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Coalition Sends Letter Signed By 47 Organizations to Capitol Hill Urging ESEA Reauthorization

On December 2, 47 national, state and local organizations sent a letter to the Senate leadership urging them to expedite the reauthorization process of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Organized by the Coalition for Community Schools and featured on Education Week’s blog Politics K12, the letter calls on the Senate to complete the job it began with ESEA reauthorization when the education committee approved a bill in June but no action on it has occurred since then. (The House passed its own bill in July, though it was completely partisan). Now, the Coalition’s many national partners ranging from United Way Worldwide to National PTA to the Forum for Youth Investment-in addition to many of our state and local partners-are calling for immediate attention to this legislation.

The letter states, "State waivers from the U.S. Department of Education are an inadequate substitute for a reauthorized ESEA that is already seven years overdue. We must show our nation’s students, educators, families and communities that we care about our children both as students and as our next generation of leaders.  ESEA must be reauthorized." It also outlines what all 47 organizations believe are critical principles in the next ESEA: "We must ensure that the reauthorized bill provides targeted and quality supports to the students who need them most, as well as enriching opportunities during and outside the school day to connect students and families with the best of a community’s resources and assets. Stronger language to incentivize such school-community partnerships is one important way to strengthen ESEA." Read Education Week’s coverage of the letter here and please consider contacting the members of Congress who comprise the Senate leadership to urge ESEA reauthorization from your own perspective. Contact Mary Kingston Roche at rochem@iel.org for any questions or assistance. The Coalition will continue to deliver this message to Congress that among its national priorities, ESEA reauthorization must be one of them.

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