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Reykdal: I Will Continue to Advocate for Public Schools and Public School Students

This week, the U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education and the U.S. House voted to repeal certain rules written about federal education law. Below is a statement from State Superintendent Chris Reykdal.

OLYMPIA — FEBRUARY 9, 2017 — On Tuesday, Betsy DeVos was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as our nation’s 11th Secretary of Education. A few hours after the confirmation, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal certain rules for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The rules clarify how ESSA will be implemented in regard to teacher preparation programs and how schools and districts measure success.

The U.S. Senate must now vote on the repeal. It is expected the vote will not occur until next week at the earliest. If the Senate votes in favor of the repeal, the DeVos administration will write its own rules.

Although we don’t know what rules the new administration will write, we do know the rules cannot be “substantially similar” to what previously existed.

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is in the process of refining our state’s plan for ESSA. In January we announced that we will delay our submission to the federal government until September. This will give us time to adjust our plan to the new administration’s changes, given that we don’t know how they might adjust current ESSA deadlines.

As state superintendent, I will do everything I can to ensure that Washington state educators and our local school boards will remain in the driver’s seat when it comes to education decision-making and education policy. OSPI will continue to work with the U.S. Department of Education, and we will defend the right of every child to attain a high-quality public education.

As Sen. Patty Murray said Monday on the U.S. Senate floor, “We believe that a commitment to strong public schools is part of America's core. The idea that every student, in every community, should have the opportunities that strong public schools offer. This is a notion that is embedded in our values—it’s who we are—it’s in our blood.”

With educators, parents, students, and advocates together, we will continue to fight for what is best for our students. Public education is the great equalizer, and I will run through walls to make sure it stays that way.


About OSPI
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Chris Reykdal, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and improve student achievement on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.

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Nathan Olson
Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015 |

The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015


   Updated 2/9/2017

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