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The Every Student Succeeds Act

Pennsylvania's Consolidated State Plan

On December 10, 2015, President Barack Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965. Developed and passed with strong, bipartisan support, ESSA replaced No Child Left Behind (NCLB) as the nation's main education law.

1965 - The ESEA, 2002 - The NCLB, 2015 The ESSA

ESSA advances ESEA’s promise of ensuring that all students – from pre-kindergarten to postsecondary, including low-income students, students of color, students with disabilities, English Learners, and other historically marginalized students – have access to a world-class education that prepares them for college, career, and life.

For Pennsylvania, ESSA presents two important opportunities – the chance to move away from the prescriptive policies and unintended consequences of NCLB, and toward state-level efforts that enjoy broad, bipartisan support, including more equitable and predictable funding for public schools and valid measures of school performance that look beyond standardized test scores.

Pennsylvania’s ESSA State Plan aligns well with the education vision and strategies of Governor Tom Wolf and Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera:

  • Historic investments in education funding;
  • Diverse measures of school success;
  • High quality early childhood education;
  • Investment in great teachers and leaders;
  • STEM innovation and capacity;
  • Expansion of career ready pathways; and
  • Community schools

Pennsylvania’s draft plan was posted for public comment on August 2 through August 31, 2017. The Department received 445 individual comments through an online survey and through the Department’s dedicated ESSA email account. Read more about stakeholder engagement in the development of Pennsylvania’s ESSA Consolidated State Plan.

Pennsylvania’s proposed Consolidated State Plan was submitted in a timely way to the United States Department of Education (USDE) on September 18, 2017 and was approved by USDE on January 16, 2018. 

Read the approval letter sent to the Pennsylvania Department of Education by Betsy DeVos, Secretary of the United State Department of Education.

Pennsylvania's ESSA Consolidated State Plan is available for review in English and Spanish. Additional resources are coming soon.

Learn more about Pennsylvania’s ESSA Consolidated State Plan by visiting the pages highlighted to the right of this page.