Lawmakers join NJEA President in urging Senate to pass Every Student Succeeds Act, replace No Child Left Behind

bookerAs the Senate prepares to vote this week on the reconciled version of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez (both D-NJ) announced their support for the education bill while joining New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) President Wendell Steinhauer in urging the Senate to pass the legislation which takes an important step in ensuring that every student in our country has access to a high-quality public education.

“This bill represents a compromise that reaffirms the federal government’s commitment to supporting student, teacher and school success while moving us away from the broken No Child Left Behind era, which is why I’m supporting it,” said Sen. Booker. “I am proud this compromise includes two amendments I offered that establish meaningful ways to support homeless and foster youth and invests in our dedicated teachers. I thank NJEA and their members for their commitment to finding common ground on this critical bill and commend them for their unwavering support of New Jersey educators and students.”

“The Every Student Succeeds Act makes important changes to our education system and corrects some of the failures of No Child Left Behind,” said Sen. Menendez. “It replaces the one-size-fits-all approach with one that is more balanced. It allows states to develop their own accountability systems within federal guardrails that will be more responsive to the unique conditions in every school, and allow for more specialized and targeted remedies for underperforming schools and students. The bill also incorporates several key provisions based on my SAFE PLAY Act to help give parents some peace of mind and improve the health and safety of students by making federal funds available to states and schools for student-athlete safety programs. These much-needed reforms are only possible due in part to the continued advocacy of organizations like the NJEA, which has long fought for the best interests of New Jersey students, parents and educators.”

“I thank both Sen. Booker and Sen. Menendez for this support of this bill,” said Steinhauer. “This bill gives a much greater voice to educators when it comes to educational and instructional issues. No one understands the needs of students better than the women and men who work with them day in and day out. And, along with parents, no one cares more about making sure every student succeeds. This bill also gives our state more flexibility to make changes that make sense for New Jersey. We look forward to working with our parent partners at the state and local level to advocate for changes that benefit New Jersey’s students.”

Passing the House of Representatives earlier this month, ESSA represents a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act originally signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. ESSA seeks to improve our nation’s public education system by replacing the14-year old No Child Left Behind law and providing states increased control over schools.

The Every Student Succeeds Act contains two amendments offered by Sen. Booker that provide essential information for teachers, policy makers and community groups to better support our nation’s foster children and homeless youth and strengthens working conditions for teachers by asking school districts to conduct an assessment identifying opportunities to provide teachers with additional support for their long-term professional development.

Given the recent spate of serious athletic injuries and deaths in New Jersey and across the country, Sen. Menendez was able to secure provisions that would allow federal funding to be used to develop and implement student-athlete safety programs under a new Title IV grant program. These programs may include concussion safety, cardiac conditions like cardiomyopathy, and heat and humidity safety. The bill also allows states to use funding to supply schools with evidence-based materials relating to student-athlete safety and these types of conditions.


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  1. WOW! With the Democrats running this how high are my taxes going to go now? Tax me so my money will support others. When will this madness stop.

  2. Hey Cory not so fast LOL!
    This bill is great for Public schools only! What about the private sector? Check the bill out before giving high fives, just Cory with another story.

  3. So the Senators passed a bill that removes a requirement that students pass minimum requirements for math and reading, and places it in the hands of the state, which is controlled by teachers unions.

    If I would care, this would be a gorrible idea and payoff to the teachers unions who no longer have would have any performance oversight.

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