Originally signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is the primary federal K–12 education law. Since 1965, the U.S. Congress has periodically “reauthorized” ESEA, a process in which Congress rewrites and renews the law. The most recent reauthorization was in 2015 when Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
ESSA provides support to high schools where one-third or more of students do not graduate. It also provides support to schools with groups of traditionally underserved students who consistently demonstrate low performance. The law requires data on student achievement and graduation rates to be reported as well as action in response to that data. However, unlike the No Child Left Behind Act, states, districts, and schools will determine what support and interventions are implemented.