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President to Sign Every Student Succeeds Act Today

Thursday, December 10, 2015 9:37 AM | Anonymous
Source: Counsel for American Private Education, Dec. 10, 2015


President Barack Obama this morning will sign bipartisan, bicameral legislation to overhaul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the nation's most far-reaching education law.  The signing ceremony is scheduled for 11:05 AM EST at the White House.

Yesterday the U.S. Senate voted 85-12 to approve the legislation, and last week the House of Representatives passed the measure 359-64.

Named the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the new law includes numerous provisions championed by the CAPE community to improve equitable services to private school students and teachers.

When ESEA was first enacted in the mid-1960s, Congress determined that federal education aid should be directed in an equitable way toward helping all children in need, regardless of the type of school they attend. That principle of equitable services governed the implementation of ESEA from 1965 until its most recent iteration, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), when certain funding formulas and set-asides began to erode equity. The new ESSA corrects those inequities and improves the protection of services for private school children.

For example, under Title I, which provides assistance to school districts to help high-need students do well in school, a school district will now have to calculate funds for services to private school students based on its total Title I allocation, without excluding certain expenditures for other purposes, which it was allowed to do under previous law.

Similarly, under Title II-A, designed to ensure high-quality teaches, a district will have to set aside a proportionate share of funds for services to teachers in private schools based on its total Title II-A allocation and not just on the funds it chooses to earmark for professional development, which it could do before now.

@ Association of Illinois Montessori Schools