The Every Student Succeeds Act: ESEA Reauthorization

The Every Student Succeeds Act: ESEA Reauthorization

2015 was a very busy year for education but one of the biggest stories was the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Act. This new authorization revamps the No Child Left Behind Act that was passed in 2001. On December 10, 2015, President Obama signed the new act into law.

While there are still remnants from that 2001 reauthorization, the new act gives states wide discretion in setting goals, determining how to make schools and districts accountable, and deciding how and when to intervene in low-performing schools. There are still going to be tests, as was required under the No Child Left Behind Act; however, now the states will be using other factors to measure accountability, including locally oriented and evidence-based interventions, school climate, opportunities students have to learn, teacher engagement, and access to advanced coursework. The bottom line is the power of the Department of Education has been tempered under this new law.

Each of our age specific programs at Latino Family Literacy Project engages the parents in reading with their children, reflects the experiences of Latino families, and is centered around universal themes. One important change is that the performance of every sub-group, such as English-language learners, students in special education, racial minorities, and children in poverty, will be measured separately. This will have an effect on the accountability plans that states have to submit starting in the 2017-2018 school year. States can now pick their own goals regarding English-language proficiency (now one of the top three academic indicators), tests, and graduation rates.

There are some slight changes for Title I and Title III funding as well as budget increases in both titles. Title I, under the new law, changes from “improving the academic achievement of the disadvantaged” to “improving basic programs operated by state and local agencies.” Spending under Title I, Part A, increases from the current level of $14.4 billion to $15 billion in 2017, and to $16.2 billion by 2020. Funding for reading programs (Part B), migrant education (Part C), and intervention programs for at-risk children (Part D) will remain the same. Right now, states can set aside 4% of Title I funding for school improvement purposes and that will be increased to 7% under the new law. For Title III, which covers instruction for English-language learners (similar to what it did under No Child Left Behind), the funding will increase for the Title’s three subparts from $737 million per year in 2015 to $885 million annually by 2020.

The Latino Family Literacy Project provides workshops for teachers to help Spanish speaking parents learn to read with their children and learn English together with their children. We can go right to your school district. Find out more about workshop options.