The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is responsible for implementing federal education policy. Following are links to recent agency regulatory activities that may impact cities and towns.
Responding to state and local concerns over the rigidity of No Child Left Behind, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) recently released a set of rules and guidelines designed to give states and local education agencies (LEAs) greater flexibility when implementing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
Flexibility is being granted in eleven areas ranging from determining adequately yearly progress, to LEA improvement requirements, support for LEA school improvement efforts and use of "21st Century Learning Centers". Localities interested in pursuing greater school flexibility should contact their state education agencies (SEAs) to determine which actions the state plans to take and how they might work with the state to secure greater leeway.
Documents that explain the Department's proposals and rules for applying for greater flexibility through NCLB waivers can be found at: http://www.ed.gov/esea/flexibility.
In October 2010, the U.S. Department of Education issued a "Dear Colleague" letter to state and local education agencies informing them of their obligations under the Civil Rights Act to address all bullying and harassment, including that based on race, color, or national origin, as well as bulling and harassment that violates Title IX of the Civil Rights Act. The latter protects all students, male or female, who are harassed or bullied because of their sex, gender, or sexual orientation. The letter lays out the agency's position and the requirements that all school districts must follow to address the aforementioned types of bullying and harassment.