Practice Overview

Every Student Succeeds Act/No Child Left Behind Act/Elementary and Secondary Education Act

In exchange for federal funding provided by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which is also known as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), States, school districts and other educational entities must meet numerous requirements aimed at increasing accountability. These requirements were designed to ensure that every child receives the education they deserve, regardless of socioeconomic factors.

In September 2011, the U.S. Department of Education provided State educational agencies (SEAs) with an opportunity to request flexibility regarding specific elements of the law. The majority of States have applied for and been granted waivers under the so-called ESEA Flexibility initiative.

The law Firm of Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC provides legal opinions, legal advice, and training to help SEAs, local educational agencies (LEAs), including charter schools, and private industry comply with the requirements of ESEA and ESEA Flexibility.

We regularly advise SEAs and LEAs on the following ESEA Flexibility and/or ESEA requirements:

  • Adopting college- and career-ready standards;
  • Developing a differentiated system of school recognition, accountability and support;
  • Implementing a teacher and principal evaluation system based to a significant degree on student achievement;
  • Reducing State administrative burdens;
  • Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP); 
  • School improvement, district improvement, corrective action, and restructuring requirements; 
  • Assessing students with disabilities and limited English proficiency (LEP) students; 
  • Professional qualifications, including teacher and paraprofessional qualifications; 
  • School choice, tutoring and supplementary educational services; 
  • Equitable services to private school students; 
  • Consolidating funds in schoolwide programs or through consolidated administration; 
  • Maintenance of Effort, Supplement Not Supplant, Comparability, Set-asides and other fiscal requirements; 
  • Waivers, transferability, and other administrative flexibility; 
  • Parental involvement requirements; 
  • Compliance agreements; and
  • Grants management requirements.

Our attorneys also conduct mock monitoring visits of SEAs and LEAs to prepare these entities for monitoring by the Student Achievement and School Accountability Office (SASA) or other applicable program office in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Our attorneys also defend SEAs and LEAs against adverse audit actions and other enforcement measures brought by the U.S. Department of Education. Our Firm is well-versed in the administrative appeals and litigation process, and our attorneys have long-established relationships with the Office of General Counsel, the Office of Inspector General, and the program offices of the U.S. Department of Education.

The Firm has successfully avoided costly, protracted litigation by negotiating compliance agreements and settlements with the U.S. Department of Education. On behalf of our clients, we have also worked in partnership with the Department of Education to develop an innovative form of alternative dispute resolution – known as the Cooperative Audit Resolution and Oversight Initiative (CAROI) – to promote an audit process focused on improving the administration of federal education programs rather than simply the repayment of funds.


Free initial consultation: Contact Brustein & Manasevit