Media Highlights

We Must Reauthorize ESEA Now

by Mark Edwards   •  

I wanted to share a Huffington Post piece I wrote this week, urging Congress to work together to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the current version of which expired in 2007 and is in sore need of renewal.

As you know, Opportunity Leaders and Scholars, coalition members and our staff met with the staffs of dozens of Senators and Congressmen on Capitol Hill last week. We gained a new appreciation for how imperative it is that this education law move forward, even as we learned how deep the divisions in DC are right now. Yet both Democrats and Republicans responded enthusiastically to our mission to expand opportunity for youth.

While there are multiple proposals that have been submitted recently by both parties to revamp the nation’s overarching education law and none of them are perfect, Opportunity Nation is supporting elements of the Strengthening America’s Schools Act. This bill was submitted by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and passed by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee last week.

The following elements in the bill support our Shared Plan to help more young people embark on meaningful education and career pathways:

  • Competitive grants that focus on bridging the middle school and high school divide;
  • Evidence-based dropout prevention and recovery efforts for students and communities who need them the most;
  • Early warning indicator systems;
  • Effective dropout prevention and recovery activities;
  • Work-based learning;
  • Rigorous student support services;
  • Data reporting

Please share the Huffington Post column with your networks to encourage dialogue and forward motion in Washington D.C., and to urge Members of Congress to support these measures and to work together to reauthorize this important law.
In other news this week, we were thrilled to learn that the American Dream Accounts Act is receiving continued bipartisan support with Senators Thad Cochran (R-MI) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) signing on as co-sponsors.  Senator Gillibrand signed on after her staff met with Opportunity Nation Leaders during our Hill Day last week.


Thank you again for your continued support and energy to expand economic mobility to more Americans.

Mark Edwards

Mark Edwards is the founder and co-chair of Opportunity Nation. Read Mark's bio.

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