PUBLIC COMMENT: Implications of Federal Waivers for Testing, Accountability, Reporting & Funding Flexibility -

State of Montana NewsRoom

Montana Government News


PUBLIC COMMENT: Implications of Federal Waivers for Testing, Accountability, Reporting & Funding Flexibility

Thursday, April 16, 2020/Categories: Office of Public Instruction/Tags: Elsie Arntzen , Montana Office of Public Instruction , Montana OPI

Dear Education Stakeholder:

The Office of Public Instruction (OPI) is reaching out to all interested stakeholders to solicit public comment on the implications of waivers granted due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The federal government has granted OPI’s requested waiver of requirements related to state and federal testing, accountability, reporting and funding flexibility.

What could the waivers mean? 

How can I give you my comments?

When can I comment?   

Anytime via email, phone, or survey between April 8, 2020 – July 17, 2020

Zoom webinars: every other Thursday from 3:30–4:30 pm (dates are April 23, May 7, May 21, June 4, June 18, and July 2.

Public meetings:

  • April 15 Certification Standards and Practices Advisory Council meeting
  • May 7–8, 2020 Board of Public Education
  • May 6, 2020 MACIE meeting
  • July 15–17, 2020 Certification Standards and Practices Advisory Council/Board of Public Education

What do the waivers do?

  1. Cancel the school district requirements to administer the statewide assessments.
  2. Suspend the accountability system for the 2019–2020 data year,
  3. Provide financial flexibility to schools and districts; and
  4. Remove certain elements from the ESSA Report Card.

These 2020 waivers provide school districts with some relief and the ability to focus locally on the basic educational services and needs of the students. Waiving these requirements will have implications under the state Administrative Rules for Montana (ARM) Chapter 56 and 55 and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

For more information, please see the Board of Public Education Board Meeting Minutes  from March 26, 2020, at which the board voted to waive the ARM 10.56.102(3) state requirements and the USED Waiver Granted Letter from March 30, 2020, by means of which the OPI was notified the federal waiver request under Section 8401 of ESEA was approved by the U.S. Department of Education (USED).

Thank you for putting your students first and providing the OPI with comment on these important 2020 waivers.


Elsie Arntzen

The OPI is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation, require an alternate format, or have questions concerning accessibility, contact the OPI ADA Coordinator, 406-444-3161,, Relay Service: 711.


Number of views (1111)/Comments (0)

Please login or register to post comments.