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January 22, 2018

ESSA Plan Approved and Update on School Funding

After Gov. Deal expressed concerns about the original Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, the successor to No Child Left Behind, Georgia submitted it's plan to implement the Act anyway. This week the federal Department of Education approved the plan with only minor "clarifying language" around sample size of students and the requirement that 95 percent of a school's student have to be in the testing groups for state standardized testing, the one statewide test - Georgia Milestones. 

The Metro Atlanta Chamber, part of a broader group called the Better Standards Coalition, submitted feedback on Georgia's ESSA plan calling for more ambitious goals particularly in College & Career standards, among others. 

Also this week, the school funding formula change that would have meant more equal distribution of state funds to schools serving higher numbers of families in poverty appears dead for this legislative cycle. Our current formula under which schools receive billions of state dollars is over thirty years old and does not include weighting or measures for students living in poverty and needing additional supports for educational services.