What is the History of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act?
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was signed into law in 1965 by President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who believed that "full educational opportunity" should be "our first national goal."
ESEA offered new grants to districts serving low-income students, federal grants for textbooks and library books, funding for special education centers, and scholarships for low-income college students. Additionally, the law provided federal grants to state educational agencies to improve the quality of elementary and secondary education.
Congress reauthorizes ESEA every 5-6 years. Congress reauthorized the law in 2015 and ESEA was amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).