(Washington, D.C.) – Today, the United States Senate overwhelmingly passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), bipartisan legislation from U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) to rewrite No Child Left Behind. The legislation, which now moves to the President’s desk for approval, includes important protections to help students who are learning English succeed.
“Students learning English need access to effective educational programs so they can succeed in the classroom and graduate college and career ready,” said Senator Murray. “The Every Student Succeeds Act recognizes that developing English proficiency and mastering academic content are inextricably tied, and will help ensure schools meet the unique needs of these students. I was proud to fight for these measures and I look forward to the President signing this legislation into law.”
Today, nearly five million students in the United States are English learners. ESSA ensures that states measure students’ progress toward English proficiency and holds districts accountable for designing and implementing effective English language programs. ESSA requires states to set entry and exit procedures in English language programs so English learners, are reclassified when they are ready and can join their peers. It will also provide additional disaggregated data so school districts can help meet the needs of English learners with a disability, as well as data on the percentage of students who have been in English-language programs for more than five years to help meet the needs of long-term English learners.