On Wednesday, December 2, the House voted to pass the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Reauthorization Conference Committee Report named the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)/S. 1177 by a vote of 359-64. Every member of the Illinois delegation voted in favor of the legislation. This show of bipartisanship, especially in the considerably more conservative House, is unprecedented in this past decade of extreme partisan divisiveness.
The Senate is expected to take the measure up on Tuesday (December 8) and it is expected to pass by a wide margin. Then the legislation will head to the President’s desk where it is anticipated that he will sign it before the holidays.
Advocacy does not end there, though.With the new law come new regulations. Because ESSA returns to states and local districts more flexibility in key areas such as testing and accountability, local stakeholder input into the regulatory process over the coming months will be exceedingly important.
Though no legislation is perfect, this is a drastic improvement from No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Click here to read the full Federal Legislative Report, including the highlights of ESEA.
CALL TO ACTION
Senator Mark Kirk was the only Illinois legislator on the Conference Committee, so please call and thank him for his hard work. Also, contact both Senators Kirk and Dick Durbin and ask them to vote yes.
Senator Durbin – 202/224-2152
Call your House members and thank them for voting yes. They often hear from constituents only when they are unhappy, so please thank them for their vote and the positive effect this will have on kids. A list of Illinois House members can be found here (scroll down to see all of Illinois).