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Courtney Supports Long Overdue Education Reform Agreement

December 2, 2015
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Joe Courtney, a member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, today voted to pass the Conference Report on S.1177, the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This four-year authorization of K-12 education is the first overhaul of the much-criticized No Child Left Behind Act, which was signed into law in 2001.

“It has been 13 long years since ESEA has been rewritten, and I am proud to support this bipartisan effort to reform and update this law,” Courtney said. “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 in this 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. 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.