The U.S. Senate has ended the consideration of their legislation to rewrite the mammoth Elementary and Secondary Education Act -ESEA by passing SB-1177 named the “Every Child Achieves Act” -ECAA. The Act includes the highly controversial NCLB -No Child Left Behind and the widely supported Title 1 through Title 10 programs– containing Reading programs, Indian Tribal aid and Military Base Impact aid for public schools, as well as many other areas of funding, in a complex collection of programs.
The high level process, which came to the Senate floor ten days ago, was skillfully led by Republican Senator Lamar Alexander -TN, who was Secretary of Education under President George H. W. Bush. Alexander is a long time “national education plan” supporter, former Governor, former Chair of the National Governors Association -NGA (which created Common Core) and former ally with the Clinton administration agenda for education. Alexander co-authored the bill with Democrat Senator Debbie Murray -WA. Murray with all the other Democrats voted to keep federal control of Education. That vote is seen clearly in the rejection (54 to 44) of Republican Senator Daines’ Amendment 2110, which would have gutted NCLB’s Federal Control on July 9. Alexander with eight Republicans joined the Democrats on that vote to stop the amendment. https://lindamurphyoklahomaeducator.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/republican-senators-try-but-fail-to-let-states-opt-out-of-federal-accountability-controls/
One of the Democrat supported amendments which failed to get enough Republicans to pass, Senator Al Franken’s Amendment 2193, would have expanded federal control to include regulations regarding discrimination against LGBT students. At the end of the process, Senator Alexander slid into home base with his bill SB-1177 after pressuring, persuading, listening and opening the process to receive 190 amendments. The vast majority of those amendments did not get an individual hearing by the full senate but the ones which did are listed below.
During the debate and passage of the bill, thousands of calls, letters, emails and tweets against and for SB-1177 were received by Senators who had to decide how to vote at each point of the process and how to cast their final vote on the complex collection of programs that should never have been contained in one very diversified and huge package, in my opinion. That is one of the reasons we end up with very bad laws. NCLB -No Child Left Behind could probably have been defeated and repealed if it were not contained in ESEA with all of the other programs that are highly supported. Of course, those who voted for Federal Control over our schools know that!
House ESEA rewrite bill HR-5 has already passed and the final bill to reauthorize ESEA will be the product of decisions made in the days ahead. https://lindamurphyoklahomaeducator.wordpress.com/2015/07/09/washington-has-prove-time-and-again-that-it-doesnt-know-best-passage-of-hr-5-education-bill/
The final ESEA rewrite could end up being acceptable or unacceptable to a majority of members of the combined House and Senate. Then the President can sign or veto any bill that reaches his desk. He has already said he will veto the House bill HR-5, which does away with more federal control than the Senate bill SB-1177.
This huge Senate bill will be discussed and dissected for days and years to come. It is important to find out in your own state, what your Senators voted for and against. Not just their final vote on the bill but on the amendments as well. Some Senators who highly oppose the federal control of education voted for the bill knowing they had taken out as much federal control as they could in the current Senate. The NCLB -No Child Left Behind Act was added to ESEA under President Geo. W. Bush and the split in support and opposition to it in the Republican party will continue to be heard in the Presidential Primary. Senators Ted Cruz -TX and Rand Paul -KY have their voting record on this bill to show their determination to STOP Federal Control of Education. The battle is over on SB-1177 but many battles lie ahead on Federal and State control over our schools and our children’s lives.
