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President Signs Resolution to Rein in Federal Role in Education

Joint resolution of disapproval blocks Obama administration’s teacher preparation regulation

President Trump today signed a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act that blocks a flawed Obama administration regulation related to teacher preparation programs. Introduced in the House by Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY), chairman of the Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee, and championed by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) in the Senate, H. J. Res. 58 is one of two resolutions passed by Congress and signed by the president to rein in the federal role and help maintain state and local control over education.

Members issued the following statements in response to the president’s action:

“After eight years of regulatory overreach, I am proud to join President Trump and Chairwoman Foxx to reverse President Obama’s misguided approach to how teachers are prepared for the classroom,” Rep. Guthrie said. “Now signed into law, my resolution will make it easier for prospective teachers to get into the classroom and will give Congress the opportunity to review teacher preparation programs through the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.”

“With this resolution, Congress and the president are sending a strong signal that the days of federal overreach in education are over,” Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) said. “This resolution is one way we are keeping our promise to leave important education decisions to the state and local education leaders who know best what their students and teachers need to succeed in the classroom. Great teachers can help ensure every child receives an excellent education. Under unified Republican leadership, we will continue working to ensure local leaders have the flexibility they need to prepare their teachers for success as we advance bold solutions to strengthen higher education.”

"Chalk up a win for kids and common-sense,” Sen. Sasse said. “Everyone in Washington wants good teachers for our kids but that doesn’t give them a license to micromanage thousands of teacher training programs. Today we put student-focused innovation ahead of top-down regulation."

“This regulation would have forced teacher evaluations on states, something Congress specifically prohibited in the bill fixing No Child Left Behind that got 85 votes in the Senate,” Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said. “I’m glad President Trump has signed this resolution that makes clear that states, and not a distant department in Washington, have the responsibility for saying whether a teacher is prepared for the classroom.”

BACKGROUND: Finalized in October 2016, the teacher preparation rule significantly expanded the federal government’s involvement in teacher preparation and could have led to fewer teachers serving some of our nation’s most vulnerable children. 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 resolution blocks the teacher preparation rule from taking effect and prevents future administrations from promulgating a similar rule.

To read the teacher preparation resolution, click here.

For more information on both resolutions, click here.

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