Honorable Candice McQueen
Commissioner of Education
Tennessee Department of Education
710 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37243
Dear Commissioner McQueen:
I am pleased to approve Tennessee’s consolidated State plan under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), to implement the requirements of covered programs under the ESEA and of the amended McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act). I congratulate you on this significant accomplishment.
My decision regarding Tennessee’s consolidated State plan is based on input from U.S. Department of Education (Department) staff who reviewed and carefully considered the plan submitted by Tennessee. Consistent with ESSA, the Department conducted a peer review of the sections in your consolidated State plan related to Title I, Part A and Title III, Part A of the ESEA and Subtitle B of Title VII of the McKinney-Vento Act. The Department only reviewed information provided in Tennessee’s consolidated State plan that was responsive to the Revised State Plan Template for the Consolidated State Plan that was issued on March 13, 2017. I have concluded that Tennessee’s consolidated State plan satisfies those requirements. Accordingly, Tennessee’s consolidated State plan that was submitted on August 25, 2017, warrants full approval.
Tennessee’s consolidated State plan remains in effect for the duration of the State’s participation in the programs covered by the plan. Each State is responsible for administering all programs included in its consolidated State plan consistent with all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements even if those requirements are not addressed in Tennessee’s plan. Tennessee must periodically review and revise the plan as necessary to reflect changes in the State’s strategies and covered programs. If Tennessee makes significant changes to its consolidated State plan at any time, such as changes to its accountability system or long-term goals, Tennessee must submit information about those changes to the Department for review and approval. The Department will provide information on the process for amending a State plan at a later date.
Please be aware that approval of Tennessee’s consolidated State plan is not a determination that all the information and data included in the State plan comply with Federal civil rights requirements, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. It is Tennessee’s responsibility to comply with these civil rights requirements.
Please note that this letter, with Tennessee’s approved consolidated State plan, will be posted on the Department’s website.
It has been a pleasure working with your staff on this review. Please accept my congratulations for Tennessee’s approved consolidated State plan. Thank you for the important work that you and your staff are doing to support the transition to the ESSA and most importantly to lead Tennessee’s students to achieve at high levels. The Department looks forward to working with you to ensure that all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
cc: Honorable Bill Haslam, Governor of Tennessee