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Press Release

Monday, March 23, 2015

State Chiefs Discuss Education Priorities with President Obama

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

Washington, D.C. (March 23, 2015) -- State school chiefs on Monday met with President Barack Obama to discuss ways to best support students in the nation's public schools, and to urge the President to support a reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) this year.

"We thank President Obama and his staff for welcoming us today for this critical conversation," said CCSSO's Board President and North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson. "States need a stable federal law. The meeting with the President today is a positive sign. It's clear he cares about the reauthorization of this important federal law." 

Atkinson and the more than 40 state chiefs from around the nation assembled in Washington, D.C. this week for CCSSO's 2015 Legislative Conference, have urged members of Congress and the Obama administration to reauthorize ESEA this year.

Chiefs on Tuesday will speak with members of Congress on Capitol Hill, continuing their push for action. In January, CCSSO's Board of Directors outlined key priorities for reauthorizing ESEA. These priorities were reflected in the Senate's discussion draft as well as the Student Success Act introduced in the House.

"Based on our conversations, we know we can find common ground and get this law reauthorized this year. The Priorities that we as State Chiefs set forth in early January provide a good framework for all parties involved," Atkinson said.  

ESEA is eight years overdue for renewal, and has not kept up with the pace of change in states and districts. State chiefs were pleased that the White House and Department of Education recognized state leadership and allowed waivers from the outdated policies of ESEA, but states need a stable federal law that give them flexibility to encourage innovation and better serve students while holding them accountable for results.

"We are pleased that there is legislation currently pending in Congress that could lead to a successful reauthorization of this outdated law, and look forward to a bipartisan effort to reauthorize ESEA this year," said Chris Minnich, executive director of CCSSO.


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.