WASHINGTON, D.C. | February 3, 2015 — House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee Chairman Todd Rokita (R-IN) today introduced legislation to improve K-12 education and replace No Child Left Behind. Based on a proposal passed by the House in 2013, the Student Success Act (H.R. 5) will reduce the federal footprint and restore local control, while empowering parents and education leaders to hold schools accountable for effectively teaching students.
“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.”
A delegation of MSBA Board Directors were in Washington, D.C., advocating for Minnesota public schools this past week. During their stay, the MSBA group met privately with Rep. Kline. “Our conversations with Congressman Kline showed how serious he is about making the Elementary and Secondary Education Act work for students and local school districts,” said Kathy Green, an MSBA Board Director from Austin Public Schools. “It is encouraging to witness our legislators in both houses now working toward this goal, it is long overdue.”
“Continuing to leave students, states, and school districts tied to a failing law is unacceptable,” said Rep. Rokita. “This bill is designed to restore educational control to its proper place and reduce the federal government’s intrusion into our classrooms. By empowering families, teachers, and local school districts, we can place more students on a successful path. With more than a decade since any reforms have been enacted, I see advancing the Student Success Act as an example of why I came to Washington as part of ‘the new crew’ — to help Americans build better lives for themselves by reducing the footprint of the federal government.”
Chairman Kline continued, “Over the last four years, the committee has held more than a dozen hearings that examined the challenges facing K-12 classrooms. Americans have waited long enough for reforms that will fix a broken education system. We have a lot of work to do, and now is the time to get started. Today marks an important step toward a new law that will better serve educators, parents, and students. As the legislative process unfolds, I look forward to working with my Republican and Democrat colleagues and considering their ideas for improving the law.”
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.
- Strengthens existing efforts to improve student performance among targeted student populations, including English learners and homeless children.
- Empowers parents with more school choice options by continuing support for magnet schools and expanding charter school opportunities, as well as allowing federal funds to follow low-income children to the traditional public or charter school of the parent’s choice.