For immediate release | December 9, 2015

Senate passage of Every Student Succeeds Act boosts U.S. school children’s chances of 21st century success

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) and the American Association of School Librarians applaud the passage of S. 1177, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The bill is the first piece of federal legislation in more than 50 years opens up use of federal funding to effective school library programs. The bill now moves to President Obama to sign into law.

AASL President Leslie Preddy and ALA President Sari Feldman released the following joint statement regarding today’s developments:

“The Senate vote brings America’s schoolchildren one step closer to the school library resources and other tools that they need to succeed as 21st century students. For school-age students, ESSA represents an historic new chapter in federal support of education, one that will ensure effective school library programs are there to help them learn how to use new technology tools, develop critical thinking, and the reading and research skills essential to achievement in science, math and all other ‘STEM’ fields.

“In today’s competitive world, providing more students access to effective school library programs will enhance their digital literacy, collaborative learning skills, and improve their overall academic performance as they make their way to and through higher education and on to successful careers in the workforce.

“We particularly thank Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Thad Cochran (R-MS), and all of the Senate conferees, for their leadership and all those Senators who voted in support of this vitally important legislation for our children.

We look forward to the President signing this bill into law without delay.”

For additional information regarding ESSA please visit:

About the ALA

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 58,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

About the AASL

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library program services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to empower leaders to transform teaching and learning.


Related Links

Overview of ESSA provisions:


Nancy Gravatt

Press Officer

ALA Washington

ALA Washington Office