Education Flexibility Program

Education Flexibility Partnership Act of 1999 (PL 106-25)


In April 1999 Congress passed, and the President signed, the Education Flexibility Partnership Act of 1999, better known as Ed-Flex (Public Law 106-25). This legislation transferred authority for granting waivers of certain federal statutes and regulations from the U.S. Department of Education to state agencies that met certain requirements. North Carolina applied for and was granted authority to be an Ed-Flex state, and North Carolina's authority was extended in January 2006. Local education agencies wishing to waive certain federal statutes and regulations must apply to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.


The purpose of providing flexibility is to improve the academic achievement of all students. Waiver requests should be designed to provide instructional opportunities to ensure that all students meet North Carolina's challenging state standards on state assessments.

Carryover Limitations

Title I law states that Local Education Agencies (LEAs) may only carryover a certain percentage (15%) of the current school year allocation. However, if an LEA can provide sufficient justification that such a request is necessary, LEAs in North Carolina can request a waiver from NCDPI to add the carryover funds to the district's current year expected Title I allotment. Under federal law, this waiver may only be requested once every three years; however, North Carolina has been approved to access the Education Flexibility option, referred to as Ed-Flex, to allow flexibility to approve waivers as needed. A sample template of what the waiver request would look like from the LEA.

Instructions to Apply For Waivers of Other Federal Requirements

Ed-Flex Waiver Applications may be submitted at any time; however, it is recommended that local education agencies or public charter schools submit requests as early in the school year as possible. This will allow the Department of Public Instruction staff adequate time to review waivers and request additional information if needed. Please ensure that you allow sufficient time to complete the public notice and comment requirement. For information, contact Alex Charles at

Programs Covered by Ed-Flex Legislation

  • Title I, Part A of the No Child Left Behind Act (other than sections 1111 and 1116) (Improving the Academic Achievement of Disadvantaged Children)
  • Title I, Part B, Subpart 3 of the No Child Left Behind Act (Even Start Family Literacy Programs) (NOTE: Ed-Flex states may not waive requirements of the new Reading First or Early Reading First Programs (subparts 1 and 2 of Part B of Title I)
  • Title I, Part C of the No Child Left Behind Act (Education of Migratory Children)
  • Title I, Part D of the No Child Left Behind Act (Prevention and Intervention Programs for Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk)
  • Title I, Part F of the No Child Left Behind Act (Comprehensive School Reform)
  • Title II, Part A, Subparts 2 and 3 of the No Child Left Behind Act (Teacher and Principal Training and Recruiting)
  • Title II, Part D, Subpart 1 of the No Child Left Behind Act (Enhancing Education through Technology)
  • Title III, Part B, Subpart 4 of the No Child Left Behind Act (Emergency Immigrant Education, if this program is funded)
  • Title IV, Part A, Subpart 1 of the No Child Left Behind Act (Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities)
  • Title V, Part A of the No Child Left Behind Act (Innovative Programs)
  • The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act

Requirements That Cannot Be Waived:

  • Maintenance of effort
  • Comparability of services
  • Equitable participation of students and staff in private schools
  • Parental participation and involvement
  • Distribution of funds to states or to local education agencies
  • Serving eligible school attendance areas in rank order under section 1113(a) (3) of the ESEA
  • The selection of a school attendance area or school under subsections (a) and (b) of section 1113 of the ESEA, except that a state education agency may grant a waiver to allow a school attendance area or school to participate in activities under Part A of Title I of such Act if the percentage of children from low-income families in the attendance area of such school or who attend such school is not less than 10 percentage points below the lowest percentage of such children for any school attendance area or school of the local education agency that meets the requirements of subsections (a) and (b)
    • Supplement, not supplant
    • Applicable civil rights requirements
    • Family Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (section 444 of GEPA) and the Protection of Pupil Rights Act (PPRA)
    • Undermining of the underlying purposes of the statutory requirements of the program for which a waiver is being sought
    • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requirements

Questions? Please call Alex Charles at 984.236.2787 or e-mail him at



The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) Is seeking public comment on its application to the US Department of Education for the Educational Flexibility (Ed-Flex) Program.  This program, reauthorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), permits State Educational Agencies (SEAs) to waive certain requirements that may impede local efforts to reform and improve education systems.  With this flexibility, SEAs can waive select requirements of federal statute or regulations that apply to school districts and schools without first submitting those waivers to the Department.

A small number of states previously had this authority, but, under ESSA, the Secretary may now permit all interested SEAs to apply to become Ed-Flex states.  An SEA approved for Ed-Flex authority may waive requirements that apply to Title I, Part A (excluding Section 1111); Title I, Part C; Title I, Part D; Title II, Part A; and Title IV, Part A.  A state can be granted Ed-Flex authority for up to five years once its application has been approved.

NC was one of the states who previously had this authority and is seeking to continue that through the current application posted on the NC Department of Public Instruction webpage.  

Any individual or organization may submit written comments on the proposed waiver through the close of business on September 5, 2019.

Send written comments on the proposed waiver to Alex Charles, NC Department of Public Instruction, 6307 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-6307 or email at

Proposed Application


2019 USED Ed Flex Waiver Letter

2018 USED Ed Flex Waiver Letter

2017 USED Ed Flex Waiver Letter

2016 USED Ed Flex Waiver Letter

Approved Ed-Flex State Award

2010-11 Reports


Data Tables