Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

"With this bill, we reaffirm that fundamentally American ideal—that every child, regardless of race, income, background, the zip code where they live, deserves the chance to make of their lives what they will." — President Barack Obama

A New Education Law

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015, and represents good news for our nation’s schools. This bipartisan measure reauthorizes the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the nation’s national education law and longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students.

The new law builds on key areas of progress in recent years, made possible by the efforts of educators, communities, parents, and students across the country.

For example, today, high school graduation rates are at all-time highs. Dropout rates are at historic lows. And more students are going to college than ever before. These achievements provide a firm foundation for further work to expand educational opportunity and improve student outcomes under ESSA.

The previous version of the law, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, was enacted in 2002. NCLB represented a significant step forward for our nation’s children in many respects, particularly as it shined a light on where students were making progress and where they needed additional support, regardless of race, income, zip code, disability, home language, or background. The law was scheduled for revision in 2007, and, over time, NCLB’s prescriptive requirements became increasingly unworkable for schools and educators. Recognizing this fact, in 2010, the Obama administration joined a call from educators and families to create a better law that focused on the clear goal of fully preparing all students for success in college and careers.

Congress has now responded to that call.

The Every Student Succeeds Act reflects many of the priorities of this administration.


Proposed Regulations

Public Notice

ESSA Regional Public Meetings:
All public hearings were held from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. local time.

University of California Los Angeles, Carnesale Commons: (January 19, 2016)

U.S. Department of Education:(January 11, 2016)

Negotiated Rulemaking

Guidance and Regulatory Information

New Separate from our previous request for comments on potential areas for regulation under Title I of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the U.S. Department of Education (ED) is seeking your input on areas of the law on which we could provide non-regulatory guidance to assist States, districts and other grantees in understanding and implementing the new law. As you may know, non-regulatory guidance is not binding and does not impose any new requirements beyond those in the law and regulations; rather, it is intended to help the public understand the law, how ED is interpreting the law, and to provide clarification and examples of best practices. We invite you to share your thoughts, comments, and suggestions on areas or specific new requirements of the ESSA that you think would benefit from such guidance. For example, ED seeks input on: ways to expand early learning, strategies to recruit, develop, and retain teachers and leaders (Title II), clarification of fiscal requirements, student support services (Title IV), and other areas where state and local agencies could benefit from additional guidance. In addition, ED plans on developing guidance regarding students in foster care, homeless children and youth, and English Learners (Title III).

Please provide your input by sending an email message, noting the topic area(s) in the subject line. Also, please include within the body of your email message, your name and, if applicable, the organization on behalf of which you are submitting comments. In order for your feedback to have the most impact, we encourage you to submit your comments by May 25, 2016.

Other Links

Last Modified: 05/26/2016