Louisiana Department of Education Request for Waivers

On Monday, March 16, 2020, the Louisiana Department of Education requested that Governor, John Bel Edwards, waive a list of statues via Executive Order to allow educators to move forward and focus their attention on keeping students and teachers healthy and safe. 

Regulatory Flexibilities
Through existing BESE policy (Bulletins 111, 118, and 741) and the BESE policy waivers approved by President Holloway in the last few days, the following flexibilities are now in place:

  • School performance scores, district performance scores, and early childhood performance profiles for the 2019-2020 academic year will not be produced due to closures of 18+ days, per BESE’s long-standing policy to address severe disaster impacts on schools, centers and students.
  • Teacher evaluations can be completed with no further action, other than recording in the appropriate data system.   
  • Diploma requirements for graduating seniors, including requirements for minimum instructional minutes for course credit, industry-based credentials, and financial aid applications, have been waived.

Pursuant to the authority granted to the BESE President in LAC 28: I.305.B. to make ad hoc decisions for the board in times of emergency, and subject to ratification by the board, BESE President Holloway and Acting State Superintendent Beth Scioneaux are committed to immediately taking the following additional actions:

  • Submitting a waiver request to the U.S. Department of Education regarding 2019-2020 state assessment and accountability requirements;
  • Continue to offer access to optional state assessments, as desired by schools and parents;
  •  Exercising provisions in BESE policy that allow the Board to waive educator evaluations for the 2019-2020 year due to extenuating circumstances, thus allowing educators to renew or advance
    their credential without an evaluation in 2019-2020; and
  • Waiving end-of-course exam requirements for graduating seniors, as well as promotion rules for children in grades 4 and 8.

Statutory Flexibilities
Through a Proclamation, JBE-2020-27, issued by Governor Edwards, provisions of R.S. 17:154.1 have been waived, thereby relieving Louisiana public school systems of the required minimum number of instructional minutes for the 2019-2020 school year.

To provide additional flexibility, we request that the following laws below also be waived for the entirety of the 2019-2020 school year:

  • RS 17:10.1 — School and district accountability systems and the inclusion of value-added data in educator evaluations
  • RS 17:24.4 — LEAP statewide testing and pupil progression
  • RS 17:154.3 — Minimum number of days a classroom teacher must work in a school year
  • RS 17:391.2, et seq. — Public school accountability and assessments
  • RS 17:3881, et seq. — Teacher Performance Evaluation, teacher credentials based upon value added data
  • RS 17:3901, et seq. — Teacher evaluation, 50% of evaluation based on value-added data derived from student assessments
  • RS 17:3997(D) — Charter school teacher evaluations based upon value-added data derived from student assessments.
  • RS 17:4023 — Required student assessments for non-public schools participating in the Louisiana Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence program
  • RS 17:221 — Compulsory attendance law

On Tuesday, March 17, 2020, the Louisiana Department of Education requested that the U.S. Department of Education waive certain requirements outlined in  the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) for the 2019-2020 academic year due to school closures because of COVID-19.

Download the letter attached here for list of waivers requested.

Leave a Reply