A conference committee met on November 18 and 19 to resolve the differences between H.R. 5, the
Student Success Act, and S. 1177, the Every Child Achieves Act, which passed their respective chambers
in July, and voted to adopt the conference framework by a vote of 38-1. Legislative language was
completed over Thanksgiving. The conference report then passed the House on December 2 by a vote
of 359-64, and the Senate on December 9 by a vote 85-12. The bill’s title is the “Every Student Succeeds
Act,” abbreviated in the summary as ESSA. It reauthorizes programs in the Elementary and Secondary
Education Act for four years.
For noncompetitive programs the effective date is July 1, 2016, and most competitive programs are in
effect October 1, 2016. The U.S. Secretary of Education (“Secretary”) will takes steps to provide an
“orderly transition to and implementation of” programs authorized by the Act. Certain waivers are
terminated as of August 1, 2016, specifically those under Section 9401 of No Child Left Behind, as first
introduced in a letter to chief state school officers on September 23, 2011. New state plans will be
effect in the 2016-2017 school year.