Date: July 24, 2013
The Honorable Kevin Huffman
Commissioner of Education
State Department of Education
Andrew Johnson Tower, 6th Floor
710 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37243
Dear Commissioner Huffman:
I am writing in response to the Tennessee Department of Education’s (TDOE) request to amend its approved ESEA flexibility request. The changes TDOE has proposed, as included in the amended request that TDOE submitted to the Department on May 15, 2013, are consistent with the principles of ESEA flexibility. I am approving TDOE’s amended request, which we will post on the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) ESEA website. A summary of TDOE’s requested amendments is enclosed with this letter. Any further requests to amend TDOE’s ESEA flexibility plan must be submitted to ED for review and approval. Additionally, any further requests to amend TDOE’s ESEA flexibility request must be submitted to ED.
TDOE continues to have an affirmative responsibility to ensure that it and its districts are in compliance with Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, and age in their implementation of ESEA flexibility as well as their implementation of all other Federal education programs. These laws include 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, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
I am confident that TDOE will continue to implement the reforms it proposed under its approved ESEA flexibility request and advance its efforts to hold schools and school districts accountable for the achievement of all students. If you have any questions regarding the implementation of your ESEA flexibility request, please do not hesitate to contact Victoria Hammer of my staff at: Victoria.Hammer@ed.gov.
Deborah S. Delisle