ESEA Modernization Bill Passes the U.S. Senate

From the National School Boards Association (NSBA):

History has been made this afternoon as the U.S. Senate successfully voted on and passed S. 1177, the bipartisan Every Child Achieves Act, to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  S. 1177 just passed by a roll call vote of 81-17.  NSBA outlined its top priorities in a July 6 letter to the Senate, 1) reaffirming local-level decision making in public education and 2) opposing any proposals supporting vouchers or tuition tax credits to non-public schools.  NSBA accomplished both of these priorities and applauds the continued momentum on ESEA re-authorization.  Thank you for responding to our call to action today to urge final passage of S. 1177.

Last week, Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) introduced and successfully passed by voice vote Amendment No. 2079 for local governance.  This is a tremendous victory for school districts. Senators Angus King (I-ME) and Jon Tester (D-MT) co-sponsored the tripartisan amendment, which would “ensure that our local stakeholders have a stronger voice in both the regulatory and guidance processes” for ESEA.  “This amendment would ensure that communities have ultimate authority over their school districts,” said Senator Fischer, who is also a past president of the Nebraska Association of School Boards.  “It also strengthens the relationship among local school board members and parents.”

Both Wisconsin Senators, Ron Johnson (R) and Tammy Baldwin (D), voted for Passage.
View Roll Call Vote on Passage.

Next Steps: S. 1177 will now head to a Conference Committee with House and Senate leaders to reconcile differences with H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, which was passed last week by the U.S House of Representatives.

Read More: New York Times, Washington Post, Education Week’s (Politics K-12) Blog