CARES Act Waiver Public Notice

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Waivers

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) is seeking public comment on waivers submitted and approved by the United States Department for assessment, accountability, reporting, and program requirements. The requested waivers are in response to closures prompted by the national emergency declared by the President of the United States under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to protect the health and safety of students, staff, and our communities as a result of COVID-19.

Assessment, Accountability, and Reporting

The waivers were requested because it is not possible to administer assessments required under ESEA section 1111(b)(2) or comply with the concomitant accountability, school identification, and reporting requirements as originally planned due to extensive school closures in Mississippi. Please review and offer comment on the following accountability waivers:

Assessment requirements in section 1111(b)(2): the requirements to administer all required assessments in school year 2019-2020.

Accountability and school identification requirements in sections 1111(c)(4) and 1111(d)(2)(C)-(D): the requirements that a State annually meaningfully differentiate all public schools and the requirements to identify schools for comprehensive and targeted support and improvement and additional targeted support and improvement based on data from the 2019-2020 school year.

Report card provisions related to certain assessments and accountability in section 1111(h) based on data from the 2019-2020 school year, namely:

Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(i) Accountability system description
Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(ii) Assessment results
Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(iii)(I) Other academic indicator results
Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(iv) English language proficiency assessment results
Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(v) School quality or student success indicator results
Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(vi) Progress toward meeting long-terms goals and measurements of interim progress
Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(vii) Percentage of students assessed and not assessed
Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(xi) Number and percentage of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities taking an alternate assessment
Section 1111(h)(2)(C) with respect to all waived requirements in section 1111(h)(1)(C) as well as 1111(h)(2)(C)(i)-(ii) Information showing how students in a local educational agency (LEA) and each school, respectively, achieved on the academic assessments compared to students in the State and LEA

Any school that is identified for comprehensive or targeted support and improvement or additional targeted support and improvement in the 2019-2020 school year will maintain that identification status in the 2020-2021 school year and continue to receive supports and interventions consistent with the school’s support and improvement plan in the 2020-2021 school year.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act and Carl D. Perkins Program Requirements

Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Pub. L. No. 116-136 (March 27, 2020), Mississippi requested and received approval of the following programmatic waivers:

Section 1127(b) of Title I, Part A of the ESEA so that your State educational agency (SEA) may waive, more than once every three years, if necessary, the 15 percent carryover limitation in ESEA section 1127(a) for fiscal year FY 2020 Title I, Part A funds.

Section 421(b) of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) to extend the period of availability of FY 2019 funds for programs in which your SEA participates under its approved consolidated State plan until September 30, 2021. The programs include:

  • Title I, Part A of the ESEA (Improving Basic Programs Operated by LEAs), including the portions of the SEA’s Title I, Part A award used to carry out section 1003 school improvement, section 1003A direct student services, if applicable, and Title I, Part D, Subpart 2
  • Title I, Part B of the ESEA (State Assessment Formula Grants)
  • Title I, Part C of the ESEA (Education of Migratory Children)
  • Title I, Part D, Subpart 1 of the ESEA (Prevention and Intervention Programs for Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or At Risk)
  • Title II, Part A of the ESEA (Supporting Effective Instruction)
  • Title III, Part A of the ESEA (English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement)
  • Title IV, Part A of the ESEA (Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants)
  • Title IV, Part B of the ESEA (21st Century Community Learning Centers)
  • Title V, Part B, Subpart 2 of the ESEA (Rural and Low-Income School Program)
  • McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program
  • FY 2019 State grants authorized by Title I of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006

Section 4106(d) of Title IV, Part A of the ESEA related to local educational agency (LEA) needs assessments for the 2019-2020 school year.

Section 4106(e)(2)(C), (D), and (E) of Title IV, Part A of the ESEA with respect to content-area spending requirements for FYs 2019 and 2020 Title IV, Part A funds.

Section 4109(b) of Title IV, Part A of the ESEA with respect to the spending limitation for technology infrastructure for FYs 2019 and 2020 Title IV, Part A funds.

Section 8101(42) of the ESEA, which defines “professional development,” for activities funded for the 2019-2020 school year.

Any individual or organization may submit written comments on the proposed waiver. Written comments will be accepted through, June 15, 2020 and can be sent to

Media Contacts: 
Patrice Guilfoyle, APR
Director of Communications

Jean Cook, APR
Director of Public Relations