In December 2015, President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law, reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the most comprehensive federal education funding legislation, last passed in 2001 as No Child Left Behind. The law includes key provisions related to school climate. Under ESSA, states have the option to select school climate as an indicator of school quality, and all states must describe in their plans how they will support districts to reduce the overuse of practices that push students out of the classroom.

DSC works with our federal partner the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc. (LDF) to actively engage in activities designed to build the capacity of DSC members and allies to participate in ESSA implementation in their states. DSC and LDF have conducted trainings for and provided technical assistance to DSC members and has developed resources that parents, youth, and advocates can use to increase their knowledge of ESSA and engage with state and local education officials to encourage them to include effective strategies for improving positive school climates in state and local plans.

ESSA Resources