WASHINGTON, D.C. — Key education leaders in the House and Senate met on July 30 to discuss proceeding with a conference committee to resolve differences in the House- and Senate-passed bills to replace No Child Left Behind.
They included House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.), Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Senate Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and House Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-Va.)
Kline said, “There is a lot of work to do in the coming months, and I am confident we will be able to craft a bicameral education bill that reduces the federal role, restores local control, and empowers parents and education leaders. Those are the kind of education reforms the American people expect and we must deliver. I look forward to continuing this important effort and putting in place new policies that will help every child in every school receive an excellent education.”
Alexander said, “Fifty million children and 3.5 million teachers deserve to get a result, and we should be able to achieve that this fall. While there are important differences, the consensus supporting the framework for the House and Senate bills is the same: Continue the law’s important measurements of academic progress of students but restore to states, school districts, classroom teachers and parents the responsibility for deciding what to do about improving student achievement.”
Murray said, “I am proud of the bipartisan work we did in the Senate to reach this point, and I am hopeful that we can build on this bipartisan foundation to take the final steps to get this bill to the President’s desk. As we head toward conference, I look forward to continuing to improve the final bill to make sure all students have access to a good education, regardless of where they live, how they learn, or how much money their parents make.”
Scott said, “The right to educational opportunity knows no state boundaries, and federal law must protect this right for all students regardless of race, income, disability, or language status. I am confident that working together, we will produce a comprehensive reauthorization that fulfills the ESEA’s (Elementary and Second-ary Education Act’s) original civil rights legacy. I stand committed to producing a bipartisan bill that eliminates resource inequities and effectively addresses achievement gaps.”
The House passed the Student Success Act on July 8.
The Senate passed the Every Child Achieves Act on July 16.
The two chambers will form a conference committee to reconcile the differences between the two bills and develop a bicameral agreement.