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Lancaster Central School District

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Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the main law for K–12 public education in the United States. The purpose of this act was to replace and update the No Child Left Behind Act, which was signed into law in 2002.  

The main purpose of ESSA is to make sure public schools provide a quality education for all students. It gives states a central role in how schools account for student achievement. This includes the achievement of historically disadvantaged students who fall into one or more of four key groups:

  • Students in poverty
  • Students of color
  • Students who receive special education services
  • Those with limited English language skills

Under ESSA, each state creates an education plan for its schools within a framework provided by the federal government. The law gives parents and caregivers a chance to weigh in on these plans. Each state plan must describe:

  • Academic standards
  • Annual testing
  • School accountability
  • Goals for academic achievement
  • Plans for supporting and improving struggling schools
  • State and local report cards

ESSA also provides funding for literacy programs and other grants.