Senate Passes Bill Gutting Common Core, Obama to Sign
The U.S. Senate easily passed a bill Wednesday morning which will dramatically overhaul how the federal government approaches K-12 education. With the bill already passed in the House, its only remaining barrier to becoming a law is President Barack Obama, who says he will sign it.
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is primarily the work of two Republicans, Lamar Alexander in the Senate and John Kline in the House, who have spent the better part of the year working on it. Even though the bill shifts education policy noticeably to the right and reduces the power of the federal government, Obama is supportive. His willingness to sign the bill reflects the general, bipartisan dissatisfaction with No Child Left Behind (NCLB) that the new bill will replace.
The bill passed 85-12. All 12 Nay votes came from Republicans who believe the bill does not go far enough in cutting spending and reducing federal control.
But what the bill does do is significant. Notably, the bill prohibits any actions by the federal government to require or incentivize states to adopt Common Core or other school standards. The Obama administration had used such incentives in recent years to encourage states to use Common Core.
“Washington has no business dictating to states and school districts what is best for the students they serve,” Sen. Pat Roberts, who authored the relevant amendment, says in a statement sent to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “This bill will restore that responsibility back to states, local school districts, superintendents, principals, teachers, local school boards, parents and students.”