It is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education. Such an opportunity, where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.”
– The U.S. Supreme Court, Brown v Board of Education, 1954.
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), first created under President Lyndon Johnson in 1965, was the first major federal effort to provide funding and policy guidance to states to address the education needs of low-income and minority children and support the intent of Brown v. Board of Education. Today, President Obama signed The Every Student Succeeds Act, the first reauthorization of ESEA since the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002. The bill passed the House last week on December 2, 2015 with a final vote count of 359 to 64, and passed the Senate yesterday on December 9 with a final vote count of 85 to 12.
In this bill, legislators worked to find a balance between a continued federal commitment to protecting educationally disadvantaged students and putting the responsibility for an equal quality of education for all students in the hands of local and state officials. Democrats for Education Reform and Education Reform Now will continue to work with our partners and the American people to stay vigilant and assure that the states and the federal government continue to protect and promote the educational civil rights of all students.