Press Release

AFT on House Committee Vote on ESEA Bill

AFT’s Weingarten: “The Student Success Act is a misnomer. In reality, it would rob poor and struggling students of the resources, supports and funding they need to succeed.”

For Release: 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Janet Bass

WASHINGTON—Statement by American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the Republican-drafted Student Success Act to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which was approved on a party-line vote in the House Education and the Workforce Committee today:

“The Student Success Act is a misnomer. In reality, it would rob poor and struggling students of the resources, supports and funding they need to succeed. The bill pulls us further away from the core purpose of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which is to level the playing field for all kids. 

“Half of public school students are poor. Thirty states are still funding education at pre-recession levels. The funding inequities we see among districts are stark. We should be addressing these challenges head on, by ensuring all kids have equal access to resources, even when their communities can’t afford it. This bill takes us in the opposite direction. The ‘portability’ provision the committee approved would actually drive further inequities by moving money meant to go to public schools that teach poor kids and giving it to better-off schools.

“Rep. Bobby Scott’s substitute proposal, on the other hand, reflects a solid understanding of many of the challenges facing educators in classrooms today and would provide them with the supports and tools they need to help students succeed. We will continue to work with the House and Senate to uphold the ESEA’s historic commitment to expanding opportunity for all children.”

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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.