ALEXANDRIA, Va., (July 8, 2015) — This evening, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Student Success Act (H.R. 5), which would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act/No Child Left Behind (ESEA/NCLB). ESEA/NCLB, which has been due for reauthorization since 2007, is the primary law governing the federal role in K-12 education.
“Reauthorization of the ESEA/NCLB has long been a key public policy priority of National PTA. The association has consistently advocated for a comprehensive, bipartisan reauthorization and enhancements to the law that prioritize family engagement, which is essential to student success and school improvement,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “National PTA is encouraged by the action taken this week in the House as well as the Senate. At the same time, the association believes improvements must be made to the Student Success Act in several areas and that both the House and Senate bills must provide states and districts the capacity and necessary resources to implement family engagement strategies that are proven to make a difference for students and schools.”
A top priority for National PTA remains the inclusion of provisions to strengthen family engagement. National PTA is pleased that the Student Success Act maintains the 1% funding in Title I for family engagement at the district level as well as the state-based, competitive family engagement program infrastructure. National PTA is also pleased that the Student Success Act eliminates a one-size-fits-all accountability system, allows for multiple measures of student achievement in state accountability systems and maintains provisions requiring the disaggregation of assessment data by subgroups.
However, National PTA is concerned with several components of the bill, including the elimination of a measure that seeks to ensure education programs are sufficiently funded from year to year, the lack of adequate parameters for the use of alternate assessments, and the inclusion of Title I public school portability provisions.
During floor debate, an amendment was rejected that would have allowed states to contribute federal dollars to private schools. National PTA has consistently opposed any attempt to divert public funding to private schools. Furthermore, the association believes portability to either a public or private school is in direct conflict with the original intent of Title I, which is to provide assistance to schools with high percentages of children from low-income families.
“National PTA remains committed to working with Congress to reauthorize the ESEA/NCLB this year. The association will continue to advocate for improvements to the law that prioritize family engagement and ensure educational equity for all children and their families,” added Bay.
About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth.