NEW YORK (NEWS10) – The New York State Education Department submitted a waiver request to the U. S. Department of Education to address equity issues in the state’s accountability system because of the pandemic. The waiver request would allow flexibility in accountability identification requirements and Title I School Improvement Grant funds.

The Department’s waiver proposes to eliminate requirements to identify schools for comprehensive and targeted support and improvement in fall 2022 based on results from the 2021-22 school year. In Addition, the waiver further proposed to use Title I school improvement funds in support of good standing schools identified as at risk of becoming identified as a targeted support and improvement school before the pandemic.

As required under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), on December 1, the Department posted the draft text of the waiver on its website for public comment. Officials say the public comment period on December 15, received more than 3,900 submissions by parents, teachers, and school staff members in overwhelming support of the department’s proposed waiver. 

The full text of the submitted waiver request is posted on the Department’s ESSA webpage. By law, the Secretary of Education has 120 days to act upon the waiver requests.