What an exciting afternoon this has been. After years of preparation, seven days of debate, and over 178 amendments filed, the Senate passed the Every Child Achieves Act (S. 1177), 81-17. The Senate bill includes music and arts as core academic subjects, makes music programs eligible for a wider range of grants, and ensures that Annual Yearly Progress does not determine distribution of federal funding for schools. In fact, both the Senate and House versions of the bills will greatly enhance local control by limiting the Department of Education’s powers.
A bevy of amendments were also addressed before the final vote that may impact what NAfME members experience in the classroom. Senator Burr’s (R-NC) amendment that altered the Title I formula will shift Title I funds largely away from northeastern states and to more western and southern states with lower per-student spending averages. Partnership grants to provide quality preschool proposed by Senator Casey were not agreed to, but expansions of programs to help children cope with violence, substance abuse, and community-wide health were included.
The Every Child Achieves Act (S. 1177), having been successfully passed out of the Senate chamber, now heads to conference committee with the U.S. House of Representatives. You can read our full press announcement of the news here.
A full rundown of all the final amendments voted on today, appears below:
- Cruz (R-TX) Amendment to base accountability systems on state-determined metrics. (NOT AGREED TO)
- Sanders (I-VT) Amendment to establish career programs for young workers. (NOT AGREED TO)
- Coons (D-DE) Amendment to establish American Dream Accounts. (AGREED TO)
- Burr (R-NC) Amendment to alter the Title I definition to use a national per student spending average as opposed to a per student spending average by state. (AGREED TO)
- Brown (D-OH) Amendment to provide grants for community programs. (AGREED TO)
- Casey (D-PA) Amendment to provide partnership grants for pre-kindergarten education. (NOT AGREED TO)
- Hatch (R-UT) Amendment to alter early learning provisions. (AGREED TO)
- Warren (D-MA) Amendment to provide specialized literacy support for students. (AGREED TO)
- Schatz (D-HI) Amendment to use Title I funds for assessments of educational facilities. (AGREED TO)
- Murphy (D-CT) Amendment to reauthorize Promise Neighborhoods grants. (AGREED TO)
- Nelson (D-FL) Amendment to allow retired STEM professionals to assist in developing STEM resources. (AGREED TO)
- Manchin (D-WV) Amendment to allow funds for specialized support for children exposed to substance abuse. (AGREED TO)
- Warren (D-MA) Amendment to require all student data collected be cross-tabulated and those results to be made available. (AGREED TO)
- Baldwin (D-WI) Amendment to require states to report a plan on meeting needs of students, especially in middle and high school. (AGREED TO)
- Thune (R-SD) Amendment to allow violence prevention activities to be funded under Project SERV grants. (AGREED TO)
- Boozman (R-AR) Amendment to provide professional development to secondary students. (AGREED TO)
- Capito (R-WV) Amendment to require reporting of remediation and postsecondary enrollment numbers for high schools. (AGREED TO) -King (I-ME) Amendment that alters definitions of technology education and allowable use of funds. (AGREED TO) -Schatz (D-HI) Amendment to provide resources for school and programs teaching Native American languages. (AGREED TO)
Alexandra Eaton, NAfME Legislative Policy Advisor, July 16, 2015. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org).