Thursday, December 3, 2015
The Every Student Succeeds Act: More Programs and Federal Intervention in Pre-K and K–12 Education
By Lindsey Burke
In November 2015, Congress proposed reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as No Child Left Behind. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) would reauthorize ESEA with high levels of spending and dozens of ineffective programs, while creating additional programs. Any proposal to reauthorize ESEA should include portability for Title I funding—the bulk of spending under the law, designated for low-income school districts—in order to empower poor children to access learning options that work well for them. Proposals should also allow states to completely opt out of the programs under ESEA, through the A-PLUS provision, in order to direct dollars to state and local education priorities and limit federal intervention in education. Any reauthorization should streamline programs and end the federal education spending spree. As proposed, ESSA does not accomplish these critical policy priorities.