Background: Why ESEA is Critical
The nation’s most important education law for our country’s children – the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) – has historically provided critical civil rights protections for underserved students through a strong federal role in education and other key principles. TASH has been at the table since the beginning and has been engaged as a strong voice for children with disabilities.
Yet the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 (ECAA – S. 1177) – a bill passed by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) attempting to update the ESEA – falls far short of ensuring equal opportunity in education for all children. In its current form, the bill does not fulfill its function as a civil rights law and fails to build on the lessons of the past to ensure greater academic progress for all students.
To ensure equal opportunity in education for all children, the Every Child Achieves Act must be fixed by:
1. Strengthening accountability
2. Providing additional data on student groups;
3. Addressing disparities in resources; and
4. Providing a more meaningful federal role in education.
As early as the week of July 6, the U.S. Senate could consider this bill to update – or reauthorize – the ESEA. It’s up to us to ensure that the Senate protects equal educational opportunities for all children by passing a reauthorized ESEA with these four important fixes.
Action Needed: Tell your Senator that ECAA doesn’t go far enough for education equity for all kids. Call the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
Sample Social Media Blurbs:
- #ECAA betrays #ESEA‘s rich legacy and would weaken protections for the students it’s intended to serve. http://bit.ly/1G6WkPB #AllKidsMatter
- [Your Senator’s Twitter Handle] #ESEA is a civil rights law that’s been the nation’s greatest driver of equity in education. http://bit.ly/1G6WkPB
- [Your Senator’s Twitter Handle] any #ESEA reauthorization must expand opportunities, resources, and outcomes for ALL students. #AllKidsMatter http://bit.ly/1G6WkPB