As promised, Colorado education officials have told the U.S. Department of Education exactly what they think of proposed guidelines for the nation’s new education law: Less is more.
In a strongly worded letter sent last week, and in a 50-page companion document, interim Education Commissioner Katy Anthes told the federal government it should restart the regulation process from scratch.
“The overly prescriptive language in many of the proposed rules reduces state and local flexibility, stifles state and local innovation and limits the ability of states to meaningfully incorporate the input of parents and other stakeholders,” Anthes wrote.
Colorado’s critique of the proposed regulations is not an outlier. Some 20,000 comments were submitted to the U.S. education department by its Aug. 1 deadline. A top Vermont education official also sent a letter to U.S. education secretary John King outlining his complaints, Politico reported.
The guidelines for how the Every Student Succeed Act, which was originally celebrated for giving more power over education policy to the states, should be finalized in about 120 days. However, Colorado officials and lawmakers aren’t waiting. A panel of lawmakers met Thursday to begin studying the new federal law. And the committee responsible for drafting the state’s federally required plan meets for the first time next week.
“We’re going to write our plan for the State of Colorado,” Anthes told the joint legislative committee. “We’re going to ask what’s the best for Colorado, whether it meets all of [the federal rules] or not.”