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Educators welcome new education law to create greater opportunity for every student

Phoenix, AZ – December 10, 2015 – At a White House ceremony President Barack Obama today signed into law S. 1177, the Every Student Succeeds Act, a bipartisan and bicameral bill to reauthorize the federal education law known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. NEA President Lily Eskelsen García joined the president, who signed the bill in the presence of students and educators, including Mary Jo Bremner, a teacher at Browning High School on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana, and Sabrina Peacock, a third grade math teacher in Guilford County, North Carolina. 

“This new law is a well-deserved victory for our nation because the Every Student Succeeds Act will create greater opportunity for every student regardless of ZIP Code,” said AEA President Andrew F. Morrill. “Educators welcomed the end of No Child Left Behind and the beginning of a new era in public education in Arizona schools.”

Throughout the reauthorization process, NEA’s priorities have been threefold: elevate the voices of educators in the policymaking process, decouple standardized testing from high stake decisions, and create an “opportunity dashboard” to help close opportunity gaps in needy schools. Based on these measures, ESSA has the potential to be a game-changer.

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the bill last week, and the Senate followed suit on Wednesday.

“We commend Congress for the bipartisan cooperation, leadership, and hard work to get the job done for students and educators,” said Morrill. “We thank President Obama for signing this important bill into law. Now our work begins in earnest as we shift our attention toward implementation. We look forward to working closely with Arizona policymakers, as well as other key stakeholders, to raise our collective voice to deliver on the promise of ESSA and to provide opportunity for all students.”

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