Congress Debates Education Reform

Congress continues to debate on the first major federal reform legislation since 2001’s “No Child Left Behind Act.”
The question at hand is how much of a role since the federal government have in make sure every child is getting a quality education. News 25’s Katarina Luketich breaks down the two versions of the bill floating around Washington D.C.
More than a decade after George W. Bush’s “No Child Left Behind Act” was put into place, the federal government agrees major changes must be made. The House and Senate are working on new legislation aimed at changing the current system, but are each taking different approaches. The version written by House Republicans gives more decision making to states rather than the federal government. It also has a school choice provision that would allow public money to follow low income children when they move to different public schools. This bill passed the House only by a small margin with many Democrats not on board.
Rep. Marcia Fudge said, “The bill drastically reduces education funding, eliminates and weakens protection for disabled students, fails to provide a well-rounded education for all students and generally makes it more difficult to educate those for whom the act was designed to protect.”
The Senate is still debating its version, called the “Every Child Achieves Act.” It would retain the reading and math tests included in “No Child Left Behind”, but would allow states to decide how to use those results to measure the effectiveness of schools and teachers.
Sen. Mitch McConnell said, “The “Every Child Achieves Act” would put an end to that kind of control from thousands of miles away. It would do so by eliminating onerous federal mandates and reining in the power of the executive branch, so that states can’t be coerced into adopting measures like common core.”
The two bills would have to be merged before being sent to the president, who would need to sign it in order for it to become law. And right now, the White House does not think either measure has a strong enough accountability measure.

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