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Share Support of ESEA Today

By November 29, 2015 No Comments

MREA encourages individuals share with their U.S. Representatives the importance of supporting an ESEA reauthorization and why the proposal serves as a strong starting point. The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote Dec. 2. Get their contact information.

Look up your Congress Rep.

The conference committee met before Thanksgiving break and voted to move forward with the conference report. Both Rep. Kline and Sen. Franken were instrumental in getting ESEA reauthorization into this approved conference committee report for action in both the US House and Senate. Access a handy run down of the programs included with in the ESEA framework and their authorized funding levels.

Legislative language for the bill, called Every Student Achieves Act (ESSA) will be available Nov. 30. There is a leaked version currently available (here) and that is a good place to start in terms of reviewing the bill.

Talking Points

You can craft your own talking points or a summary of the proposal or use these more general talking points:

  • Reauthorization is crucial to providing the nation’s schools with relief from current law, which is both broken and lacking in the flexibility states and local school districts need to support student learning and achievement
  • This proposal is a strong step in the right direction because it restores a more proper balance between federal, state and local government in public education.
  • This framework takes the pendulum of federal overreach and prescription and places it more squarely in the area of state and local expertise and autonomy.
  • This effort recognizes the importance of empowering state and local leaders to use their professional knowledge and proximal location to make the decisions necessary to successfully adhere to their educational missions.
  • This is not a perfect bill, but it gets far more right than it gets wrong, and our nation’s schools and students deserve a complete reauthorization and to be free from the limited, conditional nature of ESEA waivers.

Issue At A Glance

The Conference Committee considered nine amendments. Seven were adopted and two were rejected. AASA had weighed in on the amendments (read the conference committee letter). The two AASA supported were adopted.

  • Rep Thompson Title I Study Amendment – Rep Thompson (PA) is the long-time champion of the Title I formula rewrite on the House side. His complete rewrite was filed and not offered, and instead, he advanced this study, which would require the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Director to complete a study of the effectiveness of the formulas and weighting of formulas under Title I within 18 months. The goal of the report is to provide information on if funds are going to the neediest students, and evaluating the efficacy and equity within number and concentration weighting.
  • Sen Mike Enzi Early Childhood Amendment – The amendment would require a review and report to Congress within two years from enactment on possible elimination, overlap, and duplication of early childhood programs.

Other Adopted Amendments:

  • Rep Bonamici STEM Amendment – To expand the list of allowable activities under Title IV, including allowing an integration of STEM and the arts and support for other interdisciplinary programs.
  • Sen Bennet Overtesting Amendment – To allow states to place a target cap on the amount of time spent on testing. It is important to note that this is permitted, but not required.
  • Rep Messer Title II Amendment – To allow Title II funds to be used in support of educating teachers in the use of student data.
  • Rep Wilson DropOut Amendment – To help schools improve dropout and prevention programs by creating an additional use of Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) funds to provide schools funding for dropout prevention.
  • Rep. Polis ELL Amendment – To add an allowable use of Title III funds to provide dual enrollment and concurrent enrollment opportunities for English Language Learner (ELL) students to take college courses or earn an associate’s degree.

Stay Connected

Get the latest updates on the AASA blog.

Access a handy run down of the programs included with in the ESEA framework and their authorized funding levels.