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Statement from Gov. Bob Wise on New ESSA Guidance

“The Student Support and Academic Enrichment grant program eschews business as usual,” Wise says.

WASHINGTON, DC – On Friday, the U.S. Department of Education released guidance on the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant program, a new program in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that provides formula grants to states for multiple purposes. In response, Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, made the following statement.

“The nation’s high school graduation rate is at an all-time high, but school and district leaders need new tools and resources in their tool belts to close graduation rate gaps between white students and their peers and ensure that high school graduates are truly prepared for postsecondary education.

“The Student Support and Academic Enrichment grant program eschews business as usual in favor of rigorous, innovative approaches to tackle long-standing challenges.

“The Department’s guidance draws on the experience of school district superintendents who have signed the Future Ready District pledge to provide concrete examples of school districts that are effectively using technology to personalize learning. It also offers a host of resources that educators can use to strengthen teaching and learning through technology, including opportunities made available through Future Ready Schools®.

“Ultimately, the impact of the SSAE program will depend on funding. Although ESSA committed $1.6 billion to the program, the House of Representatives proposed $1 billion and the Senate proposed only $300 million. Congress must fulfill the promise it made in ESSA and fully fund the SSAE program at $1.6 billion to help every child—particularly those who have been traditionally underserved—graduate from high school prepared for postsecondary education and the workforce.”

Education leaders can find additional information on how to use the recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act to transform high schools with toolkits the Alliance recently released in conjunction with the White House Summit on Next Generation High Schools.


The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC–based national policy and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring all students, particularly those traditionally underserved, graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship.

Future Ready Schools (FRS) is a bold effort to maximize digital learning opportunities and help school districts move quickly toward preparing students for success in college, a career, and citizenship. FRS provides districts with resources and support to ensure that local technology and digital learning plans align with instructional best practices, are implemented by highly trained teachers, and lead to personalized learning experiences for all students, particularly those from traditionally underserved communities. FRS is led by the Alliance for Excellent Education alongside a vast coalition of organizations including the U.S. Department of Education.