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Moving in the Right Direction

One Step Closer to Replacing NCLB

For years, parents, teachers, and state and local leaders across the country have expressed the urgent need to replace No Child Left Behind, a well-intended but flawed law that has not delivered on its promise to improve K-12 education. Yesterday, the House answered their call to action when members passed the Student Success Act, commonsense legislation that will help ensure students have access to a quality education that prepares them for a lifetime of opportunity and success.

The House’s work to end the era of top-down education policy and restore state, local, and parental control has been lauded as “the most conservative federal education move in a quarter century” that will “swing the pendulum back to minimal federal intrusion” in the nation’s classrooms.

As news reports highlight, the House advanced bold reforms that chart a new course for students, families, schools, and states.

  • The bill, sponsored by Minnesota Rep. John Kline, gives states and local school districts more control over assessing the performance of schools, teachers and their students. It also prohibits the federal government from requiring or encouraging specific sets of academic standards, such as Common Core, and allows federal money to follow low-income children to public schools of their choice, an issue known as portability.Associated Press
  • The bill explicitly bars the federal government from compelling states to adopt Common Core or any other set of standards, and also gives state and local government significantly more control over how they assess the performance of schools and teachers.Daily Caller
  • The House bill goes further in rolling back federal power, giving states leeway to untether federal funding from particular districts and permitting money to follow students to public schools of their choice. – Wall Street Journal
  • The House’s bill would take big steps to beef up local control in education. It would reduce the education secretary’s power and streamline federal education programs. And it would allow education funding to follow students to public schools of their choice.Politico
  • Final passage of the bill was a victory for GOP leaders and, really, for any lawmaker who wants to replace No Child Left Behind before the end of the 114th Congress. – CQ Roll Call

Education stakeholders commended the House for its clear commitment to improve education.

  • This bill is a strong step in the right direction because it restores a more proper balance between federal, state and local government in public education. H.R. 5 takes the pendulum of federal overreach and prescription and places it more squarely in the area of state and local expertise and autonomy. The bill 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. – American Association of School Administrators

  • The provisions within H.R. 5 will better ensure the participation of private school students and teachers in the programs funded under the ESEA and will better protect access for low-income and learning-challenged students in non-public schools … we are pleased the House has passed this bill for the reauthorization of ESEA.Orthodox Union
  • We commend the House for passing the Student Success Act … the [charter school] provisions in H.R. 5 support the growth of high-quality public charter schools, thereby addressing parental demand, and providing public school choice options for thousands of students on charter school waitlists across the country.National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

Upon passage of the bill, Chairman Kline remarked:

After years of working with education stakeholders and members of Congress, I’m pleased the House has advanced responsible reforms that would give the American people what they deserve: a commonsense law that will help every child in every school receive an excellent education.

I look forward to continuing this important effort and I am confident – as we have shown in the past – we can find common ground and send a bill to the president’s desk that will have a lasting, positive impact on America’s families.

To learn more about the Student Success Act, click here.

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