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House-Senate Conference Committee Approves Framework to Improve K-12 Education

Today, the House-Senate conference committee reached agreement on a proposal to improve K-12 education and replace No Child Left Behind. The agreement 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).

No Child Left Behind has been failing students, parents, teachers, and state and local education leaders for far too long, and today we took an important step in replacing this flawed law,” said Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN). “But there is still work to be done. We now have to turn this framework into a final bill for our House and Senate colleagues to review. I am confident that once they do, they will see it as an opportunity to replace a failed approach to education with a new approach that will reduce the federal role, restore local control, and empower parents. We will continue to work with all of our colleagues in the House as we move this important process forward.”

“The winners today are 50 million children and 3 million teachers in 100,000 public schools,” said Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN). “Our action would restore to states, communities, and teachers the responsibility for improving student achievement. This is a bipartisan step forward to fix the No Child Left Behind law that everyone wants fixed. The United States Senate and House of Representatives should complete our work in December so that the president can sign it into law before the end of the year.”

“With today's vote by the conference committee to reauthorize the ESEA, we have moved closer to advancing the principles of Brown v. Board of Education, which said that the opportunity for a public education 'is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms,'” said Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA). “This agreement ensures that when achievement gaps are found, meaningful action will be taken to intervene and support the needs of students. It ensures that funds will continue to be directed to communities and give teachers and schools the resources they need to support all students. I look forward to the vote by the House and Senate that will send President Obama a bill that is indeed worthy of his signature.”

“Taking this next step to finally fix the broken No Child Left Behind law is great news for students, parents, teachers, and communities in my home state of Washington and across the country,” said Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. “I am proud that our agreement includes strong federal guardrails to ensure all students have access to a quality education, reduces reliance on high-stakes testing, makes strong investments to improve and expand access to preschool for our youngest learners, and so much more. I appreciate the hard work that so many Democrats and Republicans have put into this agreement, and I am optimistic that it can pass both chambers of Congress and get signed into law to help more students across the country get the chance to learn, grow, and thrive in the classroom and beyond.”

A summary of the framework approved by the conference committee can be found here.

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