New Federal Education Law – New Opportunities?

You may have missed this during the recent Christmas season, but Congress actually accomplished something before year’s end: enactment of a new law to replace the much maligned No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Lawmakers couldn’t resist giving the law a new catchy name – Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Some of the provisions in the new law will hopefully increase the fair participation of private (and Catholic) elementary and secondary school students in the federally funded programs on offer. See this Notre Dame summary for more.

U.S. News is suggesting that the new law could release the federal stranglehold on the nation’s elementary and secondary schools. There has been a lot of criticism of NCLB for micromanaging local education and interfering too much in local and state curriculum decisions.

The U.S. Department of Education has offered some general information on the new law. You can visit GovWatch to read the entire text of Pub. L. 114.95, which President Obama signed on December 10, 2015. The National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) is promising that in the coming months, prior to next school year, it will provide information to Catholic schools on the Every Student Succeeds Act and how to ensure the fair participation of Catholic school students. Stay tuned.

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