WHEREAS, on December 10, 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a bipartisan federal bill reauthorizing the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), was signed into law;

WHEREAS, the ESSA replaces the previous version of the law, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), and takes decisions out of the hands of the federal government, shifting power and control over education back to the states;

WHEREAS, offering greater stability and flexibility, the ESSA allows states to determine best practices for the implementation of academic standards, testing, accountability, school improvement, and teacher quality;

WHEREAS, giving states control of academic standards, prohibiting the Secretary of Education and any other federal agent from incentivizing states into adopting specific standards, this flexibility will allow governors to tailor state plans to best fit the needs of local communities;

WHEREAS, this gubernatorial implementation enables governors to bring together education stakeholders and agencies and create opportunities to align the education pipeline, from early childhood with K-12 and into postsecondary education and the workforce;

WHEREAS, under the ESSA, section 1005, amending 20 U.S.C. § 6311, states are charged with developing individual state plans;

WHEREAS, the Alabama State Department of Education is the entity tasked with developing the state plan for Alabama; and

WHEREAS, sections 1005 and 8032 also require the state educational agency to develop the individual state plan in consultation with the Governor, members of the state legislature and the state board of education, as well as local educational agencies, representatives of Indian tribes in the state, educational stakeholders, parents, and others.

NOW, THEREFORE, based upon these considerations and for other good and valid reasons thereto, I, Robert Bentley, Governor of the State of Alabama, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Alabama, do hereby establish the Alabama Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Implementation Committee (the Committee).

BE IT ORDERED, that the Committee shall be comprised of the following members, or their designees:

  • Two vice chairs, appointed by the Superintendent, Alabama State Department of Education
  • Two appointments by each Alabama State Board of Education member, excluding the Governor
  • The Secretary, Department of Early Childhood Education
  • The Education Policy Advisor, Office of the Governor
  • Director, Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs
  • Three representatives in workforce development programs or related entities, appointed by the Governor
  • A representative of the Alabama Public Charter School Commission, appointed by the Governor
  • One member from the Alabama Senate, appointed by the Senate President Pro Tem
  • One member from the Alabama House of Representatives, appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives
  • Additional members as needed, appointed by the Governor

BE IT FURTHER ORDERED, that the Governor shall appoint the Committee chair, who shall serve at the Governor’s pleasure.

BE IT FURTHER ORDERED, that this Committee shall meet at the call of the chair and shall develop the state plan as outlined in Title 1, Part A, Section 1005 of the reauthorized ESSA (ESSA State Plan), in collaboration with the Alabama State Department of Education. By December 1, 2016, the Committee shall submit the ESSA State Plan to the Governor, the Alabama State Board of Education and the Alabama State Department of Education.

BE IT FURTHER ORDERED, that this Executive Order shall become effective immediately upon its execution and shall remain in effect until amended or modified by the Governor.

DONE AND ORDERED this the 14th day of March, 2016.

Robert Bentley


John H. Merrill
Secretary of State