Education: ‘One More Example That Congress Is Back To Work’

In The Field Of Education Policy, ‘For The First Time In Years, There Is Hope A New Law Could Pass’


Bipartisan ‘Sweeping Rewrite’ Of Federal Education Law’

AP: “The Senate on Wednesday cleared the way for a vote on a bipartisan bill to rewrite the Bush-era No Child Left Behind education law, which is long overdue for an overhaul.” (“Senate Advances Education Revamp,” AP, 7/15/15)

  • “Sponsored by Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the legislation would narrow No Child Left Behind's federal involvement in public schools by giving states and school districts more control over assessing the performance of schools, teachers and students. It would keep the law's requirement for annual math and reading tests but prohibit the federal government from requiring or encouraging specific sets of academic standards, such as Common Core.” (“Senate To Vote On Revision To No Child Education Law,” AP, 7/16/15)
  • “It passed the committee unanimously in April. No small feat, agree Alexander, a former U.S. education secretary, and Murray, a former preschool teacher — who had to win over conservatives on the panel like GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky as well as more liberal members, such as Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren.” (“Senate, House Look To Update Bush-Era Education Law,” AP, 7/7/15)

CQ: ‘The chamber completes work on the sweeping rewrite of the expired No Child Left Behind education law’ “The Senate reconvenes at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, July 16 and after leader remarks is expected to resume consideration of a No Child Left Behind overhaul (S 1177). The Senate will continue to vote on amendments Thursday as the chamber completes work on the sweeping rewrite of the expired No Child Left Behind education law (PL 107-110).” (“Final Passage Vote on Education Expected Thursday,” CQ SenateWatch, 7/15/15)

Arizona Republic: ‘Congress this week is debating a rewrite of the most important law governing the federal role in K-12 education … for the first time in years, there is hope a new law could pass’ “…Congress this week is debating a rewrite of the most important law governing the federal role in K-12 education. The bottom line of the bills in the U.S. House and Senate to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is simple: Federal government, give us our money but back off on telling us how to spend it. … No Child Left Behind expired in 2007, and for the first time in years, there is hope a new law could pass.” (“Congress Debates No Child Left Behind Replacement,” The Arizona Republic, 7/14/15)

VOX: “The Senate plans to vote this week on replacing No Child Left Behind, the landmark federal education law that's now long overdue for an overhaul. … The Senate bill is a bipartisan compromise on the key issue: how much say the federal government should have in how states hold schools accountable.” (“Congress Might Finally Kill No Child Left Behind,” Vox, 7/15/15)


Sen. Alexander: ‘Bill Is Just One More Example That Congress Is Back To Work’

SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R-TN): “The bill is just one more example that Congress is back to work… In the last two Congresses, discussions fell apart because of partisan differences. This year, Senator Murray, the Senate education committee’s senior Democrat, suggested we write a bipartisan bill. We had a full debate in committee and we are the middle of a full debate on the Senate floor. This is how the Senate is supposed to work. How well our children are learning is much more important than any political game.  Our goal is to pass both houses of Congress, earn the president’s signature, and fix the law.” (Sen. Alexander, Weekly Republican Address, 7/15/15)

SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK): “Can I tell you the one big thing we really won? It is that my State, after this bill passes—if we can get this bill done, my State will no longer have to crawl back to Washington, DC, every year and beg for a waiver in education to maintain the education funding—which, by the way, came out of our State.” (Sen. Lankford, Congressional Record, S.5121, 7/15/15)

SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R-AK): “So why am I standing today before you in support of the Every Child Achieves Act? When Alaskans are visiting about the education bill that we know as No Child Left Behind, it is clear that to a number—whether you are an educator, whether it is students, parents, tribes; it didn’t make any difference—nobody was happy. The one-size-fits-all mandate, poor tribal consultation, and the lack of State and local control over our children’s education clearly were not working. … In short, I am confident that [the Every Child Achieves Act] returns control of State standards, curriculum, instruction, assessments, educator qualifications, and school accountability to the State of Alaska, and that is where I want it to be.” (Sen. Murkowski, Congressional Record, S.5054, 7/14/15)


Part Of A Pattern Of Accomplishment This Year

“The new Republican-controlled Congress has accomplished much in its first six months. A major Medicare overhaul. ... The fast-track trade authority coveted by both the GOP leadership and President Obama.” (National Journal, 7/6/15)


25 bills signed into law

45+ bills passed the Senate

150+ bills reported from Senate committees

TRADE: “Senior lawmakers reached agreement Thursday on a bipartisan trade promotion authority bill … Two Republicans — Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan — negotiated for months on the ‘fast track’ trade legislation with Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat.” (“Lawmakers Strike Deal On Fast Track Trade Bill,” Politico, 4/16/15)

  • “After Trade Triumph, Senate Republicans Look to Rack Up More Wins: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Senate is on a roll — and he wants to make sure it stays that way. After reviving Trade Promotion Authority, the Kentucky Republican opted to move next to a bipartisan rewrite of the No Child Left Behind education law in a bid to maintain the chamber’s legislative momentum.” (“After Trade Triumph, Senate Republicans Look To Rack Up More Wins,” Roll Call, 7/7/15)

FOREIGN RELATIONS: “…[Sen. Bob] Corker's methodical style has paved the way for one of the biggest congressional assertions of foreign policy power in years. … In an old-school display of Senate committee power, Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, aided by Democrats, unanimously steered legislation through the panel Tuesday that hands Congress a major role in any final U.S.-Iran deal to halt the country's alleged nuclear weapons program.” (“Bob Corker's Old-School Power Move,” National Journal, 4/14/15)

BUDGET: “Republicans have much to celebrate this week. … The overall budget, written by Enzi in his first budget as chairman, slashes $5.1 trillion in spending over 10 years — achieving the GOP’s goal of balancing the budget within a decade.” (“Senate Passes Budget As Negotiations With House Loom Ahead,” Politico, 3/27/15)

HEALTH CARE: “The annual charade of blocking Clinton-era cuts to Medicare has officially ended.” (“The ‘F’ Word: Could Congress Become Functional?,” Fox News, 4/15/15)

ENERGY: Led by Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) “Republicans easily steered their bill to authorize the Keystone XL pipeline out of the Senate energy committee Thursday…” (“Pipeline Bill Is Headed To Vote,” Dallas Morning News, 1/9/2015)

  • “The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee's 13-9 vote to approve the measure - with West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin the lone Democrat crossing party lines to back the bill…” (“Panel's Passage Of Keystone Bill Sets Up Bigger Fight,” The Houston Chronicle, 1/9/2015)



Related Issues: Back to Work, Every Student Succeeds Act, Education