On Wednesday, July 8, Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02) voted in support of H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, legislation that updates the nation’s K-12 education laws.
Building off legislation from the 113th Congress, H.R. 5 reduces the federal government’s footprint, empowers parents, and supports effective teachers—all while restoring local control.
“When I meet with teachers, school board members, and school leaders in Kentucky, I am told time and again that current law is not effectively serving our students and that we need a full reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, known as ‘No Child Left Behind,’” said Guthrie. “As the father of three children who have gone through the public school system, I know how important it is to allow those who know our students best to be the decision makers.”
H.R. 5 prohibits the Secretary of Education from coercing states into adopting Common Core State Standards or any other specific set of academic standards through waivers of K-12 education law or in exchange for federal funds. It also states that the federal government should not interfere with state-led efforts.
“The Department of Education has spent the last several years imposing its own agenda on states by granting waivers from certain provisions of the law and incentivizing states to adopt Common Core,” said Guthrie. This is not an effective way to address our education system’s shortcomings and only reinforces our need to adopt a long-term solution that provides our states and local school districts with certainty.
In addition, H.R. 5 eliminates the most onerous provisions of No Child Left Behind, including the “Adequate Yearly Progress” accountability metric that requires students reach proficiency by an arbitrary deadline, and the “Highly Qualified Teacher” requirement which places emphasis on a teacher’s paper credentials rather than his/her effectiveness in the classroom.
“A quality education is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children,” Guthrie said. “H.R. 5 ensures that we put students first.”