Skip to Content

Fact Sheets

H.R. 3989, the Student Success Act


The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently known as No Child Left Behind, has been due for reauthorization since 2007. Despite its best intentions, there is widespread agreement that the current law is no longer effectively serving students. Under No Child Left Behind’s accountability system, known as Adequate Yearly Progress, all schools that fail to meet target proficiency levels for two or more consecutive years are required to undergo the same series of prescriptive federal interventions, regardless of the unique circumstances or challenges facing each school. Experts predict all schools could be labeled as failing by 2014.


House Republicans are moving forward with education reform. For too long, states and school districts have been inundated with federal intervention and bureaucratic red tape that has done little to improve student performance. The Student Success Act will return responsibility for student achievement to states and school districts, enhance local flexibility, protect taxpayers’ investments in education, and strengthen state and local autonomy.


  • Eliminates AYP and replaces it with state-determined accountability systems, thereby returning authority for measuring student performance to states and school districts.
  • Eliminates federally mandated actions and interventions currently required of poor performing schools, giving states and districts maximum flexibility to develop appropriate school improvement strategies and rewards for their schools.
  • Repeals federal “Highly Qualified Teacher” requirements.
  • Maintains the requirement that states and school districts issue and distribute annual report cards, including disaggregated data on student achievement and high school graduation rates while also streamlining data reporting to ensure meaningful information is easily available to parents and communities.
  • Allows states and school districts to use federal funds across certain federal programs to address their own unique needs.
  • Eliminates the 40 percent poverty threshold for schoolwide programs, allowing all Title I schools to operate whole school reform efforts with Title I money.
  • Removes all “Maintenance of Effort” or MOE requirements, allowing states and school districts to set their own funding levels for elementary and secondary education.
  • Maintains the law's Supplement, not Supplant requirements, which ensure that federal dollars are used on top of state and local resources, protecting the traditional federal role in education.
  • Protects state and local autonomy over decisions in the classroom by limiting the authority of the secretary of education. 

To read a summary of the Student Success Act, click here
To learn how the bill raises the bar for students and schools, click here
To learn how the bill reduces the federal role in education, click here

# # #
Stay Connected