Every Student Succeeds Act

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the new K-12 federal education law, which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and replaces No Child Left Behind. It was signed into law in 2015 and will be phased in over the next few years. The law was designed to increase opportunities for local input and flexible decision making based on what communities and states need. A key goal of the new law is to ensure all students have access to a quality education inside and outside the classroom.

At this time, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is in a stakeholder engagement and development phase of the state education plan, which will likely be submitted in March of 2017. Additional information can be found on PDE’s website.

The law has ten Titles (sections), three of which are very important for afterschool:

Title I – Includes school accountability and interventions (like afterschool) to help support students. The state is now determining how schools will be held accountable (how to measure a good school) and local districts with community input will be expected to determine what supports they need to be successful.

Title II – Includes teacher professional development including ways where school day and afterschool teachers can work and be trained in coordination

Title IV – Includes two important parts:

  • Title IV A has funding for Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant
  • Title IV B funds the 21st Century Community Learning Centers – the largest federal funding stream for afterschool, before school and summer programs


What You As a Program, Parent or Partner Can Do



PSAYDN Advocacy and Communications Toolkit

The Every Student Succeeds Act in Pennsylvania: Recommendations from Stakeholder Work Groups and Associated Research

ESSA: A New Era for Education and Afterschool in Pennsylvania



December 2016 – January 2017
Share Your Thoughts on ESSA

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is hosting a series of public meetings to receive feedback on Pennsylvania's state plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Public Meeting Schedule
No need to register

Friday, December 2, 9:30 AM
Community College of Allegheny County, Main Campus, Tom Forester Student Services Center Auditorium
808 Ridge Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Thursday, December 8, 2:30 PM
Tom Ridge Environmental Center, Erie, PA

Friday, December 9, 1:00 PM
Lock Haven University, Lock Haven, PA

Friday, December 16
Philadelphia, PA

Wednesday, January 4
Quakertown, PA

Tuesday, January 10
Scranton, PA

Visit the PDE website for updates on dates, times and locations.