Press Release

AFT Comments on House Republicans' ESEA Education Bill

For Release: 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Contact:

Kate Childs Graham
202/393-6354; cell 202/615-2424
kchilds@aft.org

AFT’s Weingarten: “On first blush, we don’t see how this bill improves the quality of education or expands opportunity for our children. Coming off of a decade where sanctions trumped supports, we need to get back to the root of ESEA: We need to focus on poverty, on equity, on funding. Sadly, this bill doesn’t achieve any of that.”

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on proposals offered by House Republicans on the reauthorization of ESEA :

“Fifty years ago, with the enactment of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, our nation made a commitment to level the playing field for all kids by providing federal education resources to help disadvantaged schools and communities. The House Republicans’ education bill walks away from that commitment, plain and simple.

“Yes, it’s a good thing that the bill takes the federal government out of the human resource business by making teacher evaluations a local responsibility; since becoming federalized through Race to the Top and waivers, these evaluations have spurred on the high-stakes testing that is eclipsing all else. But Rep. John Kline’s bill got so much else wrong.

“Not only does this bill neglect to address proven supports, such as wraparound services and early childhood education, it also would divert money meant for public schools that teach poor kids and use it for other purposes. On first blush, we don’t see how this bill improves the quality of education or expands opportunity for our children. Coming off of a decade where sanctions trumped supports, we need to get back to the root of ESEA: We need to focus on poverty, on equity, on funding. Sadly, this bill doesn’t achieve any of that.”

Follow AFT President Randi Weingarten:
http://twitter.com/rweingarten

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.