By a vote of 85-12 the United States Senate overwhelmingly passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Senator Patty Murray’s (D-WA) bipartisan legislation to rewrite No Child Left Behind. After hearing from parents, teachers, school administrators, and local and state officials in Washington state about how No Child Left Behind is badly broken, Senator Murray worked with Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Republicans for almost a year to craft this bipartisan legislation. ESSA takes major strides in ensuring strong federal guardrails for accountability, shining a light on resource inequities, reducing reliance on high-stakes testing, and for the first time, includes dedicated funding for preschool in the nation’s primary elementary and secondary education law.
The President plans to sign the legislation into law tomorrow morning at a signing ceremony at the White House.
“I am thrilled that we have taken this last step in Congress to finally fix No Child Left Behind in a way that works for students, parents, teachers, and communities in Washington state and across the country. I fought hard to break through the gridlock and dysfunction in Congress to get this done, because I heard from too many families that the old law simply wasn’t working for them. Throughout this process, I was proud to be a voice for Washington state families, to fight for their priorities, and to ensure that this law will work for our state.
“The Every Student Succeeds Act includes strong federal guardrails to ensure all students have access to a quality education, reduces reliance on high-stakes testing, makes strong investments to improve and expand access to preschool for our youngest learners, and so much more. I’m looking forward to President Obama signing this bipartisan bill into law to help more students get the chance to learn, grow, and thrive in the classroom and beyond,” said Senator Murray.
Sen. Murray’s legislation was endorsed by a wide range of groups across the nation. See the list of supporting groups here.