The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was first passed in 1965 by President Lyndon Baines Johnson. In December 2015, the U.S. Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a new law to replace the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). President Obama subsequently signed ESSA into law on December 10, 2015.
With a new ESEA/ESSA, focus for advocacy now turns to effective implementation of the law to ensure every child has the ability to reach their full potential. While this new law provides a great opportunity for states to tailor their education systems to meet the needs of their students—including students with disabilities—this new level of authority will also require an increased amount of responsibility for states to ensure they close achievement gaps.
National PTA, our constituent associations, and advocates across the country will seek to support and empower all families to be active participants in the state and local implementation of ESSA to ensure equity and opportunity for all students.
The U.S. Department of Education is currently in the implementation phase of ESSA. The Department will provide guidance and clarification to states on how best to carry out the new law. You can get involved in the implementation process by signing up for emails from the Department of Education on ESSA implementation.