NEA speaks up for the rights of students. Browse recent messages to Congressional leadership, and add your voice.
Of the total amount spent on education in the United States each year, the federal government accounts for less than 10 percent. The rest comes from state and local governments and other non-federal sources. But the federal role is more than money. It’s also about protecting civil rights and ensuring equal opportunity for all students.
Federal aid for education comes with strings. To get it, states must follow laws like ESSA, the current version of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the cornerstone of the federal role in education. Different sections of the law target different groups—for example, Title 1 covers schools with high percentages of low-income students.
The U.S. Department of Education describes the federal role in education as “a kind of ‘emergency response system,’ a means of filling gaps in State and local support for education when critical national needs arise.”
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act reflects the federal government’s commitment to provide a free, appropriate public education to students with disabilities and paying 40 percent of the additional cost—a commitment that remains unfulfilled.
NEA is a strong advocate for increasing the federal investment in Department of Education programs and ensuring that they help the students most in need of support and resources.
Letters & Testimony
Submitted on 04/29/2022
Bills in Congress
Learn NEA's position on pending legislation related to public education, and take action to protect our schools
Introduced on 04/07/2022
A bill to simplify the process of receiving loan forgiveness, improve the applicant success rate, and encourage people to enter public service.
Introduced on 12/14/2021
A bill which authorizes $10 million over 5 years for the National Museum of African American History and Culture to support history education programs for students, parents, and educators.
Introduced on 06/04/2021
The bipartisan infrastructure bill contains several provisions to help create safe, healthy school environments that support student learning and growth.