Signing ceremony for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, 1965
President Lyndon B. Johnson, seated at a table with his childhood schoolteacher, Ms. Kate Deadrich Loney.
Before graduating from Southwest Texas State Teachers College, Johnson spent a year teaching at the Welhausen School in Cotulla, Texas. His experience with Cotulla’s disadvantaged students inspired him to advance the Great Society’s agenda of antipoverty, civil rights, and education programs. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, signed on April 11, 1965, authorized official federal funding for grade school education for the first time.
Signing ceremony for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, 1965. Photograph by Frank Wolfe. Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum.