Issue Brief 12-12
March 13, 2012

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, P.L. 89-10), which first passed in 1965, governs federal spending on the nation’s K-12 education programs. The last reauthorization of ESEA was enacted in 2002 with No Child Left Behind (NCLB, P.L. 107-110). While P.L. 107-110 expired in 2007, Congress has continued to fund K-12 programs through the annual appropriations process. However, both the administration and members of Congress have pushed for reauthorization of the law.

On October 20, 2011, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) approved a bill that would reauthorize ESEA in full. Conversely, the House Committee on Education and Workforce is reauthorizing ESEA through a series of smaller bills. It approved the first three of these bills on July 25, 2011, and the final two bills on February 28, 2012. The Student Success Act (H.R. 3989) and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act (H.R. 3990) would reauthorize and make changes to the Title I funding, accountability standards, and teacher quality provisions of ESEA. This Issue Brief provides details on these two House ESEA reauthorization bills.