ALA advocacy pays off as House passes ESSA!

A group of students working on a research assignment in the Kennet School Library (Wikimedia).

Students working on a research assignment in the Kennet School Library (Wikimedia).

We did it!

After ten years of advocacy, thousands of emails, hundreds of calls and scores of meetings last night the House of Representatives passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), school libraries included!

As you’ve heard here before, ESSA is the result of months of joint effort by both the House and the Senate to reach a compromise that would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). While the bill is not perfect, it does include many important school library provisions that our Association has fought for over the last few years and last night it passed the House with a final vote of 359-64!

Thank you for reaching out to your Representatives in support of ESSA; it truly does make a difference to those in Congress to hear from their constituents!

Now that ESSA has passed the House, it will move to the Senate where we expect a vote to take place early next week. Unless ESSA is approved there, of course, all of your work and last night’s House milestone vote will count for naught. While we do expect the bill to pass the Senate, nothing is ever done until it’s done . . . especially inside the Beltway.

So, please take just a few minutes to reach out to the offices of both of your US Senators to ask for “a YES vote on the ESSA Conference Report” and, while you have their staffs’ attention, affirm the importance of libraries and the vital role that school libraries and librarians play in our children’s lives and futures.

Everything you need to quickly and easily reach your Senators’ offices, along with what you might tell them, is located on ALA’s Action Center. We’re just days away from a life-changing vote for our kids. Don’t miss this chance to do your part and, truly, be part of history when the Senate votes on ESSA next week. Thanks!

About Jessica McGilvray

Jessica McGilvray is a former member of the Washington Office government relations team.