Hill Happenings – ESEA Reauthorization

EIA is constantly providing its members with the very latest directly from Capitol Hill.  Recently, I sent a letter to all members detailing the current status of ESEA Reauthorization.  At that time, it seemed progress was being made and it is.  Of course, there are many roadblocks standing in the way.  

Last week there was a bipartisan rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act when the U.S. Senate education committee unanimously approved a new bill, known as the “Every Child Achieves Act of 2015.”   It notably scraps the federal accountability yardstick known as adequate yearly progress, and instead would allow states to create their own accountability systems.

The five main points of the bill include the following features:
  • It would maintain the annual federal testing requirement.

  • It would allow states to create their own accountability systems.

  • It would maintain the requirement that states report disaggregated data to highlight achievements of subgroups of students.

  • It would not allow Title I dollars for low-income students to follow students to the public or private school of their choice.

  • It would maintain the requirement that states adopt challenging academic standards, but add the clarification that the federal government may not mandate or provide incentives for states to adopt any particular set of standards, including Common Core State Standards.

Full discussion on the Senate floor is hoped for, but it will require many senators to abandon some of the 57 amendments they added to the bill, including how to handle bullying issues at the federal and state levels.  Clearly, there is a long way to go.  The Education Industry Association will keep you informed.  


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