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ESEA Watch

Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, also known as No Child Left Behind, NCLB) - is a federal statute which was enacted on April 11, 1965. This Act funds primary and secondary education. The Obama Administration has released its Blueprint for revising the ESEA, which will ask states to ensure that their academic standards prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace, and to create accountability systems that recognize student growth and school progress toward meeting that goal.  Follow the U.S. Department of Education’s ESEA re-authorization blog.

What is the Coalition Doing Around ESEA Re-authorization?

Integrating community school principles into the reauthorized ESEA is a key priority for the Coalition.
Based on feedback from our partners (National and Local) the Coalition submitted comments for ESEA Reauthorization to the 111th Congress (the House and Senate). Access our comments below:

The Coalition is working on a set of recommendations for ESEA reauthorization to the 112th Congress. Stay tuned for the release! 

What legislation currently supports the community schools strategy AND can be integrated into the reauthorized ESEA?

Below is legislation that has been either re-introduced or newly introduced that supports community schools. You may be wondering why we want to continue introducing new legislation into Congress, when there is unlikely to be new money AND when Members are so focused on reauthorizing ESEA.  The answer is that bills such as DIPLOMA, FSCS, and the Supporting Community Schools, all offer a vehicle to mobilize the field.  Members cannot ignore the phone calls, emails, and visits from the field in support of these pieces. So when they are introducing language into ESEA they will consider these bills, which embody community schools, and consider how to incorporate them into ESEA.  Ultimately, they are all stalking horses for getting community schools principles into the reauthorized ESEA.

  • Full Service Community Schools Act (FSCS) of 2011 (HR 1090, S 585) – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) introduced HR 1090 and Senators Nelson (D-NE) and Cochran (R-MS) introduced S. 585, on March 15, 2011. Click here for the FSCS Act of 2011 fact sheet. To provide and organizational endorsement for the for the HR 1090 and S 585, email: Charlie Ellsworth (Senator Nelson, D-NE) or Amy Schultz (Representative Hoyer, D-MD).

  • Supporting Community Schools Act S. 616- was introduced Thursday, March 17, 2011 by Senator Sanders (I-VT) and Senator Mikulski (D-MD). This Act proposes the Community School Strategy as a 5th Intervention Model in ESEA. Primarily, it will be used as a stalking horse to ensure that community school principles make it into ESEA. Read the Supporting Community Schools Dear Colleague letter that was sent to Members. To provide an organizational endorsement, email: Jessica Cardichon (Senator Sanders, I-VT).

To better understand how community schools DO address the whole child, check out our publication:

All Together Now: Sharing Responsibility for the Whole Child. This paper discusses strategies policymakers and educators can use to provide a more balanced education for students.

If you have any thoughts, comments, or suggestions around ESEA, please email Shital C. Shah at
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