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President Trump Signs Resolution Overturning Obama-era Regulation that Undermined Local Control of Schools

Resolution reaffirms that Congress writes laws — not the Department of Education

WASHINGTON, March 27 — President Trump today signed a resolution to rescind the Obama administration’s final regulation implementing accountability provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) – a victory for local school boards over a National School Board and an affirmation that Congress writes the law, not the Department of Education. After the President’s signature overturning the Obama-era regulation, Senate and House education committee leaders today released the following statements:

Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said: “In 2015, 85 United States senators voted for the law fixing No Child Left Behind that reversed the trend to a National School Board and restored decisions to classroom teachers, local school boards, and states. The Wall Street Journal said it was ‘the largest devolution of federal control to the states in a quarter-century.’ The President has done exactly the right thing today by overturning this Obama-era Department of Education regulation which sought to restore the National School Board and take away responsibility from classroom teachers and local school boards. President Trump rightly believes in local school boards over a National School Board, and perhaps more importantly recognizes that Congress writes the laws, not the Department of Education.”

House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) said: “With the Every Student Succeeds Act, we made a promise to parents and state and local education leaders to reduce the federal footprint in their classrooms. The accountability rule was a last-ditch attempt by the Obama administration to break that promise and continue to micromanage the nation’s schools. Today, we are rejecting this failed overreach once and for all. With this resolution, parents, states, and education leaders can move forward confidently with efforts to implement the law in their schools and communities. We look forward to encouraging and supporting their work to ensure every child receives an excellent education.”

Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education Chairman Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) said: “The Obama-era accountability rule disregarded Congressional intent and would have taken authority away from local school corporations and given it back to Washington.  This law signed by the President today undoes that rule, making sure that local education leaders have the ability and flexibility to craft plans for their schools that address the unique needs of their students.  The previous Washington-knows-best approach to education has officially ended, and I am proud of our work here to ensure that our nation’s education system is working for students, not federal bureaucrats.”


On November 29, 2016, the Department of Education released its final regulations on accountability, state plans, and report cards under ESSA, which says states must fulfill new requirements not included in the law.