Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today applauded Senate passage of the Every Child Achieves Act, which would update the Elementary and Secondary Education Act for the first time since 2002.
The Every Child Achieves 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 and make increased investments in the expansion of high-quality charter schools.
“Education remains the primary tool to get a good-paying job and build a middle-class life, but too many children are not getting the education they need to succeed in the 21st century workforce. Passage of the Every Child Achieves 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 and others in small settings with more teacher attention. Students also have varied needs based on their lives outside of school. This bill gives states and local school districts more flexibility to use federal funds to teach their students in a way that best works for them.”
The Every Child achieves Act includes a number of provisions authored by Senator Feinstein, including:
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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 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.