Wicker: Education Reform Bill Passes Senate

Legislation Puts States, Teachers, Parents Back in Control of Students’ Success

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today supported final Senate passage of a bill to reform the nation’s education system and to prohibit national mandates such as Common Core. The “Every Child Achieves Act,” S. 1177, authored by Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., received overwhelming bipartisan support with a vote of 81-17.

“Congress has taken a meaningful step to reform America’s broken education system,” Wicker said. “In recent years, the Department of Education has been acting as a National School Board. This legislation would return that power back to the states, school districts, teachers, and parents to decide what is best for their students. Ultimately, improving students’ chances of success should be the top priority. This bipartisan proposal would put that goal back into focus.”

The measure now awaits action by a House-Senate conference committee to resolve differences between the chambers’ bills.

Highlights of S. 1177 include:

Strengthening state and local control by restoring responsibility for creating accountability systems to the states.
Ending the Common Core mandate.
Prohibiting the Secretary of Education from adding new requirements for states or school districts seeking waivers from federal law.
Creating a STEM Master Teacher Corps to recruit and retain teachers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Strengthening the charter school program.
Helping states fix the lowest-performing schools through federal grants.