WASHINGTON, D.C. | February 28, 2012 -
The amendment in the nature of a substitute for the Student Success Act makes a number of technical clarifications, but it also includes an important change that I’d like to highlight for the committee.
In reviewing feedback from members and education stakeholders, we have noticed a shared desire to provide important academic services and choice opportunities for students. We agree parents should have the ability to select the public school that best fits their children’s needs, and we also recognize the value of tutoring for children who need a little extra help.
To help ensure parents and students have access to these important resources, the substitute creates a new 3 percent set-aside states can use to award grants to school districts that wish to provide these services to students. Under the new authority, school districts could access funds to establish or expand public school choice programs. Additionally, districts could use these funds to support tutoring opportunities for students at low-performing schools. I’d like to thank Representatives Hunter and McKeon for their tireless work on this provision.
In closing, let me state once more that the fundamental purpose of the legislation is to reduce federal intrusion in the nation’s classrooms and put more control in the hands of the state and local leaders who know our children best. We are five years overdue on reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and with each year that passes, students suffer under the weight of an ineffective, outdated law.
The substitute amendment and the underlying legislation will untangle our nation’s classrooms from No Child Left Behind by removing the onerous Adequate Yearly Progress mandate and the antiquated Highly Qualified Teacher regulations, and allowing state and local leaders the freedom to develop superior schools and put students on the path to success.
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