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What is the Every Student Succeeds Act?

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the new K-12 federal education law, which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and replaces No Child Left Behind. It was signed into law in 2015 and will be phased in over the next few years. The law was designed to increase opportunities for local input and flexible decision making based on what communities and states need. A key goal of the new law is to ensure all students have access to a quality education—inside and outside the classroom.

To learn more about the opportunities for afterschool in ESSA, click here for a handy one-pager or keep reading below.

How to Submit Comments on GA’s Draft Plan

The Georgia Department of Education recently released a draft of Georgia’s state plan and is now seeking feedback on the plan in a statewide survey. The deadline to submit feedback is Friday, July 14th. The good news- we’ve done the hard part for you!

Steps to Submit Feedback
  1. To access the feedback form, go to: http://bit.ly/2sWfSJP
  2. Complete the four questions on the first page and click next.
  3. The next page is where you can submit your specific feedback on Georgia’s draft plan. Here is some sample feedback that you download and can customize to your program:

The Every Student Succeeds Act provides many opportunities to capitalize on the benefits of high-quality afterschool and summer programs. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to help shape Georgia’s state plan!

The law has 10 Titles (sections), three of which are very important for afterschool:

Title I

Includes school accountability and interventions (like afterschool) to help support students. Each state is now determining how schools will be held accountable (i.e., how to measure a good school) and local districts with community input will be expected to determine what supports they need to be successful.

Title II

Includes teacher professional development including ways where school day
and afterschool teachers can work and be trained in coordination.

Title IV – Includes two important parts:

  • Title IV A has funding for Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants.
  • Title IV B funds the 21st Century Community Learning Centers – the largest federal funding
    stream for afterschool, before school and summer programs.


Timeline: ESSA in Georgia


June 2017
  • Georgia’s draft plan was released on June 15, 2017.
  • There will be a one-month public comment period. See above for how to submit comments.  
  • During this period, the Governor, State Board of Education, State School Superintendent will review.
  • An overview of the plan will also be presented to the House and Senate Education Committees.
July-Aug 2017
  • Comments on the draft plan are due by July 14th, 2017. 
  • If necessary, committees will reconvene to revise Georgia’s State Plan based on feedback.
September 18, 2017
  • Georgia’s State Plan is submitted to the U.S. Department of Education for approval (date tentative). The U.S. Department of Education must approve state plan no later than 120 days after submission. Once Georgia’s State Plan is approved, presentations will be given to the House and Senate Education Committees.