Presentation on theme: "The 114th Congress: A Chance for ESEA Reauthorization"— Presentation transcript:
1 The 114th Congress: A Chance for ESEA Reauthorization Corey WilliamsNEA Government RelationsJanuary 2015
2 Republicans Win Solid Majority in Senate Control of the 113th Senate ( )Control of the 114th Senate ( )DemocraticRepublicanIndependent22Total SeatsDemocrats: 53Republicans: 45Independents: 25345Total SeatsDemocrats: 44Republicans: 54Independents: 24454AnalysisHaving won most of this year’s competitive races, Republicans secured 54 Senate seats, flipping the Senate from blue to redA GOP win in Louisiana was announced on December 6, 2014Since Republicans expanded their majority to 54 seats, they will have an easier time passing legislation in the Senate because they will need fewer Democratic defections to overcome filibusters (which require a 60 vote supermajority)Source: National Journal Research; CNN Election Center; Associated Press; NBC News.
3 Republicans Win Record Majority in House Control of the 113th House ( )Control of the 114th House ( )DemocraticRepublicanAKTotal SeatsDemocrats: 201Republicans: 234201234AKTotal SeatsDemocrats: 188Republicans: 247188247AnalysisRepublicans won a total of at least 246 seats in the House, their largest majority since 1928An expanded GOP majority in the House means that Speaker Boehner will have an easier time passing legislation in the House without Democratic support, and Republicans will also have an easier time holding on to their majority in future electionsSource: National Journal Research; CNN Election Center; New York Times.
4 Senate HELP Committee: Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes… Chairman: Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)Former Secretary of Education and governor of TennesseeIn both 2011 and 2013, wrote wide-ranging reauthorization billsWants less federal involvementRanking Member: Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)Received NEA Friend of Education Award in 2013Senate HELP Committee chairwomanWidely known as a deal-maker — e.g., worked with House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI)Political pressure from back home — Washington’s ESEA waiver revoked in 2014Up for reelection in 2016
5 Critical HELP Committee Members Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO)Former Denver superintendent, education reformer who enjoys bipartisan respectHas already expressed deep concern about some of our priority issues — teacher evaluation, teacher preparation, testingIn 2011, led group of DFER-aligned moderates who issued white paper on education reform, much of which we did not agree withClose with Alexander, could triangulate Senate debatePotential Republican alliesSen. Mark Kirk (IL)Sen. Richard Burr (NC)Sen. Lisa Murkowski (AK)
6 Sen. Alexander’s Priorities PROS:CONS:Values returning federal control to the statesRejects instituting federal control over content of teacher evaluation — believes it is a state issueSupports states leading on interventions for struggling schoolsSupports state and local flexibility around accountabilityMay not go far enough on maintaining equitySupports school choice, including Title 1 portability and vouchers (separate bill)Does not go far enough on charter school accountabilityFunding levels are not nearly high enoughNeed clarity on his position on testing frequency (113th Congress bill maintained annual yearly testing in grades 3-8)
7 Fewer Changes in the House Rep. John Kline (R-MN)Returning for a third term as chairman of the Education and Workforce CommitteeExpected to start with H.R. 5 from the 113th Congress — passed by the House, opposed by NEARep. Bobby Scott (D-VA)Ranking Member for 114th CongressLong-time member of the committee who has been active on key social justice initiatives, high school reform
8 Rep. Kline’s Objectives Embodied in H.R. 5 Passed by House in July 2013 — few Republicans voted “no”Supported returning decision making back to the state, including teacher evaluationsNEA opposed H.R. 5 because it:Consolidated programs, walks back equityDid not protect the educator’s voice in decision-makingDid not provide adequate levels of fundingMaintained annual testing requirements in grades 3-8Authorized Title 1 public school portability (floor amendment)Original version included a mandatory teacher evaluation provision — Conservatives stripped it out, felt it overstepped federalism
9 ESEA ReauthorizationHelp ensure equal educational opportunity and resources – ensuring a child’s right to quality educationSupports programs that level the playing field and protects the most vulnerable populationsRevamp accountability systemsNot punishment-driven system(s)Ensure federal role promotes equityTransparency to equity gaps among studentsHigh Quality ProgramsResources – funding, materials, support services, quality faculty and staff
10 Grade Span Testing Testing required by ESEA once in elementary, once in middle and once in high schoolVSNCLB TestingMore than doubled tests in reading and math aloneK-12 students take a total of 14 federally- mandated testsToxic-testing backlash
11 Additional Dynamics Opposition remains strong Administration dynamics Much of their legacy will not be possible given R leadershipIn ESEA context, can be most helpful in holding line on equityContinued staffing changes make Dept. of Ed less relevant on HillIf ESEA is reauthorized, the Department loses power
12 Not a Single Moment to Lose We need to define what successful ESEA reauthorization looks like given composition of the 114th CongressWe all need to understand the role Republicans will play in the ESEA reauthorization processPossible we could have House and Senate bills by the RANEA will look to state affiliates and BOD for their engagement and assistanceCurrent ask : push reduction of assessments with CongressMore calls and asks in the future