July 16, 2015
UPDATE: Today, the Senate approved S. 1177, the Every Child Achieves Act, by a vote of 81-17. The House and the Senate have now both passed bills reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The next step in the process is to go to conference, where differences between the two bills will be resolved before each house of Congress votes again on the final product. You can find how your senator voted today here.
Call Senators Now: No More Federal Intervention in Education
July 13, 2015
The Senate plans to finish work this week on S. 1177, the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA), its bill to replace the failed No Child Left Behind law. There are many amendments left to sort through, but it’s unlikely that any will improve the bill. An amendment offered by Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) to block-grant education funding to the states failed last week, and Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) are working to block any amendment that would prevent S. 1177 from getting to President Obama’s desk.
Unfortunately, ECAA extends the standards, testing, and data collection mandates of No Child Left Behind that Common Core was designed to satisfy. Instead of continuing the testing mandates, ECAA should allow parents to opt their children out of federal testing as tens of thousands have already done. Many programs with questionable worth are reauthorized under this bill with no spending caps. Instead of rolling back federal intervention, the Alexander-Murray bill authorizes new early-care education grants for expanding ineffective pre-K programs. Federal involvement has done little for the K-12 population; why should we expect it to boost outcomes for younger children?
No Child Left Behind showed that federal interference in education increases burdens on students and teachers but not achievement. S. 1177 is a missed opportunity to restore control of education to the states and people. Please call your U.S. Senator and tell him or her to vote NO on S. 1177, the Every Child Achieves Act.
Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121
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