• The federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) emphasizes equal access to education, sets high standards for academic performance, and demands a rigorous level of accountability from schools and districts. ESEA authorizes an important group of education programs administered by the states. These programs support eligible schools and districts eager to raise the academic achievement of struggling learners, and address the complex challenges that arise among students who live with disability, mobility problems, learning difficulties, poverty, transience and the need to learn a second language.