While this is cause to celebrate, it is important to understand our success was only in DELAYING the Student Success Act (HR 5) from passing - it was not defeated (voted down).
We must remain vigilant & continue to contact members of Congress to tell them to NO continuation of NCLB and No on the Student Success Act (HR 5).
To contact your member of congress, click here.
From Politico --
House Republicans decided not to vote Friday on their proposed rewrite of the No Child Left Behind law, the Student Success Act, after House leadership struggled to lock down support for the bill and debate over Department of Homeland Security funding eclipsed education plans.
The House passed a nearly identical bill in 2013, but discontent with the Common Core academic standards and concerns about federal government intrusion have grown, and conservatives have said they want to get more out of an education bill in the newly Republican-controlled Congress. That left House leadership facing new criticism from the right because the GOP bill omits school vouchers, radical reductions to federal mandates and other right-wing proposals.
“My district doesn’t like it. They just feel that we’re moderating No Child Left Behind. They hate No Child Left Behind,” Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) said.
It’s not clear when a vote on No Child Left Behind will take place.
The wrangling over funding for the Department of Homeland Security, set to run out Friday, complicated matters. The debate over how to handle DHS funding has angered conservative lawmakers — who House leaders will need to vote on the Student Success Act. Handling both votes in one day would have been difficult for lawmakers, several House aides said Friday.
And that’s not to say the Student Success Act didn’t have issues of its own: On Thursday night, House leadership was still trying to shore up support for the bill, several GOP aides and lawmakers said. At a Friday morning press conference held by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and others at a charter school in the Anacostia neighborhood of D.C., lawmakers didn’t talk about the Student Success Act and didn’t hold scheduled press availability. House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline didn’t even attend, though he was originally listed to be there: He was on Capitol Hill whipping votes for his bill.
Despite anger that has built up over the law’s far-reaching scope, the politics constrained how far to the right Republicans pushing the Student Success Act could go.
Kline needed a bill that would pass the House with support from moderates. He has made clear that a bill with private school vouchers would not have the votes to pass the chamber and would not fly with President Barack Obama, who has threatened to veto the House version of the bill.
NCLB expired in 2007. The current push to update the law is the first serious attempt at reauthorization since then, but there’s only a short window to rewrite it before the 2016 elections are fully underway and legislative work slows.
Senate lawmakers are working on their own version of No Child Left Behind in a bipartisan fashion, with hopes of heading to conference later this year.
Kline has been coordinating his approach with Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, but the Senate leader is on a very different track than Kline. He’s negotiating with committee Ranking Member Sen. Patty Murray on a bipartisan bill that they hope can clear the chamber. Alexander has insisted he’s optimistic about his chances of striking a deal with Murray and wants to get a bill in front of the committee by mid-March.
“We’re making good progress,” Alexander said earlier this week. “I’m very pleased with the way we’re working with Sen. Murray right now.” With Alexander taking the moderate route, it was up to the House to push a bill that’s as conservative as possible to set the party up in a strong position for the potential conference — but without ostracizing the White House altogether.
So House Republicans supporting the bill have had little choice but to play to the center of the party. The House took up over 40 amendments but didn’t consider any proposals that would have added heavy doses of conservatism. An amendment pushed by Heritage Action that would allow states to opt out of the law’s requirements altogether but still receive federal funds was left on the cutting room floor when the bill went through the House Rules Committee. Heritage and The Club for Growth both strongly opposed the bill.
“It’s a good thing that at least the train has been stopped at the station for now and maybe there’s some time to go back and rethink this,” Club for Growth Communications Director Doug Sachtleben said.
There were signs as the week progressed that House leaders were trying harder to turn some of the “no” votes. Language slipped into the bill Thursday that included new provisions barring school-based health centers from distributing information on abortions, for example. The abortion language did not reflect a major change to education policy — and it could easily get stripped out of the bill down the line — but it catered to the right.
As of Thursday night, House leadership was still not sure whether it had the votes needed to pass the bill, several lawmakers and GOP aides said.
In the end, it appears, they didn’t. At least not this week.
Democrats, meanwhile, balked at Republicans’ bill, and at Alexander and Kline’s optimism about a potential compromise on education. The White House veto threat called out a provision that would allow education funds for low-income students to follow students as a particularly harmful measure. Democrats say the net effect of the provision would be to drain billions of dollars from poor school districts, where the funds are needed most.
“The goal here isn’t to pass a bill — it’s to pass a good bill,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said this week.
Education doesn’t always divide along party lines, but current differences between leadership of the two parties are vast. Republicans want to cede more control to states and localities to make decisions on education and dump many defined programs.
To Democrats and the civil rights community, stripping the federal role out of education would signal a return to times before No Child Left Behind, when many states didn’t even collect data about the achievement gap between poor and minority students and their peers. Democrats want the bill to retain strong accountability measures and would like to see a new title in the bill devoted to early education.
House Democrats have also criticized Kline’s approach to passing the Student Success Act: There wasn’t a single hearing on the bill in the new Congress. (The House education committee has held many hearings on the bill in previous years.)
The Student Success Act “turns the clock back on educational progress and jeopardizes the civil rights of young people,” House Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott said this week.