2015-07-07 National Governors Association

ESEA Reauthorization

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Harry Reid
Minority Leader
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Lamar Alexander
Chairman, Committee on
Health, Education, Labor & Pensions
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Patty Murray
Ranking Member, Committee on
Health, Education, Labor & Pensions
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senators McConnell, Reid, Alexander and Murray:

On behalf of organizations representing state and local officials, we urge the Senate to pass the Every Child Achieves Act (Every Child) and move the process forward to complete Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization this year.

No Child Left Behind’s original goal of supporting students who need help the most is admirable, but the law shifted too much control away from state and local officials and relied on a method of identifying academic progress that focused on failure instead of rewarding excellence. With 42 states, Puerto Rico and D.C. operating under waivers from the law, it is clear that the time for reauthorization is now.

Every Child restores the balance necessary for the federal-state-local partnership in education to succeed. Every Child paves the way for a long-term, stable federal policy that ensures all students are better positioned to achieve from early learning all the way into the workforce. It also moves away from restrictive and unnecessary requirements that limit state and local innovation.

We stand ready to work with you to ensure that every state, district, school and student may benefit from a federal education law that works.

Sincerely,

Dan Crippen, Executive Director
National Governors Association

William T. Pound, Executive Director
National Conference of State Legislatures

David Adkins, CEO and Executive Director
Council of State Governments

Matthew D. Chase, Executive Director
National Association of Counties

Clarence E. Anthony, Executive Director
National League of Cities

Robert J. O’Neill, Executive Director
International City/County Management Association

Chris Minnich, Executive Director
Council of Chief State School Officers

Kristen J. Amundson, CEO and Executive Director
National Association of State Boards of Education

Thomas J. Gentzel, Executive Director
National School Boards Association

Daniel A. Domenech , Executive Director
AASA, The School Superintendents Association