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Every Students Succeeds Act - ESSA

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the primary education law for public schools in the United States. 

Purpose and Background:

  • ESSA was signed into law by President Obama on December 10, 2015.
  • It reauthorized the 50-year-old **Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which has been a longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students.
  • ESSA replaced the previous law known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), enacted in 2002.

Equity and Accountability:

  • ESSA advances equity by upholding critical protections for disadvantaged and high-need students.
  • For the first time, it requires that all students in America be taught to high academic standards, preparing them for success in college and careers.
  • Annual statewide assessments provide vital information on students' progress toward these standards.

Local Innovations and Investments:

  • ESSA supports and encourages local innovations, including evidence-based interventions developed by local leaders and educators.
  • It sustains and expands investments in high-quality preschool.
  • The law maintains accountability for low-performing schools, ensuring positive change where needed.

History of ESEA:

  • The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was signed into law in 1965 by President Lyndon Baines Johnson.
  • ESEA was a civil rights law from the start, offering grants to districts serving low-income students, funding for special education centers, and scholarships for low-income college students.

View the full text of the law


Pursuant to the ESSA, parents have the right to have their children excused from participation in any survey that collects, discloses or uses information regarding certian types of personal behavior or political beliefs, as well as the right to exclude their children from any activities that request personal student information for marketing purposes. 

  • Regarding military recruiters, parents have the right to request that the district not release the student’s name, address and telephone listing to military recruiters. 
  • Regarding state testing, the school district provides parents information on the achievement level of their children on each of the state academic assessments. 
  • Parents in districts that recieve Title I funding have the right to request and receive information regarding the professional qualifications fo their child’s classroom teacher(s) and assistant(s). 
  • Parents in district that recieve Title I and Title III funding have hte right to know within 30 days of the beginning of the school year that their children have been identified as needing training for limited English proficiency. 
  • NYS ESSA-funded programs include Title I (parts A, C and D), Title II, Title III, Title IV and Title V. Complaints regarding the administration and any implementation of any of the programs listed should first be addressed to the Superintendent of Schools. If the local district does not resolve the complaint within 30 days, the complaint may be sent to NYSED at or mailed to:

NYS Ed Dept. 

Office if ESSA-Funded Programs

89 Washington Ave, Room 320 EB

Albany, NY 12234