This Week & Next (July 10, 2015)

Congress Gets Closer to Reauthorizing ESEA/NCLB
It was quite a week for education policy in the nation’s capital, as yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives passed, on a narrow 218-213 vote, the “Student Success Act” (HR #5) and floor debate over the “Every Child Achieves Act” (S 1177) continued in the U.S. Senate. For those keeping track, the original “Elementary and Secondary Education Act” (ESEA) was passed in 1965 and renewed every few years until passage of “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) in 2001. NCLB technically expired in 2007 and repeated efforts to reauthorize it in Congress have been unsuccessful.  Provided the House and Senate can settle their differences and send a compromise bill to the White House, it is still unknown if President Obama will sign it – or if he prefers to handle federal education policy via waivers that ESED has already approved for 41 states.  The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on S 1777 next week.

Key Issues in ESEA/NCLB Reauthorization
In a comprehensive and well-written piece from Rick Hess from the American Enterprise Institute, he outlines the history of recent federal education law and current efforts to reauthorize ESEA/NCLB. We encourage you to read his article to get a sense for the key issues here.  It is important to note that any bill sent to the White House will noticeably reduce the federal footprint in education and return important decision-making to the states and local school districts. Some of the key issues being debated, such as “portability” for both Title I and IDEA funds (would allow funds to follow students rather than to go districts) are still very much up in the air.

Campbell Brown to Launch Non-Profit Education News Site
Former journalist-turned-advocate Campbell Brown recently announced plans to launch a new education news site in July that will also engage in advocacy on behalf of students and families. Named “The Seventy Four” to represent the 74 million school-aged children in the country, the site is an addition to Brown’s Partnership for Education Justiceinitiative. This announcement resulted in major coverage in the Wall Street Journal and GLEP is looking forward to engaging with this new effort and spreading the news about creating better opportunities for kids.

Capitol Update from Lansing
The Michigan legislature continued their “in district work period” this past week, as there weren’t any committee hearings or sessions in the Senate and the House.  Both chambers will be back in session next week, where the focus will be on efforts in the House to pass a road funding package of bills.

Education News Clips

Next Week

Monday, July 13

Tuesday, July 14

  • NHA 20th Anniversary Celebration in Grand Rapids (by invitation)
  • House in Session

Wednesday, July 15

  • House and Senate in Session
  • GLEP to participate in SSI Mock Legislature in Lansing
  • America’s Future Foundation Event in Novi

Thursday, July 16

  • Senate in Session

Friday, July 17

Do you support what GLEP is doing to improve education in Michigan? Please consider making a donation to help us continue our efforts, and all contributions are very much appreciated!!


Gary G. Naeyaert
Executive Director