03.09.16

King Nomination Clears Committee, Murray Calls for Strong Leadership at Dept. of Education

Murray: This is a critical moment for K-12 education as we transition from the broken No Child Left Behind law to the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act

 

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee voted to move forward with Dr. John King’s nomination to the position of U.S. Secretary of Education by a vote of 16 to 6. In prepared remarks submitted for the record, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the ranking member of the committee made the following statement:

 

Key excerpts from Senator Murray’s remarks:

 

“The role of Education Secretary has become especially important as the Department begins implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act. This new law gives states more flexibility, but also includes strong federal guardrails to make sure every student has access to a high quality education. I expect the Department to use its full authority under the Every Student Succeeds Act to: hold schools and states accountable, to help reduce reliance on redundant and unnecessary testing, and to expand access to high quality preschool.”

 

“A good education can be a powerful driving force for success in our country, and it can help more families live out the American Dream. That’s what makes education such a vital piece of our work to help our economy grow from the middle out, not the top down.  And I hope to partner with Dr. King as Secretary of Education to work toward that shared goal. I look forward to moving forward with his nomination.”

 

Full text of Senator Murray’s remarks:

 

“Thank you, Chairman Alexander.

 

“This is an important time for students of all ages – from our youngest learners all the way to those pursuing college and career training.

 

“In recent years, the cost of college has skyrocketed, leaving families and students to struggle with high costs and the crushing burden of student debt.

 

“When it comes to early learning, we’ve seen improvements. But we have much more to do to expand access to high-quality preschool so more kids can start school on strong footing. 

 

“And this is a critical moment for K-12 education as schools, districts, and states transition from the broken No Child Left Behind law to our bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act that the President signed into law late last year.

 

“With all of these challenges and opportunities, it’s important for the Department of Education to have strong leadership.

 

“I support Dr. John King’s nomination to lead the Department as Secretary of Education.

 

“Dr. King has a longstanding commitment to fighting for kids.

 

“Through his personal background, he knows firsthand the power that education can have in a student’s life.

 

“He has enriched students’ lives as a classroom teacher and principal.

 

“He has worked with schools to help close achievement gaps.

 

“And he served as the commissioner of education for New York state for four years.

 

“No one can question his passion for our nation’s young people.

 

“Over the next several months, I hope the Department will work on several key areas to help students and families across the country.

 

“In higher education, I – along with my Democratic colleagues – will continue to focus on ways to make college more affordable and reduce the crushing burden of student debt that is weighing on so many families today.

 

“The role of Education Secretary has become especially important as the Department begins implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act.

 

“This new law gives states more flexibility, but also includes strong federal guardrails to make sure every student has access to a high quality education.

 

“I expect the Department to use its full authority under the Every Student Succeeds Act to: hold schools and states accountable, to help reduce reliance on redundant and unnecessary testing, and to expand access to high quality preschool.

 

“A good education can be a powerful driving force for success in our country, and it can help more families live out the American Dream.

 

“That’s what makes education such a vital piece of our work to help our economy grow from the middle out, not the top down.

 

“And I hope to partner with Dr. King as Secretary of Education to work toward that shared goal.

 

“I look forward to moving forward with his nomination today.

 

“Thank you.”