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NEA on the Anniversary of ESSA

It’s time to demand the change that helps our students

WASHINGTON - December 09, 2016 -

One year ago on December 10th the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law. ESSA provides an opportunity to ensure the students most in need get what will help them succeed, and delivers to educators, parents and communities the responsibility to act and work with policymakers to get ESSA right. NEA has been helping affiliates and members throughout the country understand and implement the new law. The Association launched the site and has hosted dozens of webinars, and lead trainings in many states. NEA is still committed to working closely with state and local policymakers, as well as other key stakeholders, to deliver on the promise of ESSA to provide more opportunities for all students.

Below is a statement from NEA President Lily Eskelsen García.

“One year ago when the Every Student Succeed Act was signed into law NEA considered it a well-deserved victory for our nation’s students. We believed ESSA would create the potential for greater opportunity for every student regardless of their ZIP Code. Educators welcomed the end of No Child Left Behind and the beginning of a new era in public education in schools.

“ESSA does have the potential to be a game-changer. It has reinvigorated the national conversation about equal opportunity for all our students and opened a window to a new direction for our students and schools. Educators across the country are driving positive change.

“BUT TIME IS RUNNING OUT. It's now countdown time to the beginning of the next school year. It’s time for educators to take their seat at the table, work with parents, school administrators, elected leaders, and demand the change that helps our students. It’s time to get ESSA right. For our schools. For our students. For our future. The devil is in the details, and those details are complex. A lot of decisions need to be made in order to successfully implement ESSA for the 2017-18 school year. All politics is local. Meetings with local and state elected leaders, school board meetings, and legislative sessions are critical in ensuring ESSA’s success for our nation’s students and schools.

The intent of ESSA is to look across party lines and do what is best for students. We need to work on real education solutions. We have to collaborate with key stakeholders to raise our voice to deliver on the promise of ESSA and to provide opportunity for all students. We have to get this right.”

Visit Lily’s Blackboard to read an educator’s thoughts on the anniversary.

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing nearly 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers. Learn more at

CONTACT: Celeste Busser  (202) 822-7823,