House Passes No Child Left Behind Overhaul

Dec 2, 2015

Washington, DC –Today, U.S. Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-05) voted in favor the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, which passed the House with bipartisan support.  A senior member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, Thompson was appointed by Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, to serve on the committee responsible for settling the differences between the House and Senate versions of replacing No Child Left Behind, the federal law governing elementary and secondary education.  

“Today marks a historic step forward, where the House and Senate have come together to put young learners first,” Thompson said.  “The Every Student Succeeds Act will overhaul the contentious No Child Left Behind and place more control in the hands of states, local school districts, educators, parents and students across the nation.”

Among the provisions included in the legislation are:

  • An end to the federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), which has controlled education on the state and local levels.
  • Eliminates nearly 50 programs which were determined to be unnecessary or duplicative.
  • Provides an unprecedented reduction in the authority of the U.S. Secretary of Education.
  • Allows flexibility in the utilization of most federal education funds so that school districts can put the needs of their students first.  Additionally, the bill allows state flexibility for testing.

The legislation also calls for the U.S. Department of Education to study how Title I funds are allocated – seeking to address Thompson’s long-held concerns that children are put at a disadvantage based upon the population of their school district, rather than concentration of poverty.  This is the result of an amendment introduced by Thompson and support provided by the full conference committee.

“It  has been one my priorities to ensure federal funds to offset the effects of poverty are allocated in an equitable manner to best target those areas most in need,” Thompson said.  “Despite the push from big city and suburban schools to maintain the status quo, I am hopeful this study will definitively make the argument for the more equitable distribution of funds for those areas most affected by poverty,” Thompson added.