Consolidated State Plans

With the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) through the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), States have an opportunity to reflect on their overall vision and goals for education and determine how to best support that vision to achieve their goals. Collaborating with a broad range of stakeholders, States are carefully considering different elements of their education systems, including standards, assessments, and accountability systems, as part of a comprehensive strategy to advance college and career readiness for all students. States will articulate their visions and goals in the consolidated State plans or individual program State plans they provide on two possible submission dates – April 3, 2017 or September 18, 2017.

An SEA may submit a consolidated State plan using either the revised template or an alternative template that addresses each requirement identified in the revised template and developed with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). If an SEA does not use the revised template, it must submit a table of contents or guide that indicates where the SEA addressed each requirement in its consolidated State plan. For any program not included in a consolidated State plan, the SEA must submit an individual program State plan that meets the statutory and regulatory requirements of each respective program.

A list of States that have submitted plans can be found here.

This Spotlight includes links to each consolidated State plan (if available), information and key resources regarding the development and submission of State plans, and information on how States have involved stakeholders during the development process.

Information is current as of August 2, 2019.

Consolidated State Plan Overview

The U.S. Department of Education (Department) released a revised consolidated State plan template to support States in meeting the requirements for the ESEA of 1965, as amended by ESSA. Collaborating with SEAs and key stakeholders, the Department worked to ensure that the revised template is structured to promote innovation, flexibility, transparency, and accountability and to reduce burden, while maintaining essential protections for all students.


The revised template is organized by the grant programs an SEA may choose to include in its consolidated State plan. Where the Department determined that the ESEA, as amended by ESSA, deems certain descriptions and information as absolutely necessary for the Department’s full consideration of a consolidated State plan, such descriptions and information are required under specific programs. There has been a significant reduction in the requirements related to supporting excellent educators, and because each SEA must only provide the statutory description based on school level data, many of the additional data requirements, are not required, including the requirements to calculate, report, and address differences in the educator equity rates at the student level. 


There are three new requirements in the revised template:

  • How each SEA will assist eligible entities in meeting long-term goals for English language proficiency and challenging State academic standards;
  • How each SEA will award subgrants to local educational agencies (LEAs) under the new Student Support and Academic Enrichment program in Title IV, Part A of the ESEA; and
  • How youth will receive assistance from counselors to advise and prepare for college under the McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youths program.


It is important to note that, although the content of the revised template has been limited to what is absolutely necessary for the Department to fully consider a consolidated State plan, each SEA is responsible for implementing and abiding by all of the SEA requirements of the ESEA and all applicable Federal laws, including applicable civil rights laws.

Consolidated State Plan Resources

Resources from USED

Resources from CSAI

Additional Resources



The Department encourages timely and meaningful consultations by SEAs with a variety of stakeholders consistent with the individual State plan consultation requirements for each program. This type of engagement will help an SEA submit a high-quality consolidated State plan that is designed to ensure that schools, LEAs, and the SEA meet the needs of all students in the State.


It is important to note that under section 8540 of the ESEA, each SEA must consult in a timely and meaningful manner with the Governor (or appropriate officials from the Governor’s office), including during the development and prior to submission of its consolidated State plan to the Department. Since the Department has issued a revised consolidated State plan template, an SEA may not rely solely on the consultation with the Governor regarding the previous consolidated State plan template to meet the above requirement. Each Governor must have 30 days to sign the consolidated State plan prior to the SEA submitting its plan. If the Governor has not signed the plan within 30 days, the SEA may submit the plan to the Secretary without such signature.


For an SEA’s consolidated State plan to be considered during the spring peer review window, the Department expects that on April 3, 2017 an SEA will either submit a completed consolidated State plan with the Governor’s signature or an indication that the Governor has waived his or her review. The Department recognizes, however, that in some States, the Governor may not have time to complete his or her full 30-day review by April 3, 2017. Therefore, to be considered during the spring peer review window, a SEA, in this case, must submit its plan to the Governor for review by at least April 3, 2017 and subsequently submit its plan to the Department no later than the end of the 30 day review period or May 3, 2017, whichever is earlier. In this case, the SEA should notify the Deputy Director of the Office of State Support, Roberta Miceli at that the State would like to be considered for the April peer review window and include the date on which the SEA provided its consolidated State plan to the Governor for review.  


ESSA State Plan Submission

The ESSA State plans that have been submitted for peer review to the Department can be found here. The plans are listed by the submission window utilized by each State, either in Spring 2017 or Fall 2017, followed by alphabetical order.

A webpage is available for every State that has submitted a State plan. This state-specific page includes three sections of information - State Plan Request, Letters to States, and State Plan Accessibility Disclaimer.

  • The State Plan Request section includes the submitted state plan in PDF format and the date of submission, other related documents such as the peer review notes for Title I and Title II, peer review notes for McKinney-Vento Homeless Program submitted by the state. If the State plan is approved, the approved version will be uploaded in PDF format followed by the date of approval.
  • The Letters to States section includes the Secretary Determination letter (when the plan has been approved) and Interim feedback letter to the State with regards to the submitted state plan.
  • The State Plan Accessibility Disclaimer section ensures that the documents posted on each State plan page meets the accessibility standards established by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. The Department is available to help convert the documents to an alternate format if users are experiencing problems with the accessibility aspect of the posted materials.

Submitting Amendments to Approved ESSA State Plan

States seeking to revise their approved consolidated State plan must submit its proposed amendments to the Department for review and approval. Prior to submitting any amendment to the Department, a State must consult with the Governor on the amendment and make the amendment available for public comment.

The U.S. Department of Education requires the following when submitting an amendment for approval:

  1. A redlined version of the approved consolidated State plan that reflects all proposed changes;
  2. A cover letter describing the proposed changes;
  3. The signature of the chief State school officer or authorized representative; and
  4. A description of how the State provided the public a reasonable opportunity to comment on the plan.

Any amendments related to accountability determinations for the 2019-2020 school year must be submitted no later than March 1, 2019 for the Department to review and approve the amendments. While amendments submitted after March 1, 2019 will still be accepted and reviewed, they may not be approved in time for the State to implement the revisions on the 2019-2020 school year.


Consolidated State Plans & Key Development Resources

Bureau of Indian Education