Action alert: Congress set to vote on ESEA reauthorization next week

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote next week on re-authorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, known it is current incarnation as “No Child Left Behind,” and MEA members have an opportunity to make their voices heard.

MEA members are encouraged to contact their member of Congress and urge him or her to oppose the legislation in its current form, and instead support amendments that would strengthen public education in Michigan and the United States.

As is stands, H.R. 5, known as the “Student Success Act”:

  • Undermines efforts to achieve equity and close achievement gaps.
  • Eliminates “Maintenance of Effort,” which requires state and local education funding to be at least 90 percent of the previous year’s spending to receive federal funds
  • Provides inadequate funding, which would particularly harm at-risk and low-income students
  • Continues lax policies that don’t hold charter schools to the same standards as traditional public schools
  • Diminishes focus on professional development for teachers and education support professionals

MEA members can make their voices heard immediately through an online petition or by calling their U.S. representative toll-free at 866-420-3592.

It’s important that MEA members tell their representatives in Congress that the ESEA reauthorization should:

  • Promote innovation, high expectations, and encourage development of 21st century skills in public schools.
  • End the obsession with high-stakes, poor-quality tests by developing high-quality assessment systems that provide multiple ways for students to show what they have learned.
  • Support schools with the necessary resources, especially school districts in the most need, and should not impose vouchers that drain money from local public schools.
  • Promote public education as a shared responsibility of parents, communities, educators and policymakers.
  • Help empower educators to focus on what’s important: student learning and achievement.