On Wednesday, I was honored to stand up for parental rights by voting no on #HR5, the bill to reauthorize #NoChildLeftBehind. The bill increases federal control of education. Here are the facts you should know about H.R. 5 and the current status of NCLB:
The funding authorization for No Child Left Behind expired more than seven years ago. Contrary to some statements and press reports, H.R. 5 does not repeal NCLB; it reauthorizes NCLB with modifications. If H.R. 5 becomes law, NCLB will be authorized for the first time since FY 2008.
Why do states and schools continue to act as though No Child Left Behind is current law? Because Congress has continued to appropriate money for NCLB as though the funding authorization never expired! In other words, the program is legally dead, yet Congress continues to send federal funding to schools, with strings attached, as though the law remains in effect.
How should Congress deal with No Child Left Behind? Simply stop funding it. There’s no current authorization for the funding, so the funding needs to stop.
Don’t we need this new bill to stop Common Core? No, we don’t. H.R. 5 reauthorizes No Child Left Behind, which provides federal funding for education. The bill says none of that money may be used (or withheld) to push Common Core. But voting no on H.R. 5 means voting no on the funding authorization that the federal government uses to compel states to adopt Common Core. So, either way, Common Core loses.
Doesn’t this new bill include an amendment to allow parents to opt out of standardized testing? Yes, but it’s H.R. 5 that authorizes federally mandated standardized testing in the first place. Voting no on H.R. 5 means voting no on such standardized testing.
Was there an amendment to allow states to opt out of No Child Left Behind even if H.R. 5 becomes law? Yes. I voted yes on the Walker amendment, but remarkably it failed 195-235 in a Republican-led House of Representatives.
Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) wrote:
On Wednesday the House considered H.R. 5, the Student Success Act. This legislation reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) through FY 2019. H.R. 5 funds ESEA programming at FY 2015 appropriated levels every year which doesn’t account for inevitable inflation or a projected increase in students. H.R. 5 takes all of the programs covered through Title I (Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged) and combines them into a single block grant program. It also voids an existing requirement ensuring Title I funds are spent on students living in high poverty areas. H.R. 5 underfunds education and diminishes protections currently in place so that available funds are directed where they are most needed. I voted NO.
H.R. 5 passed 218-213–by 3 votes; only Repubulicans voted AYE. Rep. Amash and Rep. Capuano both voted NO for different reasons. Rep. Reed voted AYE as expected.
On the Walker Amendment, “Walker of North Carolina Part A Amendment No. 46,” Rep. Amash voted AYE; Rep. Capuano and Rep. Reed voted NO.