Federal Policy

Federal policies can play a key role in creating conditions that support statewide and districtwide implementation of social and emotional learning (SEL).

  • Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

    This 2015 federal legislation gives states much more control about how they use federal funding through programs such as Title I and Title IV. In response, a growing number of states are using this new flexibility to strengthen SEL-related policies and programs. Click here for recommendations and resources.

    In Congress

    Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) with bipartisan cosponsorship, introduced two SEL-related bills in the spring of 2017. H.R. 1864 addresses chronic absenteeism and ways to prevent it. Many states are focusing on chronic absenteeism as one of the indicators of school improvement under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). H.R. 2544 looks at ways to reduce teacher stress, an important factor in students’ success.

    National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development (NCSEAD)

    CASEL helped to catalyze, strongly supports, and participates in the National Commission on Academic, Social, and Emotional Development. This important leadership organization, a project of the Aspen Institute, was launched in September 2016. Two of CASEL’s board members, Linda Darling-Hammond and Tim Shriver, are co-chairs of the Commission, and several of our colleagues and collaborators are participants.


  • ESSA, SEL, Accountability

    CASEL and LPI answer common questions about SEL assessments.
    Check out the recording
    Check out the brief

Key Resource
Video: Congressional Briefing

On Oct. 25, 2017, CASEL and Committee for Children organized a Congressional briefing on social and emotional learning at the school, district, state, and federal levels. Panelists included Committee for Children Executive Director Joan Duffell; CASEL Chief Knowledge Officer Roger Weissberg; Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio); Washington, D.C. Principal Maisha Ridddlesprigger; Washoe County (Nev.) Superintendent Traci Davis; Beth Herman, Wisconsin Dept. of Public Instruction; and Hanna Melnick, Learning Policy Institute. View the video.(1 hr., 22 min.) , highlights. (7 min.), and the statement by Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) (4 min.) here.