How will the Trump Administration Impact ESSA?

How will the Trump Administration Impact ESSA?

November 16, 2016

Education Week released a series of articles unpacking the impact that the incoming Trump administration could have on the implementation of ESSA.

  • How Trump will tackle ESSA under his new administration. The piece argued that lawmakers can use the Congressional Review Act to their advantage and “rescind” some of Obama’s regulations “before they take effect.”
  • Due to language within ESSA, Trump’s new education secretary will have a restricted role. The new administration will face challenges “offering states flexibility from parts of ESSA,” as well as not being able to issue conditional waivers.
  • Five things to watch” under the new administration, including: 1. What happens with regulations; 2. What the bar is for approving state plans; 3. What actually gets enforced; 4. What happens to pilot programs; and 5. If there is more to be done through legislation.
  • Gerard Robinson, a research fellow at American Enterprise Institute and leader within Trump’s education transition team, comments on ESSA’s implementation. Robinson believes Trump “views the law as a result of a bipartisan coalition” and that he won’t get too “heavily involved in ESSA’s rollout.”
  • How calls to eliminate the Dept. of Education could be interpreted and what impact that would have on ESSA. According to Lindsay Burke, a fellow at the Heritage Foundation, Trump could also work with Congress to “enact something along the lines of the A-Plus Act” which would allow states to “opt-out of a slew of federal requirements” while still receiving funding – an idea originally offered as an amendment to ESSA during drafting.