SALT LAKE CITY — The U.S. Department of Education has granted final approval of Utah’s Every Student Succeeds Act state plan.

A letter from U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos dated Thursday confirmed approval of the plan, which is essentially an application for some $131 million in federal funding for programs that support students experiencing poverty, homelessness and other challenges.

“I congratulate you on this significant accomplishment,” DeVos wrote.

DeVos, in a press release from the Education Department, announced the approval of the Utah and California state plans, which were among the last to be given the green light.

“Utah’s plan explicitly states a long-term goal of reducing gaps by one-third by 2022 in student mathematics and learning arts achievement in grades 3-8. The state will annually publish data on progress in this area,” the press release states.

Another highlight of the Utah plan lifted up by DeVos was the state school board’s collaboration with the Utah System of Higher Education and the Utah Partnership for Transforming Education Preparation to improve teacher preparation, performance measures and licensing programs, the press release states.

Sydnee Dickson, Utah’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction, said in the statement that “Utah’s plan provides strategies to engage school communities in continuous improvement on behalf of each student.”

An earlier “status letter” from DeVos to Utah public education officials warned that if Utah did not have an approved plan prior to July 1, the Department of Education could take “actions” such as withholding funds appropriated to administer federal programs that support vulnerable student groups.

Even though final approval of the Utah plan was granted nearly two weeks after the July 1 deadline, there were no financial implications, a state officials said.

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Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


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Feds OK Utah’s Every Student Succeeds Act state plan

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