Secretary DeVos Approves Maine and Vermont's ESSA Plans

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Secretary DeVos Approves Maine and Vermont's ESSA Plans

August 31, 2017

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced the approval of Maine and Vermont's consolidated state plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

"Both Maine and Vermont's plans were found to comply with the law, so I am happy to approve them," said Secretary DeVos. "I want to thank the chief state school officers, governors and all other stakeholders who helped craft these plans that will help their students succeed."

Allowing states more flexibility in how they deliver education to students is at the core of ESSA. Each state crafted a plan that it feels will best offer educational opportunities to meet the needs of the state and its students. The following are some of the unique elements from each state's approved plan as highlighted by each state:


  • Creates a three-tiered system of support for schools based on performance, with the highest level of support offering coaching and mentoring to teach effective strategies for school turnaround, in addition to increased funding for staff professional development.
  • Plans to reduce the number of non-proficient students in half by 2030.

"Maine's ESSA plan is moving away from compliance and regulation toward a model that supports and assists schools and educators, especially in areas where students are at a disadvantage," said Robert G. Hasson, Maine Commissioner of Education.


  • Creates an innovative measure of postsecondary outcomes by measuring the percentage of former high school students enrolled in college or trade school, employed in the workforce and/or enlisted in the military approximately 16 months after their high school experience ends.
  • Includes physical education in its accountability system to encourage schools to attend to the whole child and to help promote a lifestyle of healthy living.

"The Vermont State Plan reflects Vermont's simultaneous goals of supporting our most vulnerable students while focusing on solutions that are practical and effective to meet our educational needs," said Rebecca Holcombe, Vermont Secretary of Education. "We have worked hard to create a plan that values student success for all, both in the classroom and in preparing our students to be engaged and contributing citizens once they leave our schools."