WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, and Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Education announced the proposed rule for Title I spending under the Every Student Succeeds Act:
“We applaud Secretary King for working with stakeholders to put forth this proposed regulation on the Supplement Not Supplant provision in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This proposal will ensure Title I dollars are used to supplement state and local investment in public education for high-need students. For too long, the process of allocating public funds to support public education has lacked transparency and often resulted in underfunding high-poverty schools. When Title I dollars are used to fill gaps left by the inequitable allocation of state and local resources, the federal investment ceases to be truly supplemental. Indeed, it is counter to the spirit and intent of Title I to continue to allow federal funds to exacerbate inequalities at the state and local level.
“In combination with other transparency and resource equity requirements in ESSA, the proposed regulation will provide parents, educators, and communities with greater clarity on school financing, and it will result in increased support for high-poverty schools. Achieving true equity in education is not easy, but it is incumbent on all of us, at all levels of government, to work collectively to ensure that all schools in every community are equipped with the public resources necessary to graduate all students ready for college and career.
“During the ESEA reauthorization process, we fought hard to preserve the Department of Education’s regulatory authority to promulgate rules and issue guidance. With this proposal, the Department has fulfilled its responsibility to set clear expectations for compliance with statutory requirements through regulation. In addition, we believe this proposal honors Congressional intent to empower local leaders with greater latitude in the expenditure of Title I funds to support high-need students. Getting this right is important, and we expect that Secretary King will continue to work with stakeholders, including members of Congress, to ensure the final regulation sets a clear and enforceable standard that will improve equity of educational opportunity for all students.”