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Elementary and Secondary Education Act

1965 US law, part of Johnson's War on Poverty / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was passed by the 89th United States Congress and signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on April 11, 1965. Part of Johnson's "War on Poverty", the act has been one of the most far-reaching pieces of federal legislation affecting education ever passed by the United States Congress, and was further emphasized and reinvented by its modern, revised No Child Left Behind Act.

Quick facts: Citations, Public law, Statutes at Large, Cod...
Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965
Great Seal of the United States
Public lawPub. L. 89–10
Statutes at Large79 Stat. 27
Acts amendedPub. L. 81–874, 64 Stat. 1100; Pub. L. 83–531, 68 Stat. 533
Titles amended20 U.S.C.: Education
U.S.C. sections created20 U.S.C. ch. 70
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the House as H.R. 2362
  • Signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on April 11, 1965
Major amendments
Bilingual Education Act
Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974
Improving America's Schools Act of 1994
No Child Left Behind Act
Every Student Succeeds Act
Lyndon B. Johnson at the ESEA signing ceremony, with his childhood schoolteacher Ms. Kate Deadrich Loney

Johnson proposed a major reform of federal education policy in the aftermath of his landslide victory in the 1964 United States presidential election, and his proposal quickly led to the passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The act provides federal funding to primary and secondary education, with funds authorized for professional development, instructional materials, resources to support educational programs, and parental involvement promotion. The act emphasizes equal access to education, aiming to shorten the achievement gaps between students by providing federal funding to support schools with children from impoverished families.

Since 1965, ESEA has been modified and reauthorized by Congress several times. The Bilingual Education Act provides support for bilingual education and educational efforts for Native Americans and other groups. The Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 prohibits discrimination against students and teachers. The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) introduced a testing regime designed to promote standards-based education. The Every Student Succeeds Act retained some of the testing requirements established by the NCLB, but shifted accountability provisions to the states.[1]