President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law in December 2015, which reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). ESSA reflects the civil rights tradition of ESEA, which reflects our nation’s longstanding commitment to equity of opportunity for all students. The new law has a clear goal of ensuring our education system prepares every child to graduate from high school ready to thrive in college and careers. The ESEA includes a number of provisions that promote equitable access to educational opportunity, including holding all students to high academic standards, ensuring meaningful action is taken to improve the lowest-performing schools and schools with underperforming student groups, and providing more children with access to high-quality preschool. As we work to improve education outcomes for students the ultimate goal is to provide all students - regardless of zip code, race, ethnicity, religion, family income, sex (including gender identity), sexual orientation, disability, language status, gender, or migrant status - with a high-quality education.
The Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) program is intended to help meet these goals by increasing the capacity of State educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), schools, and local communities to: 1) provide all students with access to a well-rounded education, 2) improve school conditions for student learning, and 3) improve the use of technology in order to improve the academic achievement and digital literacy of all students (ESEA section 4101).