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 ESSA: Developing a Plan for Georgians, By Georgians

Announcements – Georgia's ESSA plan receives final approval

The U.S. Department of Education approved Georgia’s ESSA State Plan on January 19, 2018, highlighting Georgia’s work rewarding schools making significant progress with traditionally underserved subgroups and creating an accountability system that expands opportunities for students and supports the whole child. Click here to learn more. Click here for the notice from U.S. ED.​​

What is the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)?

The Every Student Succeeds Act, commonly referred to as ESSA,  earned bi-partisan approval in 2015.

States were freed from their No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver agreements and given the responsibility to develop state plans to support education.

ESSA significantly scaled back the authority of the Secretary of Education and U.S. Department of Education. Though ESSA gave states additional authority and flexibility over their education system, wholesale flexibility was not granted and statutory requirements vary in specificity from issue-to-issue.

Georgia has sought out maximum flexibility while creating a cohesive and aligned plan that is responsive to stakeholder feedback and supports our vision of offering a holistic education to each and every child in the state.

How was stakeholder feedback gathered?

The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) held eight feedback sessions across the state. These were opportunities for parents, students, educators, business and industry, and community members to share their thoughts and concerns. Feedback was compiled, analyzed, and summarized by a third party so participants could engage in candid conversations.

Feedback sessions were also held with each of the State School Superintendent’s advisory councils, representing middle and high school students, parents, teachers, and district superintendents. Business and industry, as well as civil rights organizations, were also engaged.


  • May 2016 — April 2017 — State Advisory Committee and working groups convene. GaDOE provides multiple opportunities for stakeholder feedback and to communicate ESSA developments
  • April 2017 – All decisions and items completed by working groups to finalize draft.
  • June 15 – 30 day public review period of Georgia’s State ESSA Plan.
  • June 15-July 14 – Co-chairs host public webinars to gain feedback during 30-day period.
  • July 14-July 24 – Feedback is compiled and presented to the working groups and advisory committee
  • July 24-Aug 4 – Working groups reconvene to discuss feedback and make revisions based on feedback.
  • Aug 4-Aug 11 – Finalize all aspects of plan to submit to the Governor.
  • Aug 14-Sept 14 – Governor’s review period of final plan.
  • Sept 14-Sept 18 – Georgia’s plan is finalized based on recommendations.
  • ​Sept 18, 2017 – Georgia’s State Plan is submitted.​

 Contact Information

Meghan Frick
Director of Communications



The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) has been committed to a ESSA state plan development process that was truly stakeholder driven.

A State Advisory Committee was established to provide high-level direction and feedback to the Georgia’s ESSA working committees. The Committee was made up of forty individuals representing state agencies, organizations, nonprofit, education advocacy groups, policymakers, superintendents, teachers, parents, and students.

Each of Georgia’s ESSA working committees was made up of a cross-section of twenty individuals with five members representing different areas of GaDOE and fifteen members representing stakeholders. Each of the six working committees was chaired by a GaDOE leader and key stakeholder.