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Courtney-backed No Child Left Behind Reform Agreement Signed into Law

December 10, 2015
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Joe Courtney, a member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, today commented after President Obama signed into law the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This four-year authorization of K-12 education is the long overdue overhaul of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, that has divided students, parents, and educators for 14 years since it was enacted in 2001.

“As a member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, I served as part of the bipartisan team to help shape and to support the update of this law,” said Congressman Courtney.  “The world has changed dramatically since No Child Left Behind was passed, and the needs of our children, our educators, and our workforce have evolved significantly over time.”

“I am particularly pleased that measure will upgrade our efforts to align K-12 education with the in-demand skills in science, technology engineering and math that is needed to keep pace with the needs of our country,” Courtney said. “This agreement also meets the needs of states, communities and educators in providing new and more flexible accountability systems. Bipartisan passage of this agreement reflects months – and years – of hard work dating back to my first days in Congress, and I am pleased to support it.”

See Congressman Courtney’s House Floor remarks on the Every Student Succeeds Act:

As a member of the committee, Congressman Courtney championed many provisions that were included in the final agreement:

ESSA provides individual states with the flexibility to create statewide accountability systems to replace adequate yearly progress while still maintaining high standards for student performance.

ESSA reduces the burden of high-stakes testing on students and provides high schools with the ability to align testing with the SAT and ACT.

ESSA provides much-needed professional development training for STEM teachers and allows thousands of school districts to access federal funding to support STEM programs. Additionally, the measure encourages alternative certification programs to allow more STEM teachers to come from industry and provides promising STEM teachers with differential pay.

ESSA prioritizes grants to magnet school programs, provides opportunities to expand these programs, and allows school districts to use federal funds for magnet school transportation for the first time ever.