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Press Release

Monday, November 30, 2015

State Education Leaders Voice Support for ESEA Reauthorization

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

Washington, D.C. (November 30, 2015) - A bipartisan, bicameral Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) conference committee voted last week to approve a framework to reauthorize ESEA, prepared by the Chairs and Ranking Members of the U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee and the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) voiced support for the conference committee's action on Thursday. In addition, several state chiefs have voiced support for this approved framework that will shape a bill to reauthorize ESEA this year.

Wisconsin State Superintendent and CCSSO President Tony Evers said, "Congressional action to reauthorize ESEA could not come at a better time for the nation. As state leaders advance local policies designed to best educate their students, having a federal law that supports those vital efforts and maintains a level of flexibility is key. Reauthorization also provides an opportune time to discuss the issue of equity in our schools. Allowing states to explore different methods, centered on their needs, to tackle their achievement gaps will help ensure that all students graduate ready for college and career."

Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn said, "The State of Washington is an example of why we need a stable federal education policy in this country. States cannot continue to live waiver to waiver. I am pleased with the bipartisan agreement that Congress has reached to provide states with the additional flexibility we need to improve outcomes for all kids, no matter where they live or the wealth of their community."  

New Hampshire Commissioner of Education Virginia Barry said, "I support the steps Congress has taken to reach a bipartisan agreement to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The approved framework is on the right path to establishing a stable federal policy that will provide states with the space we need to innovate and raise academic achievement for all children, while at the same time holding us accountable for results."

New Mexico Secretary of Education Hanna Skandera said, "We believe in strong accountability and recognize that states need the flexibility to improve student outcomes and close achievement gaps that have existed for far too long. The framework recently approved by the conference committee is a step in the right direction toward empowering states to work with local schools to make real progress for our kids."

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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.