FY 2019 Opportunity to Request Ed-Flex Authority
On June 13, 2019, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released the application for States to apply for the Educational Flexibility (Ed-Flex) program. This program, which was reauthorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), permits State educational agencies [SEAs] to waive certain requirements that may impede local efforts to reform and improve education. With this flexibility, SEAs can waive select requirements of Federal statute or regulations that apply to districts and schools without first having to submit those waivers to the U.S. Department of Education for review and approval.
A small number of States previously had this authority but, under ESSA, the Secretary may now permit all interested SEAs to apply to become Ed-Flex States. An SEA approved for Ed-Flex authority may waive requirements that apply to Title I Part A (excluding Section 1111), Title I Part C, Title I Part D, Title II Part A, and Title IV Part A, as well as Perkins. A State can be granted Ed-Flex authority for up to five years once its application has been approved.
The Department intends to approve SEAs to use the Ed-Flex authority during the 2019-2020 school year. For more information on Ed Flex for your State, please email your SGR State mailbox [State].email@example.com (e.g., Alabama.firstname.lastname@example.org). General questions can be sent to the Office of State and Grantee Relations: SGR@ed.gov.
While the Ed-Flex waiver authority is broad, certain fundamental requirements may not be waived, including those pertaining to health, safety, and civil rights, provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and requirements relating to parental participation and involvement. Before a State may grant a waiver of any program requirement, it must determine that the underlying purposes of the affected program would continue to be met. States also may not waive requirements pertaining to the SEA; Ed-Flex provides them with the authority to waive requirements for districts and schools.
Each Ed-Flex State is required to report annually on its monitoring of waivers it granted. Through these reports, States are to provide information about how Ed-Flex has supported the implementation of standards-based reform. Ed-Flex States are also required to report on the achievement results of schools and districts that have had waivers in place for two school years.
Programs Covered by the Ed-Flex Authority
Under Ed-Flex, a State educational agency (SEA) can waive local requirements of the following State-administered formula grant programs:
- Title I, Part A (Basic Programs Operated by LEAs, other than section 1111)
- Title I, Part C (Education of Migratory Children)
- Title I, Part D (Prevention and Intervention Programs for Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk)
- Title II, Part A (Supporting Effective Instruction
- Title IV, Part A, (Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants)
- The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act