House and Senate pass act that empowers parents, gives control back to states
Today, PublicSchoolOptions.org and parents across the country praised the U.S. Senate for passing the Every Student Succeeds Act that reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The conference report approved by the Senate today represents a compromise between the House-passed Student Success Act (H.R. 5) and the Senate-passed Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 (S. 1177). Last week, the House approved the bill’s conference report overwhelmingly. The bill now goes to President Obama for his signature.
The bill is a step forward in empowering parents with more options to determine the schools where their children learn best and gives the power back to states to determine how best to assess and improve its schools.
Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) introduced the Every Child Achieves Act earlier this year, the bill to replace No Child Left Behind, which passed the Senate in July.
The final piece of legislation will replace the current K-12 education law, No Child Left Behind. The bill now moves to the president’s desk for his signature.
STATEMENT FROM TILLIE ELVRUM, PUBLICSCHOOLOPTIONS.ORG PRESIDENT, SCHOOL CHOICE ADVOCATE AND PARENT LEADER:
“This bill has long been needed, and as parents and advocates for school choice, we are pleased to see it pass both the House and the Senate with strong bipartisanship. Now, it’s up to the president to sign this bill so that education decisions are given back to parents and states. This bill fosters more student-centered accountability and shifts power back to the states, both critical to our children’s academic success. Shifting more power to the states is a good thing, and we urge states to take their responsibility seriously in designing accountability systems that better serve its students and families.”
Every Student Succeeds Act highlights:
• Removes the mandated focus on school- or district-wide averages in accountability designs and allows for focus on student-centered accountability.
• Allows greater flexibility to states, which will need to follow through, to design testing and accountability systems that empower parents.
• Prohibits any federal coercion or mandate on Common Core by allowing states to develop their own standards.
• Empowers parents to make informed choices in selecting the school that best serves a student’s learning needs.
PublicSchoolOptions.org is a national alliance of over 60,000 parents that supports and defends parents’ rights to access the best public school options for their children. The Coalition supports the creation of public school options, including charter schools, online schools, magnet schools, open enrollment policies and other innovative education programs. Additionally, we advocate for equal access without restrictions to the school that best suits the individual student’s learning needs whether it is public, non-public or home-based.
With active parent-led organizations in over thirty states, PublicSchoolOptions.org is an advocacy organization that is unmatched at the grassroots level. Just as parents have fought for years at the state level to support education policies that improve access and provide greater public school options, the parents of PublicSchoolOptions.org stand ready to support policy at the federal level that matches the principles outlined above.