Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)

Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is a federally-enacted law governing elementary and secondary education. It affects states and school districts in four basic ways.

  • Greater accountability for results.

  • Increased district flexibility for spending federal money.

  • Expanded options for parents.

  • Increased emphasis on teaching methods that have been proven to work.

These changes support the district's current focus on delivering a strong standards-based educational program designed to improve student achievement in the gateway skills of reading, writing, and mathematics.

Effect for District Schools

  • More than 140 schools receive Federal Title I funds as set forth in the ESEA. The district and schools receiving these funds must ensure that they are meeting the educational needs of low-achieving students in high-poverty schools and working to close the achievement gap between high and low-performing students.

    Parents whose children attend Title I schools may request information from their schools about the professional qualifications of their children's classroom teachers, including any paraeducators working in the classrooms with their children.

    Teacher Qualification Information Request Form (all in PDF format PDF ): English Adobe PDF  | Spanish Adobe PDF | Somali Adobe PDF | Vietnamese Adobe PDF | Lao Adobe PDF

  • The state has designated some Title I schools as Program Improvement schools. Based on state test scores of students, these schools have not made adequate yearly progress for two consecutive years. District schools not listed may still be affected by ESEA because they may be identified to be receiving schools for students electing to leave Program Improvement schools.

Parent Notification and Involvement

Elementary and Secondary Education Actrequires that districts provide information to parents about a variety of education related issues. Many of these notifications are provided in letters sent directly to parents at their home.

Educating Homeless Students

Title IX of Elementary and Secondary Education Act requires, among other things, that the district notify parents in homeless situations, of their child's educational rights under this act. The San Diego Unified School District provides schools with materials that help explain parents' rights under ESEA. Read more»

To learn more, read frequently asked questions about homeless student education Adobe PDF .

Highly Qualified Paraeducators

Under ESEA, paraeducators who directly assist with instruction in a classroom setting, and whose site or department receives Title I funding, must comply with the new minimum qualification requirements. To ensure that all students will benefit from the intent of ESEA, the district has determined that all paraeducators, regardless of how the site receives its funding, must comply with these new requirements. Read more»

Private, Non-Profit Schools

In accord with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the San Diego Unified School District has an obligation to achieve equitable participation of private school children, teachers and other education personnel in major federal programs. Participation is limited to private schools that have non-profit status.