E-Update for January 23, 2015

E-Update for January 23, 2015

E-Update for January 23, 2015


This week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held its first hearing of the year on No Child Left Behind (NCLB) reauthorization, focusing on testing and accountability. Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) expressed his intent to have a bill ready for the floor by the end of February, with the House bill on the floor by the same time. In an event at the American Enterprise Institute, Chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee John Kline (R-MN) confirmed Alexander’s proposed timeline. Next week, the Committee will host another hearing on fixing NCLB and supporting teachers and school leaders.


On January 27, the Senate HELP Committee will host a second hearing on fixing NCLB, with a focus on supporting teachers and school leaders. Witnesses will include: Dr. Dan Goldhaber, Director, National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research; Dr. Terry Holliday, Commissioner of Education, Commonwealth of Kentucky; Mr. Saul Hinojosa, Superintendent of Schools, Somerset Independent School District; Ms. Rachelle Moore , 1st Grade Teacher, Madrona K-8 School; and Dr. Christine Handy-Collins, Principal, Gaithersburg High School. Details here.

On January 27, the American Enterprise Institute will host a conversation featuring U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) on “The School Choice Journey” at 9:30am. In their new book, “The School Choice Journey: School Vouchers and the Empowerment of Urban Families” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), researchers Thomas Stewart and Patrick Wolf track the experiences of families participating in the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program, the first federally funded school voucher program based in the District of Columbia. They find that parents look to several factors when choosing a school for their child, and the impacts of school choice on parents and families go far beyond anything that can be measured by a standardized test. Senator Scott, Stewart, and Wolf will discuss why promoting school choice is important to expanding the range of education opportunities for every student in the United States, regardless of zip code. RSVP here.

On January 28, Teaching Strategies will host an Education Week webinar on “High-Quality Early Childhood Programs as a Model for K-3 Education” at 2pm. This webinar will share lessons learned from decades of innovation in high-quality early childhood programs and highlight the ways that applying similar strategies in K-3 can lead to quality and success for all children. Kai-leé Berke, Teaching Strategies’ chief academic officer, will define developmentally appropriate practice; showcase the powerful impact of project-based, hands-on investigations that directly support children to be critical and creative thinkers; and discuss how innovative resources that inextricably link curriculum and whole-child assessment can help K-3 programs achieve success. Additionally, participants will gain an understanding of the importance of investing in early childhood programs that help lay the foundation for children’s success in kindergarten and beyond. Register here.

White House

White House Releases Fact Sheet on Helping All Working Families with Young Children Afford Child Care: The White House released a fact sheet detailing the specifics of the President’s proposal on affordable child care, as introduced in the State of the Union. His plan includes: making a landmark investment in the Child Care and Development Fund that helps every eligible family with young children afford high-quality child care; tripling the maximum child care tax credit to $3,000 per young child; and creating a new innovation fund to help states design programs that better serve families that face unique challenges in finding quality care, such as those in rural areas or working non-traditional hours.
January 21, 2015

In State of the Union, Obama Pitches College Access, Child-Care Aid: President Barack Obama used his penultimate State of the Union address to call for a dramatic expansion in college access and increased investments in early childhood, including help for parents in covering childcare costs. But both proposals are part of a broad overhaul of the tax system that is already getting the thumbs-down from a Republican-controlled Congress. Meanwhile, K-12 policy largely took a back seat, despite an escalating debate in Congress over federally mandated student testing.
Education Week
January 20, 2015

U.S Department of Education

U.S. Education Department Announces Future Ready Regional Summits: The US Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology (OET) in partnership with the Alliance for Excellent Education and with support from the Leading Education by Advancing Digital (LEAD) Commission and a coalition of more than 36 content partners will host a series of Future Ready Regional Summits to help school district leaders improve teaching and student learning outcomes through the effective use of technology.
January 16, 2015

Congressional Headlines

Kline Speaks on Education Reform at the American Enterprise Institute: Congressman John Kline, Chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, spoke at the American Enterprise Institute about committee priorities for improving education.
January 22, 2015

