On February 9, House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline formally introduced his two ESEA reauthorization bills – the Student Success Act (H.R. 3989) and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act (H.R. 3990) – and announced a hearing on the bills for February 16.
NEA has a number of concerns about the Kline bills, starting first and foremost with their lack of commitment to ensuring equity in education for all students. NEA believes that every student, regardless of poverty, disability, or other challenges, deserves access to a quality education. All students have the human and civil right to a quality public education and a great public school that develops their potential, independence, and character. Read more about troubling gaps affecting equity, access, and opportunity in the House bills at http://www.nea.org/assets/docs/EQUITY_IN_EDUCATION_FOR_ALL_STUDENTS.pdf.
We are also very concerned with the Kline bills’ elimination of requirements under current law that ensure states maintain their level of funding for education. Without these requirements, states facing budget crises will certainly cut funding for education, leaving millions of students without the resources they need to succeed. Read more about the House bills, including a list of pros and cons http://www.nea.org/home/NoChildLeftBehindAct.html.
In the Senate, the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee passed a bill that includes a number of hard-fought victories, including leaving teacher evaluation to the state and local level where it belongs, giving states additional flexibility to help turnaround struggling schools, and ensuring that districts won’t force teachers to transfer to different schools. But, much more work needs to be done, particularly to reduce the focus on standardized testing. The Committee held a hearing on the bill for November 8, 2011. The bill is not expected to go to the Senate floor for debate and vote anytime soon.
Take Action Today: Educators working in schools and classrooms across the country are the best and most effective voices to ensure a good ESEA reauthorization bill. Your experience and expertise are critical to the debates in Congress and policymakers need to hear what you have to say. Contact your Representative today at http://capwiz.com/nea/issues/alert/?alertid=60069531 to give your thoughts about what will work best for your students and school.