ICYMI: Thompson’s Education Equality Bill Praised During Legislative Hearing on Elementary & Secondary Education Reform

February 17, 2012

Washington, D.C. – The All Children are Equal (ACE) Act, a bill introduced by U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson in July of 2011, today was praised during a hearing in the House Education and Workforce Committee that examined two pieces of legislation – H.R. 3989, "Student Success Act" and H.R. 3990, "Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act" – which will serve as the basis to reform the current Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as No Child Left Behind.  The hearing was the Education and Workforce Committee’s 12th oversight hearing, exploring better ways forward for our nation’s elementary and secondary schools.  

Hearing Witness, Mr. Jimmy Cunningham, superintendent of Hampton School District in Hampton, Arkansas, spoke to concerns with the current Title I formula, which adversely affects small districts, both rural and urban, and inflates benefits to low‐poverty districts – counter to the intent of current law.

Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is the largest source of federal funding to the states and aims to improve the achievement of disadvantaged children.  It is the largest sources of federal funds contributed to school districts.

In addition to Mr. Cunningham’s testimony in support of the ACE Act, the American Farm Bureau Federation supplied a statement for the record, expressing their support for including Thompson's bill with reforms to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

The ACE Act has received additional support from a diverse group of advocates, including the American Association of School Administrators, National Alliance of Black School Educators, Save the Children, Parent Teacher Association (PTA), Pennsylvania Association of Rural & Small Schools, Arkansas Rural Education Association, California Small Districts Association, Center for Rural Affairs, Challenge West Virginia, Michigan Small & Rural Schools Association, Minnesota Rural Education Association, Missouri Association of Rural Education, Montana Small Schools Alliance, National Farmers Union, National Rural Education Advocacy Coalition, North Carolina Rural Education Working Group, Organizations Concerned About Rural Education, Rural Community Alliance (AR), The Rural School and Community Trust, Save Alabama’s Small schools, South Carolina Rural Education Grassroots Group, Southern Echo, Tennessee School Systems for Equity, Texas Rural Education Association, Vermont Rural Partnership, YouthBuild, USA.

H.R. 3989 and H.R. 3990 were introduced in the last week by the House Education and Workforce Committee. Thursday’s hearing allowed members an opportunity to examine and obtain feedback on the legislation.