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March 15th, 2023
Rep. Grijalva Reintroduces Success in the Middle Act to Invest in Underfunded Middle-Grade Kids

WASHINGTON, DC – As part of Middle Education Month, Representative Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-07) reintroduced the Success in the Middle Act and a resolution designating March as National Middle-Level Education Month. The bill provides targeted grants to States and school districts to create comprehensive school-wide action plans, develop rigorous curriculum, provide professional development for school personnel, and implement evidence-based student supports for middle-grade students.

It aims to improve the education of middle-grade students in low-performing schools to prepare them for success in high school, postsecondary institutions and beyond.

“Growing research shows that interventions in early adolescence during a child’s middle grades years are critical for putting them on a path for academic success, cognitive growth, and strong physical and mental health. Given the unfinished learning due to the pandemic and current child mental health crisis, it is critical that we invest in our young people now,” said Rep. Grijalva. “For too long, middle grades have been underfunded resulting in negative educational outcomes in southern Arizona and across the country. The Success in the Middle Act will ensure that we make the investments needed to ensure the long-term success of our students.”

The Success in the Middle Act is endorsed by the Association for Middle-Level Education, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and All4Ed.

“A strong educational foundation can shape a young person’s future and help put them on a path to success. A supportive and engaging environment, especially during a time of great personal change for young adolescents, has a profound impact on their development both inside and outside the classroom. As a former middle school teacher, I know how important this time is and applaud Congressman Grijalva for shining a light on Middle-Level Education. Our nation’s future thinkers, innovators, and leaders are depending on us to support them through these critical years in their school experiences,” said Deborah Delisle, President and CEO of All4Ed.

“AMLE proudly endorses the Success in the Middle Act. We know that middle schoolers are experiencing the most rapid, significant changes of their lives other than from birth to age 3. We have a tremendous opportunity to help support them as they form the attitudes, values, and dispositions that will form who they become as adults. It’s no surprise the middle grades are called “the last best chance” to set students up for successful futures. Unfortunately, this time period remains one of the most underfunded and neglected in education. This Act would provide states with the support they need to implement middle grades best practices, especially in underserved communities. I commend Representative Grijalva for recognizing the acute needs of these students, especially as they continue to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Stephanie Simpson, CEO, Association for Middle-Level Education.  

More information on the Success in the Middle Act is available here and the text of the National Middle-Level Education Month resolution is available here.

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