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Superintendent Elsie Arntzen Pulls Back State’s ESSA Plan For Revision

photo from NBC Montana
Elsie Artnzen

On Monday, Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction, Elsie Arntzen announced she was pulling back a plan submitted to the U.S. Department of Education in December in order to update the plan.

When the plan was submitted, Denise Juneau was in office and Barack Obama was still the President. Arntzen said she felt the plan was rushed, and wants the chance to revise it under 2015’s Every Student Succeeds Act, under new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

“We did get a letter from her regarding this,” Arntzen said. “She would like to make sure there is clarity in the law, and being a legislator for 12 years, following the law and making sure it is attainable is extremely important.She wants people to know that the compliance piece is not going to be egregious to schools. Since Montana is a ‘local control state’, she wants to make sure that our plan represents local control. It needs to flow from the bottom to the top, not the other way around.”

Arntzen said the Every Student Succeeds Act replaced the No Child Left Behind Act.

“With this plan, every state submits a plan, but under the previous administration, there was still a lot of regulation,” she said. “What the new Education Secretary has done is to remove many of the regulations so that the act will better flow with what Montana is, saying we believe in local control. I believe the Every Student Succeeds Act gives local control, flexibility, and follows Montana’s Constitution.”

The U.S. Department of Education released a revised state plan template and new requirements on Monday morning. The Superintendent says she plans to update the Board of Public Education during their regular meeting on Thursday.

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