Here is what Republican Senator Chuck Grassley -IA, a longtime fighter for Local Control of education said about one part of SB-1177 where Federal Control is removed:
“It eliminates the very specific mandates on states requiring that they evaluate schools based on test scores and apply federally designed interventions. States will be free to design their own assessment and accountability systems. The bill retains the requirement that states test annually in grades 3-8, which I understand was necessary to get a bipartisan agreement. However, states will have wide discretion in how they design their assessments. And, the elimination of the federally mandated school interventions that raise the stakes on the test results will reduce teaching to the test. This bill also consolidates federal funding in a way that provides more latitude to local school districts to better meet their individual needs, although less so than in the House-passed bill,” ” — Senator Chuck Grassley, Republican -Iowa
Amendments Passed and Rejected on SB-1177 (190 amendments were filed, these were brought to a vote) U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 114th Congress – 1st Session (2015)
|Vote (Tally)||Result||Question: Description||Issue||Date|
|249 (81-17)||Passed||On Passage of the Bill: S. 1177 As Amended; An original bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to ensure that every child achieves.||S. 1177||Jul 16|
|248 (79-18)||Agreed to||On the Cloture Motion: Motion to Invoke Cloture on S. 1177; An original bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to ensure that every child achieves.||S. 1177||Jul 16|
|247 (45-52)||Rejected||On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2242: Casey Amdt. No. 2242; To establish a Federal-State partnership to provide access to high-quality public prekindergarten programs from low-income and moderate-income families to ensure that they enter kindergarten prepared for success, and for other purposes.||S. 1177||Jul 16|
|246 (53-44)||Agreed to||On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2100: Brown Amdt. No. 2100; To amend title V of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to establish a full-service community schools grant program.||S. 1177||Jul 16|
|245 (59-39)||Agreed to||On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2247: Burr Amdt. No. 2247 As Modified; To amend the allocation of funds under subpart 2 of part A of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.||S. 1177||Jul 16|
|244 (68-30)||Agreed to||On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2243: Coons Amdt. No. 2243; To authorize the establishment of American Dream Accounts.||S. 1177||Jul 16|
|243 (43-55)||Rejected||On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2177: Sanders Amdt. No. 2177; To provide for youth jobs, and for other purposes.||S. 1177||Jul 16|
|242 (40-58)||Rejected||On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2180: Cruz Amdt. No. 2180; To provide for State-determined assessment and accountability systems, and for other purposes.||S. 1177||Jul 16|
|241 (43-54)||Rejected||On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2241: Murphy Amdt. No. 2241; To amend the accountability provisions.||S. 1177||Jul 15|
|240 (46-50)||Rejected||On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2161: Kirk Amdt. No. 2161; To ensure that States measure and report on indicators of student access to critical educational resources and identify disparities in such resources, and for other purposes.||S. 1177||Jul 15|
|239 (58-39)||Rejected||On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2171: Heitkamp Amdt. No. 2171; To reinstate grants to improve the mental health of children.||S. 1177||Jul 15|
|238 (44-53)||Rejected||On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2176: Markey Amdt. No. 2176; To establish a climate change education program.||S. 1177||Jul 15|
|237 (86-12)||Agreed to||On the Cloture Motion S.Amdt. 2089: Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Alexander Amdt. No. 2089; In the nature of a substitute.||S. 1177||Jul 15|
|236 (52-45)||Rejected||On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2093: Franken Amdt. No. 2093; To end discrimination based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity in public schools.||S. 1177||Jul 14|
|235 (32-64)||Rejected||On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2162: Lee Amdt No. 2162; To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 relating to parental notification and opt-out of assessments.||S. 1177||Jul 14|
|234 (97-0)||Agreed to||On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2194: Isakson Amdt. No. 2194; To require local educational agencies to inform parents of any State or local educational agency policy, procedure, or parental right regarding student participation in any mandated assessments for that school year.||S. 1177||Jul 14|
|233 (56-40)||Agreed to||On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2169: Booker Amdt. No. 2169; To require a State’s report card to include information on the graduation rates of homeless children and children in foster care.||S. 1177||Jul 14|
|232 (45-51)||Rejected||On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2132: Scott Amdt. No. 2132; To expand opportunity by allowing Title I funds to follow low-income children.||S. 1177||Jul 14|
|228 (98-0)||Agreed to||On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2094: Toomey Amdt. No. 2094 As Modified; To ensure that States have policies or procedures that prohibit aiding or abetting of sexual abuse, and for other purposes.||S. 1177||Jul 09|
|227 (98-0)||Agreed to||On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2099: Brown Amdt. No. 2099; To amend part A of title IV of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to allow funds provided under such part to be used for a site resource coordinator.||S. 1177||Jul 09|
|226 (44-54)||Rejected||On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2110: Daines Amdt. No. 2110; To allow a State to submit a declaration of intent to the Secretary of Education to combine certain funds to improve the academic achievement of students.||S. 1177||Jul 09|
|225 (45-52)||Rejected||On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2139: Alexander Amdt. No. 2139; To allow States to let Federal funds for the education of disadvantaged children follow low-income children to the accredited or otherwise State-approved public school, private school, or supplemental educational services program they attend.||S. 1177||Jul 08|
|224 (56-41)||Agreed to||On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2107: Tester Amdt. No. 2107; To restore sections of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.||S. 1177||Jul 08|
|223 (47-50)||Rejected||On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2109: Hirono Amdt. No. 2109; To amend section 1111(b)(2)(B)(xi) to provide for additional disaggregation for local educational agencies with a total of not less than 1,000 Asian and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander students.||S. 1177||Jul 08|
|222 (98-0)||Agreed to||On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2085: Reed. Amdt. No. 2085; To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 regarding school librarians and effective school library programs.||S. 1177||Jul 08|