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Every Student Succeeds Act

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), appproved by the U. S. Congress in December 2015, is the latest reauthorization of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act. This law provides significant federal support for programs to serve students in kindergarten through 12th grade and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.


  • Limits the power of the federal government to set education policy for states
  • Increases state flexibility to design accountability systems, interventions, and student supports
  • Increases state and local flexibility in the use of federal funds
  • Gives states flexibility to work with local stakeholders to develop educator evaluation and support systems
  • Maintains annual assessments for grades 3-8 and high school


NCLB Overview
On January 8, 2002, President George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act into law. NCLB was adopted, in part, to ensure that schools and school districts across the country employ highly qualified teachers and staff in schools that receive federal funds. According to this law, a "highly qualified" teacher is one who is certified or licensed, holds at least a bachelor's degree, and has demonstrated knowledge and skills in his or her teaching area. An instructional aide must have a two-year associate college degree, two years of college, or pass a rigorous, state test.

Schools are required to inform parents that they may request information regarding the qualifications of their child's teacher and/or instructional aide. In addition, parents must be informed if their child's teacher and/or substitute teacher(s) working in the classroom for more than 20 days does not meet the certification standards. If your child's class has such a situation, you will receive a letter listing the person's qualifications.

Our School Board and Administration are committed to employing "highly qualified" teachers and instructional aides for every classroom. In fact, the vast majority of our teachers and instructional aides already meet the requirements of the NCLB Act. Teachers, who do not meet the federal requirements, typically have a waiver such as an out-of-field permit attached to their teaching certificate.

As part of our efforts to keep you better informed, teachers have been requested to discuss their professional qualifications with parents. Many teachers reviewed their qualifications during "open houses" at the first of the school year and/or listed their qualifications in a letter sent home with students. In addition, many teachers list their qualifications on their teacher web page. You can access individual school websites by choosing the Schools Section in the navigation menu. Another resource for teacher qualifications is the Education Qualification Search website.

You may also request the information in writing by sending a letter addressed to your child's principal. The letter should include the name of the teacher and/or instructional aides and the grade or subject. Your principal will provide you with the information within two weeks of receiving your request. Your continued support is important to the success of your child and school. If you need additional information, please call our District Office at (843) 374-8652.