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Back to School Special: ESSA and Immigrant Youth and Families

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Happy New School Year! As our youth head back to school, we want to provide NYIC members with information on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) signed by President Obama at the end of 2015. It updates the United States’ main K-12 education law and replaces No Child Left Behind (2002).

You may have some questions about what this means for immigrant communities - check out our special fact sheet for immigrant community leaders here!

Working with school leaders, teachers and organizations like the New York Immigration Coalition, the New York State Education Department is gathering input to develop its plan to implement ESSA.

Why This Is Important
We have a chance right now to provide input to the State Education Department as it decides how schools will meet family engagement requirements and how it will measure things like students’ English proficiency. These factors help determine whether schools and teachers are encouraged to support all English language learners and how well schools are prepared to engage immigrant families.

· September: Input due on technical questions to State Education Department (by Sept 12th)
· October: The state will hold public meetings about the plan open to community partners.
· November/December: A proposed plan will be put out for public comment
· Late Winter: Plan is updated and approved by the State’s Board of Regents
· Spring-Summer: Plan is sent to the federal government for final approval.
· 2017-2018 School Year: Most of ESSA goes into effect

How to Get More Information & Get Involved

1) Let Kim Sykes at the New York Immigration Coalition know if you’re interested in learning more or sharing input! ksykes@nyic.org

2) Tell your school district superintendent that you want to attend the October public meeting on ESSA. Find your superintendent be clicking here.

These public meetings are happening across the state. Please also let the NYIC know if you want to engage in the public meetings so that we can help support your request.

Note: For individuals in the Buffalo, New York City, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers, please let Kim Sykes know if you'd like to attend and need help finding your superintendent.


The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC)  is an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for nearly 200 groups in New York State that work with immigrants and refugees. The NYIC aims to achieve a fairer and more just society that values the contributions of immigrants and extends opportunity to all by promoting immigrants’ full civic participation, fostering their leadership, and providing a unified voice and a vehicle for collective action for New York’s diverse immigrant communities.

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ESSA Fact Sheet Sept 2016.pdf661.13 KB


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