The Foundation for Excellence in Education presents a new Question & Answer series #AskExcelinEd on the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to help state policymakers and stakeholders explore and understand this complex new law as well as the many opportunities and challenges it presents for states.

ExcelinEd’s policy team will answer questions they’ve been receiving, focusing on policy topics essential to successful ESSA implementation. To start the series, we will cover ESSA basics and build toward more technical themes. 

Be sure to send in your questions and share this important information with education partners, stakeholders and others who would like to know more. You’ll find each Q&A archived on ExcelinEd’s website for reference as implementation of this significant new law unfolds.


For those new to ESSA: What is ESSA and why should I care?

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the federal law that governs K-12 public education policy. It was signed into law on December 10, 2015, after passing with bipartisan congressional support. ESSA reauthorizes the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act and also replaces a previous reauthorization, the No Child Left Behind Act. 
ESSA will be fully operational in school year 2017-18. All 50 states have begun working on their transition plans toward compliance. The law represents a major shift in education-related authority from the federal government to the states. When fully implemented, ESSA will affect every public school in the nation and the more than 50 million students attending these schools.

Here are answers to two other frequently asked questions:

To learn more, visit our library of ESSA resources at
We are here to help!
Do you have another question or need ESSA-related resources? Let us know!
Jess Langhaim
National Advocacy Director

Claire Voorhees
Director of K-12 Reform
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The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) is a national leader in education reform. ExcelinEd is a hands-on, how-to policy and advocacy organization that designs and promotes model legislation and supports states with technical expertise, policy development and implementation strategies and public outreach. 
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