The PA Department of Education (PDE) has issued initial guidance stating that the provision under the new Act 16 of 2019 exempting test scores of habitually absent students from school accountability requirements is incompatible with requirements under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). PDE notes that under ESSA a student be absent at least 90 days before their test scores can be excluded from the school accountability performance calculation, which differs from the 20% absence rate trigger, equivalent to 36 days, under Act 16.

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