Senate HELP Committee Holds Hearing on ESSA Implementation

Senate HELP Committee Holds Hearing on ESSA Implementation

June 29, 2016

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions held a full committee hearing on ESSA titled “ESSA Implementation: Update from the U.S. Secretary of Education on Proposed Regulations.” During the hearing, King heard criticism from several senators:

  • Chris Murphy (D-CT) argued that “the acccountability proposal did not go far enough in some places.”
  • Al Franken (D-MN) “urged the department to rely on its guidance related to transportation costs for students in foster care, rather than what’s in the draft ESSA rules.”
  • Richard Burr (R-NC) pressed King about “why his department didn’t trust schools to make their own decisions about how to improve, and why he continued to push failed practices under the No Child Left Behind Act.” In his response, King confirmed that he did trust schools, and stressed ESSA’s civil rights protections for students.
  • Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) was concerned with improving access to advanced courses and other resources for poor and minority students.

According to Education Week, “King emphasized his department’s attempts to balance the flexibility for states in ESSA while ensuring that schools and states took appropriate and research-based action to help struggling schools and groups of students.” Read Secretary King’s full testimony here.