ESSA: It’s On All of Us to Make It a Success

ESSA: It’s On All of Us to Make It a Success

Note from United Way of Central Virginia: This blog was shared with us by United Way Worldwide’s President and CEO, Brian Gallagher. ESSA is such an important piece of legislation and will affect our Education Readiness Initiative in a very positive way. In the coming weeks, United Way of Central Virginia will share a new Community Solutions Action Plan for Education Readiness in Central Virginia and felt this blog by Mr. Gallagher was a great way to set the tone for the new future of Education for our region.   Blog by Brian Gallagher, President and CEO of United Way Worldwide: Today, I was fortunate to attend the President’s bill signing of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the long-overdue rewrite of the primary federal education law. Sitting in the audience with other national education policy leaders watching the President surrounded by Members of Congress, I was struck by the fact that what this is really about is community-level leadership and change.  Education only works when the local community is fully engaged. Still, this new law is a big deal. After eight years of congressional debate on fixing No Child Left Behind, consensus was finally reached to ensure all students have access to a quality education.  From our perspective, the new law hits all the right marks. What local United Ways and their communities told us was that effective education reform must include ensuring access to quality education for low-income and marginalized students, using schools to provide supports for students beyond the classroom, and tools to engage parents in education of their children. What’s next?  The federal government did its...