The U.S. House of Representatives has passed H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, which reduces federal interference in education and restores control to local school districts and states. Congressman Bill Flores (R-Texas) issued the following statement regarding its passage:
“Today, the House acted to protect state and local autonomy over decisions in the classroom by limiting the authority of the secretary of education. We are putting the needs and priorities of the states, students and teachers first by prohibiting the federal government from forcing states into programs like Common Core Standards or any national quality measures. Through the Student Success Act, we have repealed and replaced the one-size-fits-all educational mess that is No Child Left Behind. In its place, we have put forth reforms to give the states the ability to set their own standards and flexibility to use funding as they see fit.
“I was successful in adding an amendment which protects the religious freedom of students, teachers and schools administrators. From time to time we see cases where students and teachers are being unjustly disciplined for practicing their religious beliefs. Through my amendment, we preserve the First Amendment rights of our students and teachers to exercise their religious beliefs while at school.
“While this legislation is far from perfect, it is a step in the right direction to putting education standards back in the hands of the states. I do believe that this legislation could have been stronger had an amendment passed allowing states to fully opt-out of No Child Left Behind and receive their funding in the form of block grants. Additionally, I would have liked to have seen the bill contain language to expand Title I portability to state-accredited private schools, in order to better serve low-income students seeking better educational opportunities.
“With today’s passage of the Student Success Act, the House has advanced reforms that will strengthen education for children across America. These reforms are far better than the alternative of continuing the current No Child Left Behind policies. Hardworking American families know that improved student achievement will only occur when local governments are free from burdensome federal mandates and are not beholden to federal bureaucrats for education dollars.”
Congressman Bill Flores represents the 17th District of Texas and is an entrepreneur, former energy executive, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chairman of the Republican Study Committee (RSC) and member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.