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Ensuring Educational Stability for Foster Kids

Just before President Johnson signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) into law on April 11, 1965, he took the opportunity to stress America’s commitment to education and its role as a basic civil right. “From our very beginnings as a nation, we have felt a fierce commitment to the ideal of education for everyone.” Despite the idealism of Johnson’s comments, and the lofty goals of the ESEA, not all of America’s children have had equal access to a quality education.

This could change with the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act(ESSA), an overhaul of ESEA and its 2001 iteration, No Child Left Behind. At the ESSA signing ceremony on December 10, President Obama echoed Johnson’s sentiments and added a specific promise to the very children who have traditionally been overlooked by education legislation: “With this bill, we reaffirm that fundamentally American ideal—that every child, regardless of race, income, background, the zip code where they live, deserves the chance to make of their lives what they will.”