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President Signs Bill to Reform K-12 Education

House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Ranking Member Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), along with Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), released the following statements after President Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act (S. 1177), a bipartisan, bicameral bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act:

“Today we begin a new approach to K-12 education that will help every child in every school receive an excellent education,” said Chairman Kline. “Classrooms will no longer be micromanaged by the U.S. Department of Education. Instead, parents, teachers, and state and local education leaders will regain control of their schools, and children will have a better shot at receiving a great education. This important achievement was possible because both sides agreed the status quo had to go and we had to find common ground. With numerous challenges facing the country, it’s time to build on this success. We have more work to do and more opportunities to deliver real results for the American people.”

"The Every Student Succeeds Act affirms that every student has the right to an equal education as stated in Brown v. Board of Education, and honors the civil rights legacy of the original ESEA,” said Ranking Member Bobby Scott. “Today, the President signed into law an embodiment of what we can achieve here in Washington – a workable compromise that does not force either side to desert its core beliefs. I commend my colleagues and our staffs for their diligence, and I have no doubt that this bipartisan legislation will make a positive difference in the lives of our nation’s students and live up to all of our ideals.”

“Today we are unleashing a new era of innovation and excellence in student achievement—one that recognizes that the path to higher standards, better teaching and real accountability is classroom by classroom, community by community, and state by state—and not through Washington, D.C,” said Chairman Alexander. “We have reversed the trend toward a national school board, repealed the federal Common Core mandate, and enacted what the Wall Street Journal called ‘the largest devolution of federal control to states in a quarter century.’ With his signature today, the president has joined the Senate and the House in sending a Christmas present to 50 million children and 3.4 million teachers in 100,000 public schools across this country—something they’ve been eagerly awaiting.”

“Today marks a great step forward in our nation’s continuing commitment to provide all students with a high-quality education,” said Senator Murray. “I’ve been so proud to work with both Republicans and Democrats to fix the badly broken No Child Left Behind law in a way that will work for students, parents, teachers, and communities in my home state of Washington and across the country. The Every Student Succeeds Act 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. Now, our work will begin to make sure this law is implemented effectively so all students have access to a quality education, regardless of where they live, how they learn, or how much money their parents make.”

Known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (S. 1177), the bipartisan, bicameral bill represents a compromise between the House-passed Student Success Act and the Senate-passed Every Child Achieves Act. The compromise bill was drafted by a House-Senate conference committee and approved by both chambers with overwhelming bipartisan support. To learn more about the Every Student Succeeds Act, visit edworkforce.house.gov/k12education.

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