Federal, state, and local governments spent about $640 billion in 2015 to educate nearly 50 million public school children in the United States. ESSA, enacted in December 2015, reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. To receive federal education funds for school districts with high concentrations of students from low-income families, ESSA requires states to have accountability systems that meet certain requirements, but gives states flexibility in how they design their systems.
GAO was asked to review states’ early experiences with ESSA. This report examines (1) selected stakeholders’ and states’ views of ESSA’s flexibilities as states redesign accountability systems, and (2) Education’s next steps in implementing ESSA.Read the full report