Senate HELP Committee Holds Hearing on NCLB Reauthorization: The Senate HELP Committee held a full committee hearing on Fixing No Child Left Behind – Testing and Accountability on January 21. Witnesses included: Dr. Marty West, Associate Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Paul Leather, Deputy Commissioner, New Hampshire Department of Education; Tom Boasberg, Superintendent, Denver Public Schools; Jia Lee, Fourth and Fifth Grade Special Education Teacher, Earth School; Wade Henderson, President and CEO, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Leadership Conference Education Fund; and Stephen Lazar, Eleventh Grade US History and English Teacher, Harvest Collegiate High School.
January 21, 2015

House Education Committee Requests Public Feedback to Reform Head Start Program: The committee released a white paper outlining goals to reform the Head Start Act and requesting public feedback on ways to strengthen the law. The paper is the latest effort by the committee to improve federal early learning and child care programs. Submit comments to the committee here.
January 21, 2015

New Legislation

H.R.408 : To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to award grants to States to improve delivery of high-quality assessments, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Bonamici, Suzanne [OR-1] (introduced 1/20/2015) Cosponsors (1)

H.R.444 : To expand the research and education on and delivery of complementary and alternative medicine to veterans, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Brownley, Julia [CA-26] (introduced 1/21/2015) Cosponsors (None)

H.R.452 : To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to clarify when certain academic assessments shall be administered.
Sponsor: Rep Gibson, Christopher P. [NY-19] (introduced 1/21/2015) Cosponsors (19)

H.R.453 : To authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services, acting through the Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration, to award grants on a competitive basis to public and private entities to provide qualified sexual risk avoidance education to youth and their parents.
Sponsor: Rep Hultgren, Randy [IL-14] (introduced 1/21/2015) Cosponsors (16)

H.R.463 : To amend the General Education Provisions Act to prohibit Federal education funding for elementary schools and secondary schools that provide on-campus access to abortion providers.
Sponsor: Rep Neugebauer, Randy [TX-19] (introduced 1/22/2015) Cosponsors (16)

H.R.467 : To direct the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to carry out programs and activities to ensure that Federal science agencies and institutions of higher education receiving Federal research and development funding are fully engaging their entire talent pool, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Johnson, Eddie Bernice [TX-30] (introduced 1/22/2015) Cosponsors (13)

H.R.476 : To amend title 38, United States Code, to clarify the process of approving courses of education pursued using educational benefits administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Wenstrup, Brad R. [OH-2] (introduced 1/22/2015) Cosponsors (None)

H.R.495 : To strengthen student achievement and graduation rates and prepare young people for college, careers, and citizenship through innovative partnerships that meet the comprehensive needs of children and youth.
Sponsor: Rep Chu, Judy [CA-27] (introduced 1/22/2015) Cosponsors (9)

H.R.497 : To require training for teachers in social and emotional learning programming, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Davis, Susan A. [CA-53] (introduced 1/22/2015) Cosponsors (None)

S.182 : A bill to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to prohibit Federal education mandates, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Roberts, Pat [KS] (introduced 1/16/2015) Cosponsors (4)

S.191 : A bill to amend the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 to raise the quality of career and technical education programs and to allow local eligible recipients to use funding to establish high-quality career academies.
Sponsor: Sen Kaine, Tim [VA] (introduced 1/20/2015) Cosponsors (2)

S.195 : A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to improve and expand Coverdell education savings accounts.
Sponsor: Sen Kirk, Mark Steven [IL] (introduced 1/20/2015) Cosponsors (2)

S.197 : A bill to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to award grants to States to improve delivery of high-quality assessments, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Baldwin, Tammy [WI] (introduced 1/20/2015) Cosponsors (6)

S.227 : A bill to strengthen the Federal education research system to make research and evaluations more timely and relevant to State and local needs in order to increase student achievement.
Sponsor: Sen Alexander, Lamar [TN] (introduced 1/21/2015) Cosponsors (1)

S.RES.30 : A resolution designating the week of January 25 through January 31, 2015, as “National School Choice Week”.
Sponsor: Sen Scott, Tim [SC] (introduced 1/20/2015) Cosponsors (13) 

The articles published in this newsletter are intended only to provide general information on the subjects covered. The contents should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Readers should consult with legal counsel to obtain specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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