Federal Policy

Federal Policy

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) was the centerpiece of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. Its declared purpose of eliminating the damaging effects of poverty on children revolutionized the federal role in education. Drawing on the principle of “maximum feasible participation,” ESEA and other anti-poverty programs required unprecedented collaboration with local residents. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed by President Barack Obama on December 10, 2015, reauthorized the 50-year-old ESEA.

From the early days of Title I (the largest ESEA program), federal regulations required local school districts to build families’ capability and engagement to work with schools in ways that support their children’s learning and development. For the first time, low-income families had a voice in federal programs that affect their children.
Similar requirements for family and community engagement appear in many landmark federal education programs:
Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 
Bi-Lingual Education Act of 1965 (Now the English Language Acquisition Act)
Head Start Act of 1965
Race to the Top, Early Learning Challenge 
• The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (1975), now called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of (1990) (IDEA) 
Twenty-first Century Community Learning Centers 

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed by President Barack Obama on December 10, 2015, reauthorized the 50-year-old ESEA.

Important Resources

Each of the categorical programs listed above has specific requirements for family and community engagement. As a result, Federal policy tends to be fragmented rather than consistent across all programs. NAFSCE intends to work with the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services to create an integrated, systemic, and sustained federal policy based on the Head Start Parent, Family and Community Engagement Framework, the USDOE’s Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family-School Partnership, and in support of the recent HHS/USDOE Joint Policy Statement on Family Engagement from the Early Years to the Early Grades.

Early Childhood:

• Head Start Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework; (English) (Spanish)

Kindergarten through 12th Grade:

Thanks to Our Partners