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History Wins! Obama Signs ESSA: This Means New Funding for K-12 History & Civics

by John Dichtl, President & CEO, AASLH on

Yesterday morning, December 10, President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law.

Thank you to all the AASLH members who heeded the call to contact their Members of Congress about getting this important bill through the House (last week) and the Senate (this week).

The bill reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) for the next four years and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act. What’s key for the history community is that the legislation included multiple sources of funding to support improved instruction in K-12 history and civics.

Now that the programs have been authorized in the law, in February we will be looking to the appropriations committees in the House and Senate to fund them.  The National Coalition for History and AASLH will be sending alerts when the appropriations process begins, asking everyone who cares about history, civics, and the social studies to contact their Senators and Representatives to urge full funding.

Assuming there is adequate funding, the first grants under ESSA programs are likely to be awarded in calendar year 2017.

(Read the details at the National Coalition for History website.)