New Name, Same Song?

by | Jan 6, 2016 | News, Testing

“No Child Left Behind Act” Becomes “Every Student Succeeds Act”

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) must be reauthorized every 15 years. In 2001 that re-authorization was known as the No Child Left Behind Act. The 2015 version is now called the Every Student Succeeds Act. This version still includes language which protects homeschools and private schools (those that do not accept federal funds) from any federal control.

The re-authorization of the ESEA in 1996 was the infamous H.R. 6. The H.R. 6 required every teacher to be certified in the subject and grade they taught – including homeschool teachers. When this came to the attention of HSLDA, they notified homeschoolers nationwide, and the Capitol switchboard was shut down from more than one million calls opposing the bill. By God’s grace, H.R. 6 was soundly defeated!

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 included protective language that remains in the most recent Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015. In part, Section 8506 of the 2015 federal law states,

“APPLICABILITY TO HOME SCHOOLS. – Nothing in this Act shall be construed to affect a home school, whether or not a home school is treated as a home school or a private school under State law, nor shall any student schooled at home be required to participate in any assessment referenced in this Act.”

In addition, the Every Student Succeeds Act includes some restrictions on the advancement of the Common Core, but there are still requirements for states and local school districts. Although homeschool freedoms are protected in this legislation, the federal government continues to be involved in local public education. That involvement continues to affect homeschoolers indirectly.

Editor’s Note: Much of this article is from Yvonne Bunn’s Q&A on the website of Home Educators of Virginia and is used with permission.