Committee for Children Applauds New Every Student Succeeds Act

New federal legislation allows schools to address social and emotional development needs of students

SEATTLE – Committee for Children (CFC), the global nonprofit dedicated to fostering the safety and well-being of children through education and advocacy, today hailed the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which includes language that supports the social and emotional competencies of students throughout the nation, with a strong emphasis on evidence-based practice in schools. This bipartisan bill reauthorizes and modernizes the outdated law governing federal support of elementary and secondary education known as No Child Left Behind.


This new legislation will enable America’s schools to help all students develop the academic and nonacademic skills essential for learning readiness and academic success, including addressing the social and emotional development needs of students. The new bill will allow school districts and communities to target federal resources to support evidence-based programs and strategies that further students’ collaboration, communication, and critical-thinking skills that support school readiness and academic success. In addition, school districts will be allowed to use federal resources to support professional development of principals and teachers to help all students develop these skills. 

“We are deeply gratified to see such improvements in federal education policy,” said Committee for Children Executive Director Joan Cole Duffell. “We know that focusing on children’s social and emotional development actually raises their academic scores. For years, education policy has ignored this research-proven fact. Key aspects of the new law are critically important to supporting teachers in using evidence-based programs to educate the whole child. We applaud the members of Congress who led this effort and worked collaboratively across the aisle to get this bill passed.”

“Since its inception, social and emotional learning has made a huge impact on Austin Independent School District students both in and out of the classroom,” Austin ISD Superintendent Paul Cruz said. “We are excited that legislation is making this initiative a priority.”

Details on the Every Student Succeeds Act can be found here.

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About Committee for Children

Founded in 1978, Committee for Children is a global nonprofit dedicated to fostering the safety and well-being of children through education and advocacy. CFC is the world’s largest provider of research-based educational programs that promote social-emotional skills and prevent bullying and sexual abuse. The organization’s curricula reach more than 10 million children in 26,000 schools around the world. Learn more at cfchildren.org

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