Scott Statement on Passage of Bipartisan Bill to Fix No Child Left Behind

December 2, 2015
Press Release

As originally released by the Committee on Education and the Workforce, Democrats

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ranking Member Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on the 359-64 passage of S.1177, the Every Student Succeeds Act – a bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and replace No Child Left Behind:

“Today’s bipartisan vote to reauthorize the ESEA affirms the principles of Brown v. Board of Education, which held that ‘it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education,’ and ‘that such an opportunity is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.’

“Fifty years ago, Congress originally passed ESEA to help make that right a reality, and throughout this process, Democrats ensured that the Every Student Succeeds Act truly honored the civil rights legacy of the law.

“Today’s vote is also an embodiment of what we can achieve here in Washington – a workable compromise that does not force either side to desert its core beliefs.  This agreement ensures that when achievement gaps are found, meaningful action will be taken to intervene and support the needs of students. It ensures that funds will continue to be directed to communities most in need and it give teachers and schools the resources they need to support all students. 

“The Every Student Succeeds Act brings our education system into the 21st century, and will make a positive difference in the lives of our nation’s students by giving every student an equal chance to succeed. I look forward to the vote by the Senate that will send President Obama a bill that is indeed worthy of his signature.”

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FACT SHEET – S. 1177, EVERY STUDENT SUCCEEDS ACT

The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 lives up to the promises of Brown v. Board of Education and the intent of the original Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) by building on past reauthorizations of the law while addressing the key challenges presented by the most recent authorization of ESEA, No Child Left Behind. The Every Student Succeeds Act:  

  • Puts in place assessment, accountability, and improvement systems that will close achievement gaps with evidence-based strategies that meet the unique needs of students and schools.
  • Requires states to set high standards for all children, including by capping participation of students with disabilities in alternate assessments.
  • Requires meaningful state and local action in every school where students – or any subgroup of students – aren’t learning. It requires that any action taken to support school improvement is driven by student outcomes – and that poverty can't be used as an excuse for not stepping up to better serve students.
  • Supports teachers and school leaders with resources and professional development opportunities that will prepare today’s learners for tomorrow’s workforce.
  • Provides dedicated funding to improve student access to critical support and community services, a well-rounded curriculum, and improved technology in our nation’s most disadvantaged schools.
  • Helps states and school districts reduce the overuse of exclusionary discipline practices by allowing funding to be used for Youth PROMISE plans.
  • Drives federal dollars to the schools and communities that need them the most. It requires transparent reporting of data to ensure schools are responsible for not only the achievement of all their students, but also for the equitable allocation of resources to support student learning. States and districts will be required, for the first time, to address resource inequities in school improvement.
  • Recognizes the importance of early learning – a priority in both red and blue states alike – by authorizing a program to assist with coordination of state and federal programs to ensure our nation’s most vulnerable students aren’t starting kindergarten behind their peers.
  • Ensures the federal government maintains authority to implement the law and to hold bad actors accountable for not complying with federal law.

The bill text can be found here.

A section by section summary of the bill can be found here.