decisions will be the results of its first two monitoring rounds (termed “Part A” and “Part B”), she said. The Part A round examined each state’s readiness to implement its waiver plan and relied entirely on a “desk-monitoring” process involving conference calls and a review of state-submitted documents. That round has been completed. The Part B round—involving a mix of on-site and desk-monitoring—will focus on the implementation status of three specific elements of each state’s application, two chosen by the Education Department and one by the state. The department is wrapping up the pilot stage of Part B, with Colorado and Mississippi acting as pilots for on-site monitoring and Connecticut and New Jersey participating in desk-monitoring.

Ms. Chism said the department also plans to conduct “data runs” on various elements of states’ waiver plans, particularly relating to state accountability and support systems.

“We are asking you to make changes to your actual plan, so we hope that that plan is a living document that you are using in the state to help guide your efforts,” Ms. Chism said. “We worked very hard to streamline the renewal process. You will actually be updating your plan and adding some information to some of the new areas.”

So far, only California, Montana and Nebraska have chosen not to apply for NCLB law waivers, while North Dakota and Vermont withdrew their requests. The department on Aug. 6 approved a separate district-level waiver application submitted by a consortium of eight large California school districts.

A version of this article appeared in the August 21, 2013 edition of Education Week as Guidance on Waiver Renewals Expected Soon, Ed. Dept. Says


Student Well-Being K-12 Essentials Forum Boosting Student and Staff Mental Health: What Schools Can Do
Join this free virtual event based on recent reporting on student and staff mental health challenges and how schools have responded.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Curriculum Webinar
Practical Methods for Integrating Computer Science into Core Curriculum
Dive into insights on integrating computer science into core curricula with expert tips and practical strategies to empower students at every grade level.
Content provided by Learning.com

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal Will the Government Actually Shut Down This Time? What Educators Should Know
The federal government is once again on the verge of shutting down. Here's why educators should care, but shouldn't necessarily worry.
1 min read
Photo illustration of Capitol building and closed sign.
Federal Biden Admin. Warns Schools to Protect Students From Antisemitism, Islamophobia
The U.S. Department of Education released a "Dear Colleague" letter reminding schools of their obligation to address discrimination.
3 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in his office at the Department of Education on Sept. 20, 2023 in Washington.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks during an interview in his office at the U.S. Department of Education on Sept. 20, 2023 in Washington.
Mark Schiefelbein/AP
Federal What Educators Should Know About Mike Johnson, New Speaker of the House
Johnson has supported restructuring federal education funding, as well as socially conservative policies that have become GOP priorities.
4 min read
House Speaker-elect Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., addresses members of Congress at the Capitol in Washington on Oct. 25, 2023. Republicans eagerly elected Johnson as House speaker on Wednesday, elevating a deeply conservative but lesser-known leader to the seat of U.S. power and ending for now the political chaos in their majority.
House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., addresses members of Congress at the Capitol in Washington on Oct. 25, 2023. Johnson has a supported a number of conservative Republican education priorities in his time in Congress.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Federal America's Children Don't Have a Federal Right to Education. Will That Ever Change?
An education scholar is launching a new research and advocacy institute to make the case for a federal right to education.
6 min read
Kimberly Robinson speaks at the kickoff event for the new Education Rights Institute at the University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville, Va., on Oct. 16, 2023.
Kimberly Robinson speaks at the kickoff event for the new Education Rights Institute at the University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville, Va., on Oct. 16, 2023.
Julia Davis, University of Virginia School of Law