Every Student Succeeds Act 

Other Federal Entitlements

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was enacted December 10, 2015, and reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) (originally enacted in 1965 and last reauthorized as the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002). For the first time, it contains key protections for students in foster care to promote school stability and success, and required collaboration with child welfare partners.

Also see Best Interest Determination (BID), School Stability, and Transportation pages.

Legislation & Non Regulatory Guidance

Every Student Succeeds Act (Public Law 114-95) (2015)

Non-Regulatory Guidance Ensuring Education Stability for Children in Foster Care (June 23, 2016)

Dear Colleague Letter on Implementation of Educational Stability Requirements (December 5, 2016)

Dear Colleague Letter on Interagency Collaboration (July 25, 2023)

CDSS Letters & Notices

ACL 17-24 (May 3, 2017)

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Other Federal Entitlements

Direct Certification

A federally mandated process that School Nutrition operators must use to certify child who are eligible for free milk or meals without completion the application.

Free Meal/Milk for Foster Youth

Web Links

USDE: Students in Foster Care

USDE: Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

CDE: Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Information regarding CA's plan to implement the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

CDE: ESSA Transportation & Point of Contact FAQ

Transportation for Students in Foster Care & Identification of LEA Point of Contact

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): Implementation Toolkit

Legal Center for Foster Care and Education

Documents & Training Materials

ESSA 101: Piecing it All Together Regional Symposium (May 4, 2017)

What are the ESSA provisions specific to students in foster care?

The provisions specific to students in foster care are designed to support school districts in their efforts to serve students in foster care effectively. Many of these provisions were granted to students in foster care in California under the passage of AB 490 in 2004. In fact, California affords students in foster care more extensive entitlements than ESSA. The ESSA provisions include:

What are the LEA requirements under ESSA?

ESSA requires LEAs receiving Title I, Part A funds to designate a point of contact and to collaborate with child welfare agencies to develop written procedures governing how transportation to maintain children in their school of origin will be provided, arranged, and funded. The following are the requirements in ESSA: