News Releases

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Isakson Praises Senate Passage of Every Child Achieves Act

Ends Washington micromanagement of local school decisions, academic standards

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today praised the overwhelming Senate bipartisan passage of sweeping education reforms that end the federal government’s micromanagement of schools and curriculum standards and put education decisions back in the hands of parents, teachers, and state and local governments.

“The Every Child Achieves Act reopens the door for local control,” said Isakson. “It takes the bonds off of public education and removes the Washington weight that is dragging it down. The Every Child Achieves Act will do exactly what I have been working toward for many years, and that is to put education progress and decisions back in the hands of parents, teachers, and state and local governments. The amendment I sponsored and that passed unanimously on Wednesday to ensure that parents have the information needed to make decisions on their child’s education including their rights to opt their children out of mandated testing, was just one of many positive reforms included in this important legislation.”

Isakson chaired the Georgia Board of Education from 1997-99 and has long made education reform a priority. The bipartisan Every Child Achieves Act passed out of committee unanimously in April 2015. It is a long-overdue replacement for No Child Left Behind, which expired in 2007.

This legislation will help remove Washington mandates from education, and instead allow those closest to students to set the agenda. Notably, the Every Child Achieves Act will end the previous federal overreliance on standardized tests that has led to complaints of over-testing, and the federal government’s Department of Education will no longer be able to impose Common Core or any other academic standards on states.

Key amendments supported by Isakson are below:

Ensuring parents can make informed decisions on their children’s education
Included in the legislation was Isakson’s amendment that passed in a unanimous 97-0 vote, to require any local educational agency that receives federal Title I funds to notify parents of each student attending school that they may request information regarding any state or local policy, procedure, or parental right to opt out of mandated assessments.

Increasing funding for Georgia’s low-income schools
Isakson supported an amendment that would increase federal funding for low income school districts. Georgia is expected to see an increase in funding due to this formula change.

Increasing school choice for low-income students
Isakson voted for two amendments introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., that would expand school choice for students and give low-income parents the ability to choose how best to meet their child’s educational needs.

Ensuring accountability for workforce training schools
Isakson supported an amendment that allows states to include indicators in their accountability systems that will give schools recognition for preparing students for postsecondary education and the workforce.

In addition, Isakson blocked several provisions from being included in the bill that would have increased federal mandates on schools, increase taxes and expand the federal government’s role in schools.