Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Supports Passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act

December 4, 2015
Press Release
Washington, DC—Last night, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) voted in favor of the conference report for S.1177, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation makes significant changes to the No Child Left Behind Act, and includes language introduced by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard earlier this year to reauthorize funding for the Native Hawaiian Education Act (NHEA), which provides grants for innovative Native Hawaiian educational programs across the State of Hawaiʻi. It corrects measures the congresswoman opposed in the earlier House version of the bill, like codifying low sequestration-levels of education funding and Title I portability, which would have reduced the amount of funding that schools with the most need receive.
“I have long called for updating No Child Left Behind, and this bill helps to address many of the current challenges in our education system, including overly stringent standardized testing requirements that have put unnecessary pressure on schools, teachers, and students for years without effectively improving education for our keiki. The bill gives states more flexibility to determine the best way to measure success in their schools, and provides support for innovation, teacher quality, STEM education, and more,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “The inclusion of the reauthorization for the Native Hawaiian Education Act, based on the bill I introduced, will continue critical funding for thousands of Native Hawaiian children and families.”
The Every Student Succeeds Act passed today includes measures to:
  • Prohibit the US Department of Education (ED) from imposing national education standards or requiring the use of voluntary Common Core standards, and givestates more flexibility to determine the best way to measure schools
    • ED would be required to certify that state plans and standards meet requirements of the law, including to improve student learning in the state’s lowest-performing 5 percent of schools, high school dropout factories, and schools in which any group of students is consistently underperforming under the State’s accountability system, and ensures that all students count for the purposes of accountability.
  • Reauthorize the Native Hawaiian Education Act (NHEA), as well as provide funding for English learners, American Indian children, rural students, homeless students, effective educators, and charter and magnet schools.
  • Increase authorized education funding annually by 2% for fiscal years 2018-2020.
  • Provide grant funding for innovation, teacher quality, after-school programming, STEM education, arts education, accelerated learning, student health and safety, literacy, community involvement and preschool development.
The bill is supported by the National Education Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Federation of Teachers, National Association of Federally Impacted School, Association of Christian Schools International, Business Roundtable, Council of Chief State School Officers, Magnet Schools of America, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, National Association of Charter School Authorizers, National Association of State Boards of Education, National Catholic Educational Association, National Conference of State Legislatures, National Parent Teacher Association, National School Boards Association, National Governors Association and School Superintendents Association, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, American Association of University Women, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, National Council of La Raza, and Teach for America, among others.

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