Newsline 12.03.15 Bloomerang Governmental Affairs Newsline December 3, 2015 Update on Education Legislation Every Student Succeeds Act The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) passed the House yesterday 359-64. It is expected to also sail through the Senate and be signed by the President. NDSC, representing the Down syndrome community, worked in collaboration with a broad coalition of national advocacy organizations and Hill staff to advocate for the same opportunities afforded non-disabled students. After 14 years we will have a new law for elementary and secondary education funding that gives the states and districts a great deal of discretion in determining how to hold themselves and their schools accountable for improving student achievement. State and local advocacy and collaboration will be critical to ensure that EVERY student, including those with intellectual disabilities, really do have an equal opportunity to succeed. Of particular interest to our members, ESSA seeks to prevent the overuse of alternate assessments, while ensuring that students who do take alternate assessments have the opportunity to make progress in the general education curriculum and work towards a regular high school diploma. ESSA incorporates concepts of Universal Design for Learning, requires states to address how they will reduce incidents of bullying and harassment and reduce the use of aversive practices such as restraint and seclusion. Letter to House and Senate Leaders Please read our full letter to House and Senate leaders here.