Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

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.

State and Local Report Cards


ESSA Flexibilities

Final Regulations

Proposed Regulations

Guidance and Regulatory Information

ESSA Transition FAQs, Webinars, and Dear Colleague Letters

  • DRAFT Within-District Allocations Under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as Amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (March 11, 2020)
    • This document combines existing information on within-district Title I, Part A allocations (that currently exists in multiple places) to make the information easier for States and LEAs to access and use. It also updates the information to be consistent with the requirements in the ESEA of 1965, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act, identifying the requirements and options that the ESEA provides them with respect to within-district allocations. This document is posted for stakeholder review and comment through April 24, 2020. We ask that you refrain from providing line-edits of the document. Instead, please submit substantive comments about the content of the draft, including feedback on any additional topics you would like to see included, to OESE.Feedback@ed.gov. We will consider comments in making revisions but will not provide responses to individual comments.
  • Title I, Part A Equitable Services Non-Regulatory Guidance (October 4, 2019)

  • NewSecretary’s letter to congress regarding ESEA provisions restricting religious organizations as contract providers of equitable services are unconstitutional (March 11, 2019) - Fact Sheet

  • Title I Supplement, not Supplant Non-Regulatory Informational Document (June 19, 2019)

  • ESEA Sec. 1003 Funding for School Improvement & ESEA Sec. 1003A Direct Student Services Webinar (July 18, 2018)
  • Dear Colleague Letter on the use of remaining School Improvement Grants (SIG) Funds (January 9, 2018)
  • ESSA Dear Colleague Letter on 2017-2018 Transition (January 13, 2017)
  • ESSA Transition FAQs (January 18, 2017)
  • ESSA Fiscal Changes & Equitable Services Guidance (November 21, 2016)
  • ESSA Title IV, Part A Guidance – Student Support and Academic Enrichment Program (October 21, 2016)
  • Non-Regulatory Guidance: Title II, Part A October 13, 2016
  • Non-Regulatory Guidance: English Learners and Title III Program October 5, 2016
  • ESSA Schoolwide Guidance (September 29, 2016)
  • ESSA Dear Colleague Letter on Tribal Consultation (September 26, 2016)
  • Evidence Guidance (September 16, 2016)
  • ESSA Dear Colleague Letter (January 28, 2016)
  • ESSA Webinar Powerpoint (December 22, 2015)
  • Dear Colleague Letter on the Transition to ESSA (December 18, 2015)
  • Dear Colleague Letter on the New ESSA Law (December 10, 2015)
  • Title II, Part A

    Title III, Part A

    Children in Foster Care

  • Best Interest Determinations and Immediate Enrollment PowerPoint Presentation (August 24, 2016)
  • Education and Child Welfare Points of Contact Webinar PowerPoint (August 17, 2016)
  • Education for Homeless Children and Youth

    Technical Assistance

    • Click here to find additional technical assistance tools, resources, and information to support ESSA implementation.

    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

    Other Links

    Archived Information

    Last Modified: 04/14/2020