The American Library Association (ALA) and the American Association of School Librarians applaud the passage of S. 1177, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The bill is the first piece of federal legislation in more than 50 years that uses federal funding for effective school library programs. The bill now moves to President Obama to sign into law.
AASL President Leslie Preddy and ALA President Sari Feldman released the following joint statement regarding today’s developments:
“The Senate vote brings America’s schoolchildren one step closer to the school library resources and other tools that they need to succeed as 21st century students. For school-age students, ESSA represents an historic new chapter in federal support of education, one that will ensure effective school library programs are there to help them learn how to use new technology tools, develop critical thinking, and the reading and research skills essential to achievement in science, math, and all other STEM fields.
“In today’s competitive world, providing more students access to effective school library programs will enhance their digital literacy, collaborative learning skills, and improve their overall academic performance as they make their way to and through higher education and on to successful careers in the workforce.
“We particularly thank Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Thad Cochran (R-MS), and all of the Senate conferees, for their leadership, and all those Senators who voted in support of this vitally important legislation for our children.
“We look forward to the President signing this bill into law without delay.”
For additional information regarding ESSA please see our overview of the law’s provisions.