Statement from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on Senate HELP Committee's Markup of the No Child Left Behind Act

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Statement from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on Senate HELP Committee's Markup of the No Child Left Behind Act

April 16, 2015

I applaud the leadership of Chairman Alexander, Senator Murray and the members of the HELP Committee on the important steps taken this week to advance a bipartisan proposal to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It is long past time to replace No Child Left Behind with a law that ensures continued progress and opportunity for America’s children. The bill now honors the widespread bipartisan call to expand access to high quality preschool. The bill also makes a critical investment in innovation and scaling what works. However, to live up to ESEA’s legacy of advancing equity and providing opportunity for every child, we join with numerous civil rights and business groups in urging that further significant improvements be made to the bill to create the law that America’s children deserve. Every family and every community deserve to know that schools are helping all children succeed - including low-income students, racial and ethnic minorities, students with disabilities and students learning English. And they deserve to know that if students in those groups fall behind, their schools will take steps to improve, with the strongest action in the lowest-performing 5 percent of schools. In addition, we should ensure that educators have the resources they need, and that federal dollars reach the most vulnerable students they are intended to support. I am encouraged that this week, members of the HELP Committee recognized the need to strengthen the bill's accountability measures as this legislation advances in the Senate. I look forward to continuing to work with Congress on that effort.