Integrated Student Supports and ESSA

Integrated Student Supports and ESSA

May 6, 2019

Michael Q. McShane reports for Education Next on the importance of integrated student supports, which seek to help overcome obstacles outside of school—hunger, homelessness, mental health concerns—that make it harder for students to learn when they are in school. While educating the whole child is not a new concept, “their profile is on the rise since the 2015 passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which for the first time specifically encouraged districts to provide integrated student supports and allowed more federal dollars to pay for them,” writes McShane. “But a close look at the research on their effectiveness reveals an open question: while integrated supports may help meet students’ physical and emotional needs, their ability to improve student learning remains unproven.”