America Forward: ESEA Update

What is happening in Congress with ESEA?

On November 19, 2015, House and Senate conferees approved the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The final bill was released on November 30 and can be found here. This conference agreement is expected to receive votes over the next two weeks in the House and Senate and could be signed into law by the end of the year. Passage of the bill would mark the first update to ESEA since No Child Left Behind was signed into law 14 years ago.

How did we get here?

Earlier this year, the Senate and the House each crafted versions of bills to reauthorize ESEA. In the Senate, the Every Child Achieves Act was approved with a bipartisan vote in July. In the House, the Student Success Act was also approved in July. Over the past few months, key negotiators from the Senate and the House have been meeting to work through the differences between the bills and arrive at a final agreement.

What happens next?

We expect the House to take up the bill as early as today (Wednesday). Following action on the House floor, we expect that the Senate will take up the legislation at some point next week (the week of December 7). If the legislation passes both chambers, it will then be sent to the President for his signature. The official signing could take place at any point following final Congressional passage in both the House and the Senate, although it’s not clear exactly when the official signing would take place.

What are people saying about ESEA?

ESEA Reauthorization: A Look at a Draft of the Bill [Education Week]

Praise From Governors, State Chiefs Highlight Reactions to ESEA Bill [Education Week]

The fight over K-12 education appears headed back to the states [The Washington Post]

How can I follow along?

Follow the America Forward Team on twitter and the Penn Hill Group for updates throughout the week. And in this space, look for additional blogs with more detail on the content and key highlights from the Every Student Succeeds Act.

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