July 18, 2014
The Honorable Thomas Luna
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Idaho State Department of Education
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720
Dear Superintendent Luna:
This letter is a response to Idaho’s February 28, 2014 request for a one-year extension of flexibility under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA flexibility), so that Idaho may continue to implement ESEA flexibility through the end of the 2014–2015 school year.
Our team has reviewed Idaho’s request and, pursuant to section 9401(d)(2) of the ESEA, I am pleased to extend Idaho’s ESEA flexibility request for one year, through the end of the 2014–2015 school year. My decision to extend Idaho’s ESEA flexibility request is based on my determination that ESEA flexibility has been effective in enabling Idaho to carry out important reforms to improve student achievement and that this extension is in the public interest. A summary of Idaho’s approved amendments is enclosed with this letter and Idaho’s approved request will be posted on the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) website.
This extension is subject to Idaho’s commitment to continue working with ED on Idaho’s requested changes in its teacher and principal evaluation and support systems, which may require additional flexibility. Idaho has also submitted high-quality plans to meet certain next steps identified during Part B monitoring, as part of satisfying the requirement that it resolve these next steps. Idaho’s progress in implementing its high-quality plans during the 2014–2015 school year, as well as its continued work with ED on its requested changes to Principle 3, will inform ED’s decision regarding renewal of Idaho’s ESEA flexibility after the 2014–2015 school year.
Idaho continues to have an affirmative responsibility to ensure that it and its districts are in compliance with Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, and age in their implementation of ESEA flexibility. These laws include Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
I am confident that Idaho will continue to implement the reforms described in its approved ESEA flexibility request and advance its efforts to hold schools and school districts accountable for the achievement of all students.
Thank you for your commitment and continued focus on enhancing education for all of Idaho’s students.
Deborah S. Delisle
cc: Marcia Beckman, Director, Division of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
Greg Alexander, Director, Statewide System of Support