Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after House Republicans passed their partisan reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA):
“I am disappointed that House Republicans advanced a flawed and partisan reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that disinvests in America’s public schools. This legislation does not do enough to address key challenges, includes several provisions that undermine access to quality schools for students who are the most at risk of dropping out or failing, diminishes the federal role in education, and threatens the civil rights legacy of ESEA.
“It is clear that House Republicans are set on a partisan process. They held no hearings and passed the bill out of Committee on a party line vote. In February, during Floor consideration, it was clear that widespread opposition to the bill would prevent its passage. Instead of working in a bipartisan way since then, as Ranking Member Murray and Chairman Alexander have done in the Senate, House Republicans decided to reach for votes from the more conservative wing of their party by making a bad bill even worse. Reauthorization is long overdue, but there must be a bipartisan process to do so, as has been the tradition in years past.
“The Democratic alternative, introduced by Ranking Member Bobby Scott, is a better bill that reflects the needs of teachers, students, parents, and communities. I am glad that Ranking Member Scott has included the Full-Service Community Schools Act I have introduced as part of his alternative legislation to promote the very successful model of the Judith P. Hoyer Early Childhood Centers in Maryland to K-12 nationally, which co-locates a range of health and social services at schools.
“I hope Republicans will abandon their partisan ESEA reauthorization and instead work with Democrats to pass one that invests in the stronger future our children and our country deserve.”