ESSA went into full implementation last school-year. This year, districts are preparing for state monitoring visits regarding ESSA Compliance.

Can ESEA (ESSA) Funds be used to Pay EL Teacher’s Salaries?

By Dr. David Holbrook | August 2, 2017

When I was employed at a state department of education, I monitored school districts for compliance with ESEA requirements for both Title I and Title III. I also contracted with the U.S. Department of Education (USED) and helped USED monitor Title III in five states. One of the most common English Learner (EL) program monitoring issues I found was an improper use of Title I or Title III funds to pay for the salaries of teachers working in a district’s core “language instruction educational program” (LIEP), also know as an EL program.

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Are Charter Schools Considered School Districts or just Schools?

By Dr. David Holbrook | August 1, 2017

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) went into effect at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, forcing districts across the country to evaluate, re-write, and re-translate the parent and family notifications that are required under the law. During a webinar training about the required changes (recorded July 24, 2017), the question was raised, “Which letters do charter schools use to schedule a Parent and Family Engagement Policy development meeting, the ‘school’ level letter or the ‘district’ level letter?”

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House Appropriations Bill Retains Significant Funding for 21st Century Community Learning Center Programs

By Dr. David Holbrook | July 27, 2017

Back in April I wrote about the efforts of local, state, and national organizations who were urging congressional leaders to retain funding for the 21st Century Community Learning Center (21CCLC) program (ESSA Title IV, Part B) at no less than the current funding level ($1.167 billion). Trump’s budget proposal included elimination of the 21CCLC program and advocates for this program came out to support the program in force. Well, their efforts may be seeing some results.

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Response to Trump Executive Order: U.S. Department of Education Issues Request for Comments on Regulatory Reform

By Dr. David Holbrook | July 11, 2017

The U.S. Department of Education (USED) published a notice in the Federal Register requesting comments concerning regulations and policy guidance that members of the public might recommend to be repealed, replaced, or modified. The Federal Register notice is in response to Trump’s Executive Order 13777, which requires federal agencies to establish a Regulatory Reform Task Force to evaluate existing regulations and make recommendations to the agency head regarding their repeal, replacement, or modification, consistent with applicable law. The executive order says, that, at “a minimum, each Regulatory Reform Task Force shall attempt to identify regulations that:

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Section 508 Compliance and TransACT Parent Notices

By Dr. David Holbrook | June 21, 2017

TransACT Parent Notices is an online subscription for educators and administrators to manage their federal parent communication requirements. We offer expertly written, legally reviewed parent notifications in multiple languages, guidance on important requirements, and access to expertise to support understanding federal requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act, Section 504, and IDEA

Occasionally, we receive questions about whether our Parent Notices and software as a service (SAAS) platform comply with the Section 508 Standards of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. §  794(d)). This can be a point of confusion because Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act specifically applies to school districts serving students with disabilities, but Section 508 of the Rehabilitations Act applies only to Federal Agencies (not to States or school districts).

The Section 508 standards for accessibility for individuals with disabilities apply to Federal Agencies, in the development, procurement, maintenance, or use of electronic and information technology. The Section 508 standards do not apply to States and school districts because these agencies are not Federal Agencies. TransACT products are purchased by States and school districts. The Section 508 standards do not apply to TransACT because Federal Agencies do not engage in the procurement of TransACT products.

For more information on a subscription to compliant parent notifications in multiple languages for ESSA, Section 504 and IDEA for your district, request a demonstration here.

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Using Remaining Funds Prior to the New Budget Year to Start School Year 2018-19 Off Strong

By Tina Nguyen | May 29, 2017
In just one month the 2017-18 school year will end, and districts will begin to grapple with implementing changes required by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). As the end of the budget year approaches, now is the time to leverage remaining unallocated funds to address ESSA requirements in order to stay in compliance for the upcoming 2018-19 school year.
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Anti-Lunch Shaming Bill Introduced by the U.S. House of Representatives

By Dr. David Holbrook | May 25, 2017

The “Anti-Lunch Shaming Act of 2017” was recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The purpose of the bill is to prohibit school practices that single out students with unpaid meal debts. To become law, the bill would have to pass both the House and the Senate and be signed by the President.

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ESSA Aligned Private School Consultation and Ombudsman Notices Required Before the July 1st ESSA Deadline

By Dr. David Holbrook | April 17, 2017

The most recent reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), goes into full implementation on July 1, 2017. After July 1st all ESEA notices need to align with ESSA requirements.However, some ESSA notices are required or needed prior to the July 1st date. One category of notices needed is the Private Schools Consultation notices.

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U.S. Senate Introduces Resolution to Rescind Accountability and State Plan Regulations (No Impact on Parent Notice Requirements)

By Dr. David Holbrook | March 2, 2017

On Tuesday, February 28th, the U.S. Senate introduced Joint Resolution 25,
which if approved, would result in the ESSA regulations for accountability and state plans being rescinded. Earlier, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a “Resolution of Disapproval” for these regulations.

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USED Pauses Technical Assistance for ESSA Accountability System Development

By Dr. David Holbrook | February 2, 2017

Shortly after his inauguration, President Trump put a hold on a number of regulations that hadn’t gone into full effect as yet, including the ESSA accountability regulations. The hold will last for 60 days and give the Trump administration until March 21, 2017 to rescind, change or allow the regulations to go into effect.

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