On April 26, President Trump signed an executive order that directs Department of Education (DOED) Secretary Betsy DeVos to use a 300-day lookback period to look for signs of previous administrations’ overreach into K-12 education. DeVos has directed DOED staff to create a task force aimed at curtailing and repealing federal regulations they determine to be overstepping local control of schools. Though the executive order sends a clear message regarding the administration’s stance on the relationship between the federal government and state and local school oversight, it is less clear whether it actually expands the authority of the Secretary of Education to make changes. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) already empowers the Secretary to make changes he or she deems inconsistent with federal law.
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