Congressman Joe Heck (NV-03), a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, today backed House passage of S. 1177, the Every Student Succeeds Act, which represents a major overhaul of federal education policy.
The bill replaces the previous version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, commonly known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), with a new law that ends one-size-fits-all accountability requirements included in NCLB, returns more control over education policy to states and parents, and prevents the federal government from coercing states into adopting Common Core education standards.
During House committee consideration of the bill, Rep. Heck offered an amendment based on one of the recommendations of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission (MCRMC), which he was reviewing in his capacity as chairman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel.
The amendment, which was included in S. 1177, allows schools and school districts to better track the academic performance of military dependent students, similar to the ways they track English Language Learners or low-income students. According to recent studies, while military dependent students face significant challenges, there is no national public data available to allow educators to provide appropriate resources to meet those challenges. Identifying military dependent children students as such will help improve their educational experience and increase their opportunities for success.
S. 1177, the Every Student Succeeds Act, is the final product of years of work by the House Education and the Workforce Committee (E&W), as well as the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP), to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which expired in 2007.
A House version of the bill (H.R. 5, the Student Success Act) was considered, amended, and favorably reported by E & W. That bill was then considered on the floor of the House of Representatives, amended, and ultimately passed by the House. A similar process was used in the Senate to pass the Senate version of the bill (S. 1177, the Every Child Achieves Act) through the HELP Committee and eventually the Senate floor.
With two separate versions of the bill passed by each House, a conference committee was created made up of members of both parties and both Houses of Congress to resolve the differences between the two bills. The bill passed today by the House is the result of that conference committee.
Congressman Joe Heck represents Nevada's Third Congressional District in the House of Representatives. He serves on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.