int(25) int(8) ESEA Video On Demand National ESEA Association
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“A Change is Gonna Come”: The Promise of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the Music That Propelled Its Potential

Learn from (and groove to) the past while unpacking the promise of greater equity ahead. Explore with two long-time Department attorneys (with close to a century of combined experience) the legal origins and impact of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) and other legislation and caselaw designed to ensure equity. Think through what we can learn from the past, and how it could shape the future while rocking out to the soundtrack that helped create the message and momentum in education.  A work in progress….

This talk was presented at:
2023 National ESEA Conference
February 2023 in Indianapolis, IN
Kay Rigling

Kay Rigling is an attorney in the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Education. She has worked on Title I and other education programs for more than 40 years. Prior to attending law school, Ms. Rigling taught students with disabilities.

Phil Rosenfelt

Philip H. Rosenfelt is the Deputy General Counsel for Program Service in the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Education. In this post, he oversees legal services to the Department relating to the development and implementation of Federal programs that assist elementary and secondary, vocational and adult education, special education, rehabilitative services, the Institute of Education Sciences, educational equity, and ethics provisions, as well as advice to the Office of the Secretary of Education on civil rights issues. He has served in this post beginning in July of 2006 (and in an acting capacity since March of 2005). Prior to that time, he served as the Assistant General Counsel for Elementary, Secondary, Adult and Vocational Education from 1980 (with a few interruptions for serving in other positions in an “Acting” capacity). He also served as Acting General Counsel of the Department, or the Deputy General Counsel “delegated to perform the functions and duties of the General Counsel” from July 2011 to December 2014. He has worked as an attorney in the Office of the General Counsel at the Department of Education and its predecessor -- the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare -- since 1971. He has received various awards for his Federal service, including Senior Executive Service Awards. Since April of 2006, he has served as the Secretary's appointee to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council as an ex-officio member.


Mr. Rosenfelt was born in Paterson, New Jersey, and graduated from its public schools in 1962. He received his B.S. degree from the University of Pennsylvania-Wharton School in 1966, his J.D. degree from Columbia University Law School in 1969, and his L.L.M. from New York University School of Law in 1971. After law school, he spent two years working in housing law in New York City for community agencies and low-income tenants in the Federal government's Volunteers In Service to America program, while doing course work for his L.L.M. in Poverty Law. He is a member of the New York State Bar and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar. In addition to his Federal work, Mr. Rosenfelt was the music editor and managing editor of two entertainment weekly newspapers, and taught courses in education law and administrative law at the Catholic University Graduate School of Education.