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Midterms Could Mean Big Changes for State ESSA Plans

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos may have approved every state’s vision for implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act—but that doesn’t mean the plans are all done and dusted.

States can still make changes to their plans. And after the midterm elections in November, many of them may want to. (To be sure, DeVos and company will have to approve major revisions. The U.S. Department of Education is expected to say more about what that process will look in coming weeks and months.)

Thirty-six states are holding elections for governor, and at least eight of them appoint their state education chief, who ultimately must sign off the ESSA plan. (If the new governor doesn’t like the plan, there’s a good chance his or her hand-picked chief won’t either.) In other states with tight races, like Florida, the governor appoints at least some of the members of the state board, who then get to pick the chief.