House Releases Updated ESEA Reauthorization Legislation

As inferred in his speech to the American Enterprise Institute, House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) is putting forth the Student Success Act again as the ESEA reauthorization bill. Kline reintroduced the bill on February 3; the Senate HELP Committee has already released their ESEA goals and held three full committee hearings

Key points of the H.R. 5 the Student Success Act

  • Replaces the current national accountability scheme based on high stakes tests with state-led accountability systems, returning responsibility for measuring student and school performance to states and school districts.
  • Ensures parents continue to have the information they need to hold local schools accountable.
  • Consolidates more than 65 ineffective, duplicative, and unnecessary programs into a Local Academic Flexible Grant, helping schools better support students.
  • Protects state and local autonomy over decisions in the classroom by preventing the Secretary of Education from coercing states into adopting Common Core or any other common standards or assessments, as well as reining in the secretary’s regulatory authority.
  • Empowers parents with more school choice options by continuing support for magnet schools and expanding charter school opportunities, as well as allowing Title I funds to follow low-income children to the traditional public or charter school of the parent’s choice.
  • Strengthens existing efforts to improve student performance among targeted student populations, including English learners and homeless children.

“Every child in every school deserves an excellent education,” said Chairman Kline. “Unfortunately, our nation is falling far short of that goal, and countless children are paying the price. This proposal provides an opportunity to chart a new course, one that places less faith in the Department of Education and more faith in the parents and education leaders who know best how to address the needs of their children. The Student Success Act will provide moms, dads, teachers, and administrators the support and flexibility they need to deliver students an education that prepares them for a lifetime of opportunity and success.”

House Democrats on the Education and the Workforce Committee held their own ESEA hearing on February 5 to hear from teachers, researchers and other education experts on rewriting the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

“As this Congress takes up reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, it is important that we make well-informed policy decisions,” said Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA). “Because the Republican majority has pushed a ESEA rewrite without the benefit of a single hearing, the goal of yesterday’s forum is to further explore the relevant issues, research, and proposed solutions. We all agree that No Child Left Behind needs to be fixed, but it has become frighteningly clear that the Republican bill would make things worse. We should be working together, not apart, to prepare all of our students for the global economy and to ensure that federal education policy meet[s] the challenges of the 21st Century challenges.”

Read more about the Student Success Act.

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Education Policy