The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was first passed in 1965 by President Lyndon Baines Johnson. In December 2015, the U.S. Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a new law to replace the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). President Obama subsequently signed ESSA into law on December 10, 2015.

Click to enlarge and view the full timeline of the ESEA Bill

With a new ESEA/ESSA, focus for advocacy now turns to effective implementation of the law to ensure every child has the ability to reach their full potential. While this new law provides a great opportunity for states to tailor their education systems to meet the needs of their students—including students with disabilities—this new level of authority will also require an increased amount of responsibility for states to ensure they close achievement gaps.

National PTA, our constituent associations, and advocates across the country will seek to support and empower all families to be active participants in the state and local implementation of ESSA to ensure equity and opportunity for all students.

The U.S. Department of Education is currently in the implementation phase of ESSA. The Department will provide guidance and clarification to states on how best to carry out the new law. You can get involved in the implementation process by signing up for emails from the Department of Education on ESSA implementation.

Please read up on the proposed regulations and provide feedback on this step toward the future for public education in the United States. 

Please read National PTA’s comment letter to the US Department of Education regarding the implementation of ESSA. 

ESSA Resources

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015 (Full Text)

Overview of ESSA, National PTA

Title I Summary of ESSA, National PTA

Title II Summary of ESSA, National PTA

Title IV Summary of ESSA, National PTA

ESSA: What Does This New Law Mean for my Child?, National PTA

Family Engagement in ESSA, National PTA

Statewide Family Engagement Centers One-Pager, National PTA

U.S. Department of Education ESSA Site

Title I, Part A assessments – Final Regulatory Language, U.S. Department of Education

Draft of accountability regulations for ESSA, U.S. Department of Education


ESSA Implementation Resources


Questions PTA Advocates Should Ask about the ESSA Implementation, National PTA

Stakeholder Engagement Provisions in ESSA, National PTA

Collaborative Stakeholder Engagement Special Report, Education Commission of the States 

Guiding Principles on Stakeholder Engagement as Required in ESSA, Learning First Alliance

ESSA Website, Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)


Let’s Get This Conversation Started: Strategies, Tools, Examples and Resources to Help States Engage with Stakeholders to Develop and Implement their ESSA Plans

Guidance for Stakeholder Engagement in ESSA, U.S. Department of Education

FAQ on the Transition to ESSA, U.S. Department of Education 


© Arizona PTA 2016