Murray, Senate Dems Condemn Republicans for Voting to Weaken Bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act
Senate passed resolution to roll back flexibilities for accountability, reporting standards and state plan submission requirements
Murray: “Today, Republicans stepped away from this bipartisan agreement, weakened the Every Student Succeeds Act, and retreated from the law’s commitment to strong federal guardrails we agreed to put in place to prevent students from falling through the cracks”
Murray: “I will do everything I can to ensure that Secretary DeVos does not use this vacuum to enact her anti-public school agenda”
(Washington, D.C.) – Led by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Senate Democrats condemned Senate Republican for voting to significantly weaken the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act and give a blank check to Secretary DeVos to implement her anti-public school agenda. Senate Democrats were joined by Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) to vote against resolution – the final vote was: 50-49.
“Just over a year ago, Democrats and Republicans worked together to pass a strong federal education law through the Senate that would have gone a long way toward making sure that every student had the opportunity to succeed no matter where they live, how they work, or how much money their parents make,” said Senator Murray. “Today, Republicans stepped away from this bipartisan agreement, weakened the Every Student Succeeds Act, and retreated from the law’s commitment to strong federal guardrails we agreed to put in place to prevent students from falling through the cracks.”
“The action by Republicans today is significant step in the wrong direction, and it will have a serious impact on students, schools, and districts across the country. Just as we saw when Secretary DeVos was jammed through the Senate at the strong objection of Democrats and parents across the country—Republicans have once again put partisanship and politics above public education. ESSA passed with 85 votes in the Senate, and the fact that Republicans jammed this through a year later to undercut the bipartisan intent of the law absolutely continues the partisanship and erosion of trust—and certainly impacts ability to work together and trust Republican to maintain good faith on future bipartisan bills.”
In 2015, the Senate passed the Every Student Succeeds Act to fix the broken No Child Left Behind education law. In December 2016, the Department of Education issued a final rule to implement key accountability, state plan, and reporting provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act. The rule incorporated over 20,000 comments from education stakeholders around the country, and was applauded by groups representing state chiefs and district superintendents commended the Department of Education for addressing many of their concerns in the new rule.
“Although our bipartisan law has now been significantly weakened, I will do everything I can to ensure that Secretary DeVos does not use this vacuum to enact her anti-public school agenda, and will hold her accountable to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act as Congress intended even in the absence of this clear guidance,” said Senator Murray.
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