Elementary and Secondary Education Act/Title I

The House Education Committee is working to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently known as No Child Left Behind. Learn how you can be involved and what AASA has been working on!

  • Act now! Reps. Sam Graves (Mo.) and Tim Walz (Minn.) introduced HR 6239, which would amend ESEA to temporarily suspend the process of identifying schools and local educational agencies as in need of improvement and of imposing sanctions on such schools and local education agencies. Urge your representatives to become a cosponsor!
  • AASA submitted a suite of documents in response to the House draft of Title I, Part A. Read the AASA response, paperwork concerns and general questions and concerns for the committee (PDFs).
  • AASA submitted a second suite of documents in response to the House draft of Titles II through XI. Read the response, paperwork concerns, and specific comments (PDFs).
  • Former AASA Executive Director Paul Houston testified (PDF) before the committee on Sept. 10, 2007.

Join the AASA Legislative Corps! This free, voluntary benefit of AASA membership puts you in direct contact with Capitol Hill. You will receive a direct, succinct weekly summary of Washington news on the affect of legislation on public schools, and you will have the opportunity to tell YOUR own House and Senate members, through quick and personally-tailored e-mails, how their vote would help or hurt public schools.


AASA's Position

(see it as a PDF)


Reauthorizing ESEA: General Principles

AASA believes:

  • A high-quality public education is a basic civil right for all children and the role of the federal government in education is to help ensure equal opportunity for each child to learn.
  • Poverty has an impact on student achievement and federal efforts should coordinate relevant systems, such as health care, housing and judicial systems, to alleviate the fundamental inequities that perpetuate poverty.
  • ESEA should move from its current structure of 93 disconnected and disjointed programs to a more systemic, focused continuum of programs based on poverty, special student populations and unique circumstances.
  • States and school systems should not be required to spend state and local funds to implement federal mandates.

All Children Will Learn is based on two key assumptions:

  • More funding for education, combined with appropriate instruction, results in better educational outcomes.
  • Appropriate instruction, combined with health and human services, results in even better educational outcomes.

All Children Will Learn provides for a continuum of services and support based on a continuum of need:

  • As the need of a school district increases, so will federal assistance. School systems with the greatest need will receive the greatest academic, health care and early and extended learning support.
  • Greater federal services and support will be allocated to school systems with higher levels of poverty, as determined by their eligibility for free and reduced lunch, and higher proportions of special populations (such as English language learners, Native Americans, special education students) and conditions (rural/inner-city).

Key Highlights of All Children Will Learn:

  • Accountability: Sets high standards for all children, while holding school systems accountable for student learning; calls for an accountability system that is transparent; uses multiple sources of evidence and a growth measure; is fair to all students; and calls for federal accountability that is consistent with the amount of federal assistance.
  • Special Learners: Assures that the progress of special education students is measured in accordance with their Individualized Education Program and assures that the progress of English language learners is measured in a language they understand, with appropriate assessments based on proficiency level.
  • Teachers: Provides funds to encourage teachers to work in hard-to-staff positions and schools and to enhance teacher salaries, but leaves qualification requirements to the states.
  • Early Childhood Development: Requires federal support for children in their first five years of life, including social intervention and full funding for and alignment of Head Start to public education. In addition, All Children Will Learn requires the support of an economic system that sustains families above the poverty level; provides for access to high-quality child care for families in poverty, including the working poor; supports the engagement of families in schools; and recognizes the vital importance of parents/guardians in the success of each child.
  • Health: Provides for continued Medicaid reimbursements for school-based administrative and transportation claims; calls for a universal health care system focused on low-income families, including prenatal care and school-based, school-linked and community health clinics; and provides federal funding and access to mental health care and dental care.

AASA Action:

  • View the Executive Summary of the 2008 AASA Legislative Agenda.
  • AASA has submitted comments on the House Education Committee's draft version of Title I, Part A of the ESEA reauthorization. Read the AASA response to the draft bill and supporting documents on paperwork concerns and specific questions and concerns for the committee.
  • AASA joined with representatives of NSBA, NEA, AFT, NAESP and NASSP to issue joint recommendations on the reauthorization of ESEA. This was done through a series of Capitol Hill briefings that began on May 18, 2007.
  • AASA submitted testimony and legislative language to Congress in March 2007.
  • The AASA Governing Board has approved a legislative agenda dealing principally with the reauthorization of ESEA. AASA public policy staff has been meeting with congressional staff and other associations to express our position on the reauthorization.


For More Information:

  • AASA Submits Comments on Proposed NCLB Regulations: Read AASA's response to the Education Secretary's attempt to re-write NCLB. (PDF)
  • Review Bruce Hunter's ESEA/Title I presentation from the 2008 AASA Legislative Advocacy Conference.
  • AASA staff have compiled a history of ESEA, including statements of members of Congress from the original 1965 debate. (PDF, March 2007)
  • AASA testimony at from a Joint Hearing of the House Education and Labor Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committe. (PDF, March 2007)
  • Final Rule for Title I: Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged (PDF, December 2002) — This link provides a PDF of the regulations for programs administered under Title I.
  • U.S. Department of Education Title I website — This website provides links to legislation, Federal Register Notices, Policy Guidance, and Grant Applications for the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.



I and Adequate Yearly Progress

Tools for AASA Members

  • AASA White Paper on Final NCLB Regulations: Read the AASA response to the final regulatory changes to Title I of ESEA, as relased by the US Department of Education. (11/12/08, PDF)
  • AASA Responds to Proposed Changes to Title III: Read AASA's comments. (PDF)
  • AASA Submits Comments on Proposed NCLB Regulations:Read AASA's response to the Education Secretary's attempt to re-write NCLB. (PDF)
  • Join AASA Legislative Corps! This free, voluntary benefit of AASA membership puts you in direct contact with Capitol Hill. You receive a direct, succint weekly summary of Washington news with impact on public schools and have the opportunity to tell YOUR own House and Senate members, through quick and personally-tailored emails, how their vote would help or hurt public schools.
  • Communicating about NCLB (PowerPoint) How does the public feel about NCLB? What do superintendents need to know to communicate effectively about the effects of the law? What messages are effective?
  • Polling data (Members Only) See AASA's polling data regarding No Child Left Behind.
  • NCLB Implementation Update Presentation (PDF) presented at the AASA National Conference on Education in New Orleans, La. (March 2007)

For More Information


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) was passed in 1974 and covers issues of privacy in the school setting and how state and local agencies can share student data with each other and with the federal government.

For More Information

Federal announcements regarding Family Educational Rights and Privacy, and the Protection of Pupil Rights portions of the No Child Left Behind Act (PDF, February 2003):

Constitutionally Protected Prayer

Section 9524 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act required the Secretary of Education to issue guidance on constitutionally protected prayer in schools and required states to have districts certify that no policies are in place that would prevent constitutionally protected prayer.

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Military Recruiting

The 2001 reauthorization of ESEA (Title IX, Section 9528) required schools to make student information available to military recruiters.

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