Public can comment on new state education plan required by federal law

This weekend marks the beginning of a final push for public comment on Washington’s draft ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) Consolidated Plan. The first round of public comment will close on Wednesday Feb. 15.

The plan, required as part of the federal act, will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education on Sept. 18, 2017.

Congress passed ESSA in 2015 to replace the older, and much-maligned, No Child Left Behind law. ESSA was designed to give states more control over how they implement federal education laws. The U.S. House of Representatives voted earlier this week to roll back some of the regulations related to the law that were created by the U.S. Department of Education under the Obama administration. Those regulations relate to school accountability and teacher preparation programs.

In Washington state, more than 185 comments on the draft plan have been received from a variety of people, including educators, community members, parents, and legislators. The state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instructio will also conduct a second comment period in the spring.

Comments to the plan can be made online at

Debbie Cafazzo: 253-597-8635, @DebbieCafazzo