Academics

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)


The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law in December 2015, amending the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and replacing No Child Left Behind provisions. With a strong, proven accountability system, Florida is already ahead of most of the nation as it relates to the requirements laid out in ESSA. Student performance has consistently improved since Florida introduced rigorous accountability measures.

States were required to submit a state plan describing their approach to ESSA compliance. The department held a first round of public input summer 2016 via online survey, and outreach continued throughout the school year to educator associations and stakeholder groups. The commissioner also convened a superintendents’ workgroup to provide input on major decision points. Then, a draft of the state plan was posted for public comment June 30-July 31, 2017. There were 450 respondents (1,295 comments) to the accompanying online survey. The comments were reviewed and further refinements were made. The state plan was submitted to the Governor for review, as required by ESSA. Florida received approval from the U.S. Department of Education on September 26, 2018.

On February 22, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education announced the opportunity for states to apply for a waiver of certain accountability provisions for the 2020-2021 school year. A memo was sent to school district superintendents inviting public comment on Florida’s draft waiver on March 17, 2021. Public comment was accepted from all stakeholders through March 31, 2021. Florida submitted its waiver request on April 14, 2021. (PDF)  Approval was received on April 21, 2021 (PDF).

On July 2, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education announced the opportunity for states to apply for a waiver of certain Title I, Part A provisions. Florida will request waivers of the following provisions:

  • Section 1127(b) of Title I, Part A of the ESEA so the Florida Department of Education (department) may waive more than once every three years, if necessary, the 15 percent carryover limitation in ESEA section 1127(a) for FY 2020 Title I, Part A funds.
  • Section 421(b) of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) to extend the period of availability of FY 2019 funds for programs in which Florida participates under its approved consolidated state plan until September 30, 2022.

A memo was sent to school district superintendents inviting public comment on this waiver opportunity on August 27, 2021 (PDF). Please email any comments to ESSA@fldoe.org by September 10, 2021.

Florida’s Approved ESSA State Plan - September 26, 2018 (PDF)

Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by ESSA (PDF)

Schools Identified for Support under ESSA

Florida Report Cards (Know Your Schools)