Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)signed into law

President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law, a bipartisan bill to revise and replace No Child Left Behind.

Regardless of race, income, or zip code, all of America’s students deserve a chance to go as far as their dreams and effort will take them.

Today, President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law, a bipartisan bill to revise and replace No Child Left Behind. This new law helps states and districts reduce unnecessary standardized tests, gets rid of one-size-fits-all mandates on our schools, ensures that our education system will prepare every child to graduate from high school ready for college and careers, and provides more children access to high-quality state preschool programs.

Since President Obama took office, we’ve made historic progress: More high school students are graduating on time than ever before, and dropout rates have hit historic lows. This new bill will cement the progress we’ve made and better position students to be college and career ready.

Every Student Succeeds Act

Also under the President, we’ve made strong investments in student aid for college with a far simpler Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and the new College Scorecard are helping to give all students the opportunity to go to college by providing them with the right tools for success. In October, the First Lady launched the Better Make Room campaign to leverage traditional and new media platforms to inspire and help students take the next step to pursue and complete some post-secondary education.



South Dakota Democrat Leaders Advocate for Medicaid Expansion in South Dakota .


Pierre, SD (December 8, 2015)-

On Tuesday, Governor Dennis Daugaard corrected course and announced his support of a plan to expand Medicaid in South Dakota under the Affordable Care Act at his annual budget address.

South Dakota Democrats have been advocating for Medicaid Expansion since the option of increasing health care coverage was made available through the Affordable Care Act. South Dakota Democrat legislators have introduced legislation to expand Medicaid during each of the past three legislative sessions, all of which have been killed by the State’s Republican majority Legislature.

Executive Director of the South Dakota Democratic Party, Suzanne Jones Pranger, said

“South Dakota should have expanded Medicaid sooner, as Democrats proposed, because the federal government would have paid 100% of the cost of expansion of coverage until 2016. Instead, the state gave up a chance to recoup millions in federal tax dollars while providing coverage to as many as 55,000 South Dakotans with no cost to the state. South Dakota Democrats have been determined to make Medicaid expansion happen for South Dakota families, and that fight continues.”

Democratic Party leaders in the State Legislature are hopeful that this legislative session will provide a breakthrough in the fight to expand Medicaid. Democratic Party leaders say they are committed to working with those on the other side of the aisle to expand health care coverage in South Dakota.

“Democrats have continually advocated for Medicaid expansion for over three years now because we know that Medicaid expansion is an investment. Expanding this affordable healthcare option will provide thousands of South Dakotans a better opportunity to improve their health and live happy, productive lives,” said Senate Minority Leader Billie Sutton. “The best type of investment our State can make is in its own citizens, and that is exactly what Medicaid expansion will accomplish. Democrats look forward to working with the Governor, Republican members of the Legislature, Tribes, and the federal government to develop a framework that best invests in South Dakota’s economic and healthcare future.”

Medicaid expansion may also provide an opportunity to expand IHS services and heath care access to Native American South Dakotans. House Minority Leader Spencer Hawley said,

“The Affordable Care Act and Democrats’ continual efforts to come to an agreement on Medicaid Expansion have brought all the parties to the table and have given us the opportunity to help ensure that the federal government adequately provides South Dakota’s Native peoples’ their treaty right to health care. We look forward to working with our colleagues to make Medicaid expansion a reality for the people of South Dakota.”

Over 30 states have expanded Medicaid, which includes our neighbor states of North Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa. Medicaid expansion will save lives, stimulate the economy, and increase the State’s revenues.