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House Votes to Rein in Federal Role in Education
Passes joint resolutions of disapproval on teacher preparation and accountability rules

The House voted today to block two flawed Obama administration regulations that, if implemented, would expand the federal role in education and diminish the ability for state and local leaders to make decisions affecting their students, teachers, and schools.

Introduced by Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee Chairman Brett Guthrie (R-KY), H. J. Res. 58 stops a rule related to teacher preparation programs. Finalized in October 2016, the rule significantly expands the federal government’s involvement in teacher preparation and may lead to fewer teachers serving some our nation’s most vulnerable children.

“Having the best and brightest teachers in our nation’s classrooms helps ensure that students receive the high-quality education they deserve. Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s misguided teacher preparation rule has the opposite effect,” Chairman Guthrie said. “The resolution passed today would block the flawed rule, which hurts teachers and students across the country, particularly those in low-income neighborhoods. It also provides an opportunity to address teacher preparation responsibly in the context of a broader effort to strengthen the higher education system.”

H. J. Res. 57 — introduced by Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee Chairman Todd Rokita (R-IN) — addresses a regulation implementing accountability provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act. The bipartisan law empowers states to develop systems for holding schools accountable to parents and taxpayers through annual evaluations. However, the regulation dictates prescriptive accountability requirements and violates prohibitions on the Secretary of Education’s authority.

“With the Every Student Succeeds Act, Congress made a promise to students, parents, and local education leaders that the days of one-size-fits-all federal education policies are over. With this resolution, we are taking action to keep that promise,” Chairman Rokita said. “By blocking implementation of the Obama administration’s accountability rule, we are giving states the certainty they need to move forward with their own efforts to implement the law and provide their students with the excellent education every child deserves.”

After the vote, Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) expressed her support for both resolutions and applauded the chairmen for their leadership in protecting state and local control of education.

“Today, the House took an important step to limit the federal government’s hold on our nation’s classrooms, colleges, and universities. These resolutions will help protect local control and ensure every child has the best chance to receive a high-quality education,” Chairwoman Foxx said. “I appreciate all that Representatives Rokita and Guthrie have done to champion this effort and look forward to delivering additional reforms that will lead to a more appropriate federal role in education. These are precisely the kinds of positive solutions America’s students, teachers, and schools deserve.”

BACKGROUND: Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress may pass a resolution of disapproval to prevent, with the full force of the law, a federal agency from implementing a rule or issuing a substantially similar rule without congressional authorization. The resolutions introduced by Chairmen Guthrie and Rokita and passed by the House would block the teacher preparation and accountability rules from taking effect and prevent future administrations from promulgating similar rules.

To read the teacher preparation resolution, click here.

To read the accountability resolution, click here.

For more information on both measures, click here.


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