Updated 7/15/2015 – Updates to all amendment statuses. Senate filed cloture and is expected to debate on a final set of amendments before voting for passage of ESEA tomorrow.
On July 7th, the “Every Child Achieves Act of 2015” (S. 1177) was introduced onto the Senate floor, after the bill was agreed upon with unanimous consent by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee earlier in April. As we move on with the bill’s floor proceedings, an array of amendments is planned to be introduced and debated for the bill. Below are some of these amendments to be considered, which are interesting and relevant to our cause for music education:
- Kirk (R-IL), Baldwin (D-WI), Reed (D-RI), Brown (D-OH) – “Opportunity Dashboard of Core Resources” amendment: Would add language to S. 1177, requiring that states to report on three of five indicators concerning access of educational resources for students. This includes the availability of “core academic subjects,” which include music and arts.
- Voted upon and failed, 46-50 (60 vote threshold)
- Casey (D-PA) – “Strong Start for America’s Children” amendment: Would expand and improve early childhood education programs for children from low-income families by adding Senator Murray’s “Strong Start for America’s Children Act of 2015” (S. 1380) language to the ESEA reauthorization. Under the amendment, the program would last for 5 years, opposed to the 10 years designated in its parent bill.
- Scheduled for vote Thursday, July 16
- Hatch (R-UT) – Would amend Title I of ESEA to allow for renegotiation of contracts to allow localities to reallocate funds for failing local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools. Under the amendment, failing LEAs are defined as agencies which serve no less than 40 percent of public schools that have been identified by the State as in need of intervention and support.
- Filed and submitted, no vote.
The Senate will reconvene and continue discussions on ESEA on Monday, July 13, at 3:00pm. Stay tuned for further updates and other relevant amendments to be introduced for discussion next week.
Ronny Lau, Special Assistant, Center for Advocacy and Constituency Engagement, July 7, 2015. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org).