What Exactly is the ESSA?  


The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is a law that was introduced in the Senate by Lamar Alexander (R-TN) on April 30, 2015.  ESSA was signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 10, 2015.  The purpose of this act was to replace and update the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) which was signed into law in 2002.  Like NCLB, ESSA reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965.


What is the purpose of ESSA?

According to the statement of purpose in ESSA,  "The purpose of this title is to provide all children significant opportunity to receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education, and to close educational achievement gaps."

When does ESSA take effect?

ESSA will go into effect for the 2017-2018 school year.  Funding is authorized through the 2020 - 2021 school year.

What is the biggest difference between NCLB and ESSA?

Although ESSA retained the annual standardized testing requirements from NCLB, the law moved the federal accountability aspect to the States.  The State, in turn, still submit an accountability plan to the Education Department, however ESSA allows for local educational agencies may apply for subgrants for local accountability plans.