NNPA awarded $1.5
mil from Gates Foundation to promote Every Student Succeeds Act
15, 2016) The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) announced
it has received a $1.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation. The funding will support a three-year, multi-media public
awareness campaign focused on the unique opportunities and challenges of
the recently enacted Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
Under ESSA, states will adhere to more flexible federal regulations that
provide for improved elementary and secondary education in the Nation's
public schools. The law also ensures that every child, regardless of
race, income, background, or where they live has the opportunity to
obtain a high-quality education.
Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., NNPA President, said the organization, and
its members, is uniquely positioned to inform and advocate for the
effective implementation of ESSA, which he categorized as the most
significant civil rights and education law today. "NNPA will be in the
forefront of informing our readers of efforts to drive support for high
standards, assessments, accountability, and equity in education and to
ensure that we close the achievement gap. Despite the name change, no
child should be left behind due to an inequitable education system,"
NNPA Chairman Denise Rolark Barnes said she is "proud that NNPA will be
counted on to get the word out about ESSA to our 20 million newspaper
readers and those who Follow and Like us on social media. We look
forward to inciting interest and action around ESSA and making it a
household name throughout the community," Rolark Barnes said.
ESSA, which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary School Act (ESEA)
and replaces No Child Left Behind, received bipartisan support and was
signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 10, 2015. The
regulations are administered by the U.S. Department of Education and
will go into effect on January 30, 2017.
With this grant, NNPA will engage its 211-member Black-owned newspapers
in more than 70 markets across the country in a campaign designed to
heighten public awareness of ESSA, and to focus on efforts and policies
aimed at closing the achievement gaps for students of color and
"With this bill, we reaffirm that fundamentally American ideal-that
every child, regardless of race, income, background, the zip code where
they live, deserves the chance to make of their lives what they will,"
President Barack Obama said when he signed the bill into law last
By raising awareness of ESSA policies, NNPA seeks to empower parents to
advocate for these policies for their students and communities. In
addition, for opinion leaders, this is a tremendous opportunity to
support policies and issues that will make a difference in closing the
The NNPA, headquartered in Washington, DC, is a trade association of the
largest and most influential Black-owned media organizations in the
NNPA says it will lead efforts to inform and engage communities across
the country beginning now through November 2019 by creating editorial
content, coordinating special events, using social media to broadcast
community announcements and coordinate ad buys in member publications
and digital platforms.
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