Alexandria, Va. (July 7, 2015) — The National School Boards Association (NSBA) commends the U.S. Congress for taking up the outdated No Child Left Behind law. As debate commenced today for floor action of the Senate’s Every Child Achieves Act (S. 1177), NSBA sent a letter to all 100 U.S. Senators urging their strong support for moving forward on a final bill that restores community ownership to local school districts, maximizes authorized funding for Title I, and advances academic achievement among all students.
During the Senate floor action, key amendments were introduced for debate and consideration. NSBA is pleased that Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) introduced a bipartisan amendment focused on strengthening local governance. NSBA worked closely with Senator Fischer and Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Angus King (I-ME), who co-sponsored the amendment, to assure that S. 1177 includes strong support for local autonomy in managing school administration, budget development and related operations that support school district responsibilities for student achievement. Additionally, the White House released a Statement of Administration Policy affirming the President’s intent not to veto the final Senate bill.
“NSBA applauds the Senate for advancing the Every Child Achieves Act for floor consideration,” stated NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “We will continue to advocate on behalf of America’s 90,000 school board members for final legislation that allows local education leaders to stimulate innovation and creative thinking to improve student achievement versus imposing a one-size-fits-all approach,” said Gentzel.
“Each school district has unique strengths and challenges that are specific to its schools and students. Because of this, parents, teachers, school boards, and communities are in the best position to know the needs of their students – they are an integral part of every child’s academic success,” stated Senator Fischer. “The role of the federal government should be to promote policies that will improve the ability of individual states to meet the needs of their specific communities.”
In addition, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Rules convened this evening to consider the Rule to govern further debate on the Student Success Act (H.R.5). Several new amendments were introduced that the House is expected to debate in the coming days.
“Although no one expects a perfect bill at week’s end, NSBA commends lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for continuing the march forward to modernize the education law and end years of uncertainty,” stated Michael Zola, NSBA Associate Executive Director, Federal Advocacy and Public Policy.
In collaboration with the State and Local Governance Coalition, NSBA calls for a final bill that reverses unnecessary federal intrusion into local and state governance. As today’s legislative activity is the start of an ongoing debate, NSBA will continue to strongly advocate for local governance under the law and oppose any proposals supporting vouchers or tuition credits to non-public schools.
The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is the leading advocate for public education and supports equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership. NSBA represents state school boards associations and their more than 90,000 local school board members throughout the U.S. Learn more at www.nsba.org
Important note: On the Fischer et al bipartisan amendment, it is important to share that Fischer’s use of “Federal Intrusion” is not accidental. NSBA developed and introduced the language Fischer et al cite at the Delegate Assembly in New Orleans. It is key to share and recognize that Delegate Assembly-approved resolution language was presented on the floor of the U.S. Senate in a tri-partisan amendment. Here we see NSBA taking a proactive role in introducing language of benefit to members as the broken federal education law – No Child Left Behind – undergoes rewrite and reauthorization.
NSBA’s 2015 Delegate Assembly Resolutions Core Resolutions 1, 3, 4 https://www.nsba.org/sites/default/files/file/2015-NSBA-Resolutions.pdf