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Press Release

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Chairman Alexander's Draft Bill Is A 'Good Start'

Contact:Olympia Meolaolympia.meola@ccsso.org202-336-7071

U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) released a discussion draft of a bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) yesterday, and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) also made comments on the Senate Floor about her priorities for reauthorization of ESEA.

Chris Minnich, executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, said the following about the draft legislation: "Chairman Alexander's bill is a good start, and we applaud him for beginning this critical conversation immediately. In this draft legislation, we are especially pleased to see Chairman Alexander was responsive to the input of State School Chiefs and included many of their priorities for reauthorization, including the need for parents to know how their children are performing academically at least once a year, flexibility in how schools use federal funds to serve disadvantaged students, and state control over academic standards."

In her remarks, Senator Murray emphasized the important role of annual assessments, the need to reduce redundant and unnecessary testing, and ways to expand access to early childhood education, among other priorities.

Minnich added, "We look forward to working with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to pursue a successful renewal of the law to provide stability to states so they can better serve students." 

Read about CCSSO's Key Priorities for ESEA Reauthorization

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The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.