Education reformers have heard this line at least a thousand times: ESSA returns power back to the states. Despite the dramatic shift in decision-making, local schools are still burdened by a top-down, prescriptive approach to education policy. Only now, the real barriers to innovation exist in state laws and regulations, according to a new report from the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE). In How States Can Promote Local Innovation, Options, and Problem-Solving in Public Education, CRPE delivers an analysis of state policies that prevent local strategies to empower educators, promote new schooling options, and let parents choose.
Advocates looking to lift local schools above conflicting, disincentivizing, and burdensome laws and regulations will want to check out this resource. CRPE analyzed 14 states and identified areas where states are empowering local decision-making and where they are doing the opposite. Along with the overview, CRPE provides a self-assessment tool for advocates interested in digging into their state’s policies. Additionally, CRPE has recommendations for four key areas: systems, schools, families, and funding.