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National Governors Association Urges Conference Committee Action on ESEA Reauthorization, Outlines Priorities

October 1, 2015

As Congress prepares to conference bills reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the nation’s governors released principles and priorities to guide the committee during their negotiations and urged completion of the law this year.

“Governors have long called for the bipartisan reauthorization of ESEA to restore the state-federal partnership,” said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, chair of the National Governors Association Education and Workforce Committee. “We stand ready to work with Congress to complete ESEA reauthorization this year and move on to a state-led law that places every child on a path to success.”

“Every state, school and classroom needs the certainty and fairness of a flexible federal education law that seeks to close achievement gaps and ensure every student receives a strong foundation for success in life,” said Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, vice chair of the committee. “It is critical that any federal legislation reinforces the principle that accountability and responsibility for K-12 education rests with the states.”

The principles include:

  1. Integrate and align ESEA programs with state early childhood education, postsecondary education and workforce development;
  2. Prioritize state-led accountability with full flexibility for states and districts to determine the best strategies to identify and intervene in low-performing schools;
  3. Increase state authority to manage programs and ensure certainty in the state plan and waiver process; and
  4. Support and incentivize statewide strategies and innovations to prepare, recruit, retain and reward high-quality teachers and school leaders.

Governors also offered key conference priorities, including ensuring a role for governors, making ESEA work with early childhood education, reducing the burden of maintenance of effort, supporting state-led school improvement, allowing states to fuel statewide innovation with Title II and helping states support English language learners.

To view the principles and priorities, click here.

Source:  National Governors Association

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