Every Student Succeeds Act Passes Congress

Legislation | 12/09/2015

Jonah Edelman
Stand for Children CEO and co-founder

Jonah is the co-founder and CEO of Stand for Children.

This morning, by a vote of 85-12, the U.S. Senate passed the Every Student Succeeds Act, legislation which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and replaces No Child Left Behind.

The new bill, which is poised to be signed into law by President Obama on Thursday, seeks to improve education for all children, dedicate dollars for early learning and high-quality public charter schools, and protect our most vulnerable of students. Moreover, it shrinks the federal role and puts the onus to do right by all of our children onto the states.

We believe the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is a step in the right direction towards the intent of the original law, a civil rights bill designed to hold states responsible for providing equitable educational opportunities for all children. And we are pleased with the assurance that all children will be accounted for and given a chance at a successful life through the opportunity of an excellent education.

But with the move to give states greater autonomy, we’re also cautious.

It will be imperative that states stay hyper-vigilant of our most underserved students to ensure they are receiving the supports needed to graduate from high school on time, prepared for college or career. We cannot allow a bare minimum of expectations to be the norm when it comes to the education of our children.

Stand for Children will be working with state education leaders, elected officials, partners, educators, parents and other stakeholders to keep strong, local accountability in our collective work to build an excellent public education system for all. We look forward to the President signing this bill and the great work ahead for our children.

-Jonah Edelman, Stand for Children CEO and co-founder

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