Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
What happened then?
- ESEA is the largest funding source of federal aid for K-12 education. It ensures that every child in the United States is provided with quality educational opportunities
- It provides funding for schools and school districts that have limited resources and serve low-income families, disabled, immigrant, and at-risk youth. This act is critical to raising the level of education of all United States citizens through providing accessible opportunities for all students as they move through their most critical stages in learning.
Why it still matters today?
- There are still significant inequities across school districts in resources, student achievement, and academic opportunities.
- ESEA is both a civil rights and education issue that requires states to expand and provide protections for all students.
What’s happening now?
- The Republican reauthorization proposal, H.R. 5, removes protections that ensure school districts meet the academic needs of all students, including low-income students, minority students, students with disabilities and students who are English learners.
- HR. 5 would divert scarce federal dollars away from high-poverty school districts and eliminate dedicated supports for vital student programming such as STEM education and after-school programs. This would further cripple already disadvantaged schools and the students they serve.
What needs to happen moving forward?
Education and Workforce Committee Ranking Member Robert C. “Bobby” Scott’s (VA-03) substitute amendment to H.R. 5 is a comprehensive reauthorization that keeps faith with the historic achievements and goals of the ESEA. It would maintain current protections for low income students, improve access to quality education, and includes expanding four year old pre-kindergarten to achieve universal access.