The Act requires that in the event of a data security breach information holders are to contact anyone whose data may have been accessed by an unauthorized person. Additionally, this Act requires that cloud computing service providers will not process student data without parental permission.

The Act will effectively make tuition free for all high school graduates who go to a two-year college. Participating students will have to maintain a 2.0 grade point average, attend mandatory meetings, work with a mentor, and perform community service. The program, expected to cost $34 million per year, will be paid for using $300 million in excess lottery reserve funds and by creating a $47 million endowment.

Each year, millions of students are removed from their classrooms for disciplinary reasons, mostly for minor discretionary offenses. Disciplinary removals may be appropriate in situations in which a student poses an immediate safety risk to himself/herself or others on a school campus. But when such removals are administered for minor misconduct, they are often detrimental to students’ academic and behavioral progress. Research, including the groundbreaking Breaking Schools’ Rules study conducted by The Council of State Governments’ Justice Center, demonstrates that exclusionary disciplinary actions increase a student’s likelihood of falling behind academically, dropping out of school, and coming into contact with the juvenile justice system. A disproportionately large percentage of disciplined students are youth of color, students with disabilities, and youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. In response, states across the country are passing legislation that limits the number of students who are removed from school for disciplinary reasons and provides more supportive responses to misbehavior. In 2014, the CSG Justice Center also released the School Discipline Consensus Report, which provides state and local government officials with a comprehensive roadmap for overhauling their approach to school discipline.

The Act allows secondary school students to earn credit for core courses by passing a mastery exam. School districts are required to develop assessment tools and standards for demonstrating mastery in specific secondary school courses, including mathematics, language arts, science, social studies, and world languages. Students who pass such assessment tests will be provided full credit for the course.

The Act directs the State Board of Education to include the requirement for students to pass a civics test in the high school competency requirements for graduation, beginning in the 2016-17 school year.

State officials are closely watching as the U.S. Department of Education releases more information on what the new Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, changes in accountability system requirements and funding mechanisms. 

CSG Midwest
According to the U.S. Department of Education, a teacher shortage of some kind is happening in each of the 11 Midwestern states. These shortages can take different forms — an inadequate supply of teachers by subject area or grade level, or in a certain geographic area — but they all can adversely impact student learning.
“It’s when a local school does not have highly effective individuals prepared to meet the needs of children,” Nadene Davidson, chair elect of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, said during a December webinar hosted by the Midwestern Legislative Conference Education Committee.
CSG Midwest

For the fourth year in a row, U.S. high school graduation rates increased, and many states in the Midwest helped lead the way. Iowa (90.5 percent) and Nebraska (89.7 percent) have the highest rates in the nation, new federal data show. With the exception of Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio, states in the Midwest had higher graduation rates than the national average of 82.3 percent. States have been using a common metric to measure graduation rates since 2010.

CSG Midwest
Over the past two years, Iowa legislators have deepened the state's commitment to work-based learning, and thousands of young people are taking advantage of the opportunity. Through a bill passed in 2013 (HF 604), lawmakers laid the groundwork for the creation of 15 regional intermediary networks. The goal of these networks is to increase K-12 students' access to career fairs, internships and job-shadowing opportunities in their communities.
CSG Midwest
The idea of providing tuition-free community college got a major boost in early 2015, when President Barack Obama included it in his State of the Union speech. The America’s College Promise Act was subsequently introduced this past summer in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. If signed into law, the act would create a new state-federal partnership to waive student tuition and fees at community colleges, with the federal government providing $3 for every $1 invested by a state. As of late 2015, the legislation had not passed out of any congressional committees.
A handful of U.S. states, meanwhile, moved ahead with tuition-free plans of their own in 2015, including Minnesota with passage of SB 5.

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