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PresidentObamaESSALast month President Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), effectively ending the era of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) after 14 years. The measure reauthorizes the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), originally signed into law in 1965 by President Lyndon Johnson. The new law returns a great deal of federal authority and power on educational issues to states and local school districts.

The U.S. Department of Education has already offered some initial guidance to states on how the transition process will work from NCLB and the waivers (which expire on Aug. 1, 2016) to this new law which will take full effect during the 2017-18 school year.

The new legislation will eliminate most federal standards and penalties, and will allow states to develop their own accountability standards and responses. While giving more control to the states, it will also require that states at least address and provide support to the lowest achieving students and schools. The new law also provides a great deal of flexibility on how states and districts spend their federal education funds. For more details check out the White House Report on ESSA.

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