1954 – The National Defense Education Act (NDEA) (Public Law 84-911) provided funding to United States education institutions.

1964 – The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Public Law 88-352) authorized the Commissioner of Education to arrange for support for institutions of higher education and school districts to provide in-service programs for assisting instructional staff in dealing with problems caused by desegregation.

1965 – Primary and secondary education is funded through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) (Public Law 89-10). As mandated in the Act, the funds are authorized for professional development, instructional materials, and resources to support educational programs, and parental involvement promotion. The Act was originally authorized through 1970 and has been amended and reauthorized several times since its enactment.  On the heels of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, The ESEA was designed to address educational inequality.

1965 – The first Federal grant program targeting students with disabilities, the Elementary and Secondary Amendments of 1965 (Public Law 89-313), was passed. This law authorized grants to state institutions and state-operated schools devoted to the education of children with disabilities.

1966 – The Elementary and Secondary Amendments of 1966 (Public Law 89-750) established the first Federal grant program for the education of children and youth with disabilities at the local school level and established the Bureau of Education of the Handicapped (BEH) and the National Advisory Council (now called the National Council on Disability).

1967 – In 1967, the Bilingual Education Act (or Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) (Public Law 90-247) became the first piece of United States federal legislation regarding minority language speakers. The act offered federal aid to local school districts to help them address the needs of students with limited English speaking ability. Its purpose was to provide school districts with federal funds to establish educational programs for students with limited English speaking ability.  The act gave school districts the opportunity to provide bilingual education programs without violating segregation laws.

1968 – The Elementary and Secondary Education Amendments of 1968 modified existing programs, authorized support of regional centers for education of handicapped children, model centers and services for deaf and blind children, recruitment of personnel and dissemination of information on education of the handicapped; technical assistance in education to rural areas; support of dropout prevention projects; and support of bilingual education programs. This set of amendments also changed the ESEA of 1967 Title VI to Title VII.

1969 – The Elementary and Secondary Education Extension (Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1969) (Public Law 91-230) authorized comprehensive planning and evaluation grants to state education agencies (SEAs) and local education agencies (LEAs) and provided for the establishment of a National Commission on School Finance.

1972 – The important Education Amendments of 1972 (Public Law 92-318) established the Education Division in the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and the National Institute of Education; general aid for institutions of higher education; federal matching grants for state Student Incentive Grants; a National Commission on Financing Postsecondary Education; State Advisory Councils on Community Colleges; a Bureau of Occupational and Adult Education and State Grants for the design, establishment, and conduct of postsecondary occupational education; and a bureau-level Office of Indian Education. It amended existing U.S. Department of Education programs in order to increase their effectiveness and better meet special needs. This legislation made illegal sex bias in admission to vocational, professional, and graduate schools, and public institutions of undergraduate higher education.

1974 – The Education Amendments of 1974 (Public Law 93-380) provided for the consolidation of certain education programs and established the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). It also established two laws: The Education of the Handicapped Amendments of 1974 and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which gave parents and students over 18 the right to view student’s personal school files. In addition it amended the Bilingual Act and the Equal Education Act.

1975 – The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142) ensured that all handicapped children have a free education designed to meet their special needs.

1977 – The Elementary and Secondary Education Amendments of 1977 (Public Law 95-112) passed.

1978 – The Education Amendments of 1978 (Public Law 95-561) established a comprehensive basic skills program aimed at improving student achievement. The law was introduced as H.R. 15 by CBC Member Representative Shirley Chisholm.

1981 – The Education Consolidation and Improvement Act of 1981 (Part of Public Law 97-35) consolidated 42 programs into seven programs to be funded under the elementary and secondary block grant authority.

1984 – The Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments (Public Law 98-199) passed in 1984. The law added the Architectural Barrier amendment and clarified participation of handicapped children in private schools. It also reauthorized the discretionary programs, established services to facilitate school to work transition through research and demonstration projects; established parent training and information centers; and provided funding for demonstration projects and research in early intervention and early childhood special education.

1984 – The Elementary and Secondary Education Amendments of 1984 (Public Law 98-511) revised the Bilingual Education Act. The law was introduced as H.R. 5099 by CBC Member Representative Edolphus Towns.

1986 – The Handicapped Children’s Protection Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-372) allowed parents of handicapped children to collect attorneys’ fees in cases brought under the Education of the Handicapped Act and provided that the Education of the Handicapped Act does not preempt existing legislation such as the Rehabilitation Act.

1988 – The Augustus F. Hawkins-Robert T. Stafford Elementary and Secondary School Improvement Amendments of 1988 (Public Law 100-50) reauthorized through 1993 major elementary and secondary education programs including: Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Bilingual Education, Math-Science Education, Magnet Schools, Impact Aid, Indian Education, Adult Education, and other smaller education programs.

1989 – The Child Development and Education Act of 1989 (Public Law 101-239) authorized appropriations to expand Head Start Programs and programs carried out under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to include child care services. This law was introduced as H.R. 3 by CBC Founder Representative Augustus Hawkins.

1992 – The National Commission on Time and Learning, Extension (Public Law 102–359) amending the National Education Commission on Time and Learning Act to extend the authorization of appropriations for such Commission. It also amended the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to revise provisions for (1) a specified civic education program; and (2) school wide projects for educationally disadvantaged children, and provided for additional Assistant Secretaries of Education.

1994 – The Improving America’s Schools Act (IASA) of 1994 (Public Law 103-382) It included provisions or reforms for: The Title 1 program, providing extra help to disadvantaged students and holding schools accountable for their results at the same level as other students; charter schools; Safe and Drug-free schools; Eisenhower Professional Development; Major increases in bilingual and immigrant education funding; Impact aid; and Education technology and other programs. It reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.

1995 – In 1995 the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 was again amended (Public Law 104-5). This amended a provision of Part A of Title IX of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 relating to Indian education, to provide a technical amendment and for other purposes.

1998 – The Charter School Expansion Act (Public Law 105-278) amended the Charter School Program, enacted in 1994 as Title X, Part C of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.

2001 – The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2001 (Public Law 106-554) created a new program of assistance for school repair and renovation, and amended the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to authorize credit enhancement initiatives to help charter schools obtain, construct, or repair facilities; reauthorized the Even Start program; and enacted the ‘‘Children’s Internet Protection Act.’’

2002 – The No Child left Behind Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-110) was signed into law in 2002. The Act requires states to develop assessments in basic skills to be given to all students in certain grades, if those states are to receive federal funding for schools. The Act does not assert a national achievement standard; standards are set by each individual state.

The current reauthorization of ESEA is the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The ESEA also allows military recruiters access to 11th and 12th grade students’ names, addresses, and telephone listings when requested.

March 13, 2010 – On March 23, 2010 the Obama administration released its blueprint for revising the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). According to the Department of Education, “The blueprint challenges the nation to embrace education standards that would put America on a path to global leadership. It provides incentives for states to adopt academic standards that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace, and create accountability systems that measure student growth toward meeting the goal that all children graduate and succeed in college.”

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