Dec 09 2015
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today applauded Senate passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which updates the Elementary and Secondary Education Act for the first time since 2002. The bill will now be sent to President Obama for his signature.
The Every Student Succeeds Act would give more control to states and local school districts, eliminating the one-size-fits-all requirements created by No Child Left Behind. The bill would also preserve annual state-designed assessments to ensure teachers and parents have reliable achievement data to track progress and increases investments in the expansion of high-quality charter schools.
“Education remains the primary tool to build a middle-class life, but too many children aren’t getting the education they need to succeed in the 21st century workforce. Passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act is an important step in moving away from a one-size-fits-all education system, which is not working for our children,” Senator Feinstein said. “Students learn differently. Some flourish in large settings, others in small settings with more teacher attention. Students also have varied needs based on their home lives. This bill gives states and local school districts more flexibility to use federal funds to provide resources and to teach their students in a way that best works for them.”
The Every Student Succeeds Act includes a number of provisions authored by Senator Feinstein, including:
- Language from the Expanding Opportunities Through Quality Charter Schools Act to expand charter schools and provide continued support for existing high-quality charter schools. Feinstein joined Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) in introducing the legislation in January.
- Language from the Helping Schools Protect Our Children Act that would allow schools to use Title II funds to provide training to school personnel on preventing and detecting sexual abuse. Feinstein introduced the legislation with Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) in May.
- The “Large School Adjustment” provision that would protect funding for large school districts such as San Diego that serve military-connected children.
- An exemption to allow two California schools for homeless children, San Diego’s Monarch School and Stockton’s Transitional Learning Center, to continue to operate and receive federal funds.
- An amendment cosponsored with Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) to make it easier for homeless students to access federal housing assistance programs by allowing appropriate school faculty to certify they are homeless and eligible for assistance.
- An amendment cosponsored with Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) to allow schools to use federal funds to support English learners by providing interpreters, translators and materials in students’ native language.