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Elementary and Secondary Education Act

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is a law passed by Congress in April 1965 that provides federal aid to PreK-12 schools and essentially sets federal PreK-12 education policy. Enacted as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty, the primary aim of the ESEA was to improve the educational experience of disadvantaged students. Although the ESEA has remained the single largest source of federal aid for K-12 education, there have been several amendments to ESEA since 1965 that have shifted the focus of federal education policy and increased restrictions on the use of federal education aid. This entry provides background information about the passage and development of the ESEA, outlines the components of the ESEA and revisions to it, and discusses ...

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