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Colorado Officials Argue 12 Percent of ESSA Regulations Conflict with the Law

Colorado Officials Argue 12 Percent of ESSA Regulations Conflict with the Law

At the beginning of the summer, Education World reported on how Colorado Department of Education officials were committed to implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act in the best way possible.

It set up a timeline of drafting its ESSA plan and even traveled the state to gather feedback from over 700 individuals during the process.

Not only that, it also set up a forum for state residents to hold an on-going discussion about the legislation as well as created an e-mail dedicated specifically to answering questions about ESSA itself.

By all means, in June, it seemed like Colorado officials and the ESSA were going to get along very, ver well.

Just a month later, however, the Colorado Chalkbeat is reporting the exact opposite.

According to the news source, the state’s education officials are growing increasingly frustrated about regulations in the legislation they consider to be significant overreach.

"In the board room Thursday there were plenty of eye rolls, sighs and head slaps as department officials picked apart the regulations on academic standards, teaching quality and testing,” the Chalkbeat said.

Many argued that the rules do not create more flexibility more states but rather restrict them, a concerning criticism as No Child Left Behind critically pushed states away from wanting federal control.

Further, Colorado officials told the Chalkbeat that after examination, they found 12 percent "of the regulations contained statements that conflicted with the law.”

Some board members found the regulations to be so constricting that they considered analyzing the state education budget to determine if they could do without being accountable to the federal government. After analysis determined hundreds of millions of dollars to be on the line, the suggestion seemed less plausible.

For now, the officials will wait until the end of the month before submitting a formal response to the federal government. According to the Chalkbeat, an opportunity to comment on the officials’ concerns was declined by the U.S. Department of Education.

Read the full story.

Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

7/8/2016

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