WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday night the U.S. House passed, by a vote of 359 to 64, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which would replace No Child Left Behind.
Reps. Markwayne Mullin, (R-OK-2); Frank Lucas, (R-OK-3); Tom Cole (R-OK-4); and Steve Russell, (R-OK-5) voted for it. Reps. Jim Bridenstine, (R-OK-1); voted against it.
Congressman Bridenstine said, “ESSA expands the role of the federal government by creating a program for pre-school managed by the Department of Health and Human Services and expanding after school programs.
“No Child Left Behind was a seriously flawed law that greatly increased federal control of education. I was disappointed that the Every Student Succeeds Act missed the opportunity to return control of our children’s education to where it belongs: states, local school districts, and ultimately, parents.”
Bridenstine says that ESSA also maintains several troublesome aspects of the current law:
- Maintains the federal testing burden
- Requires states to intervene in schools underperforming by federal metrics
- Allows federal education spending to continue to grow
- Forces states to develop standards that conform with federal guidelines
“I voted for the House version of this bill because that legislation, while not perfect, moved education policy in the right direction by allowing funding to follow students to the school of their parents’ choice (“portability”), allowing parents to opt their students out of federally mandated testing, and shortening the timeframe in which Congress must next examine education policy. ESSA strips these crucial provisions,” the Congressman explained.
“I believe that the best education for our children is not one dictated by politicians and bureaucrats in Washington, DC. We should return control of education to those who know the needs of students the best. Therefore, I opposed ESSA.”
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