ISBE ESSA Listening Tour Round 3

Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December 2015, reauthorizing the nation’s largest education law with many much needed updates and revisions. ISBE is working on its plan to implement this new law, which provides Illinois with many opportunities to tailor implementation to our needs. You can find ISBE’s draft plan here.

There is a lot of language in ESSA that is very favorable to afterschool programs—even programs outside of 21st Century. It is important that afterschool providers point this out to ISBE so that it is included in Illinois’ plan.

We encourage providers who could not attend the listening tour in person to submit comments electronically to by Tuesday, December 27th. You can find ACT Now’s testimony here, sample comments for providers here, and abbreviated talking points here. Remember it is always more effective to individualize your comments to your programs’ specific needs, for example including examples of how your program promotes family engagement, STEM, or College and Career Readiness. Please contact Susan Stanton, ACT Now Network Lead, at, with any questions.