Why We Support the Reauthorization of ESEA

The House of Representatives is set to pass a bill that would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It has been more than a decade since the law was reauthorized under the new name, No Child Left Behind. The bill under consideration includes several provisions that have been on our priority list. Below is a letter we sent to Capitol Hill today, which outlines our support.

ESEA Conference Report Letter

Accountability Must be Included in Education Bill to Fulfill its Promise to Students

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After more than a decade, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act appears to be headed for reauthorization. The last time the civil rights law was rewritten was 2002, when it was rebranded as “No Child Left Behind.” The current rewrite is in the final stages as House members have been named to serve on the bill’s conference committee, which will reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions before putting it up for a vote in each body.

This week, NCLR President and CEO, Janet Murguía, hosted a conference call for Affiliates and NCLR supporters with the Department of Education’s Delegated Deputy Secretary, Dr. John B. King, Jr.

You can listen to the entire call below.

 
The following are prepared remarks Janet Murguía made during the live call:

No Child Left Behind or NCLB is of immense importance to the Latino community since our children make up not only the largest ethnic majority in the American classroom but also one of every four students in this country. NCLB was enacted more than a decade ago during the Bush Administration and it marked the first time ever that the federal government was required to hold schools accountable for the way they were educating English learners, many of whom are Hispanic. This is the reason why NCLR supported this far from perfect legislation. It is long past time for Congress to update and help correct some of the flaws and the unintended consequences of NCLB.

This is a message Congress has received since the reauthorization of the bill is one of the few pieces of major legislation to be passed this year by both the House and Senate. This week we expect the House and the Senate to appoint conferees, the last step before the legislation is sent to the President.

NCLR has been working closely and on a bipartisan basis with Senator Patty Murray (D–Wash.) and Senator Lamar Alexander (R–Tenn.) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D–Va.) and Rep. John Kline (R–Minn.) on the house side, to strengthen the provisions related to English learners in the bill and we are now working to make sure these provisions—which include requiring that English learners be included in a state’s accountability system and support for English learners so that they can achieve academic success—stay in the final version of the bill. It is our understanding that just this weekend an agreement on the framework for this has been reached. While we do not have the details, we hope to get more information in the coming days.

As the process moves forward, provisions must ensure that states are able to intervene if a school is found to be failing its Latino and English learner students. Without this provision in the final bill, it is unclear whether the ESEA can fulfill its promise to our students. In short, a strong ESEA that protects our nation’s most vulnerable students is vital to ensuring that states and school districts are living up to their obligation to provide a quality education to all on an equal basis, regardless of who they are or where they live. Giving all children the best education possible so that they can achieve and contribute as much as possible is something all Americans will benefit from and should get behind on.

We are monitoring the process closely and are working to ensure that a final bill reflects the priorities of the Latino community. Follow @NCLR for the latest updates.

For more information on NCLR’s education work, visit nclr.org/issues/education

Weekly Washington Outlook — November 16, 2015

U.S. Capitol

What to Watch This Week:

Congress:

House:

The House will vote on Monday on legislation under suspension of the rules:

H.R. 308 – Keep the Promise Act (Sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks / Natural Resources Committee)

]H.R. 1694 – Fairness to Veterans for Infrastructure Investment Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)

H.R. 3114 – To provide funds to the Army Corps of Engineers to hire veterans and members of the Armed Forces to assist the Corps with curation and historic preservation activities, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Rep. Grace Napolitano / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)

H.R. 1073 – Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks / Homeland Security Committee)

H.R. 3144 – Partners for Aviation Security Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Donald Payne / Homeland Security Committee)

H.R. 1338 – Dignified Interment of Our Veterans Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Bill Shuster / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)

H.R. 1384 – Honor America’s Guard-Reserve Retirees Act (Sponsored by Rep. Tim Walz / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)

S. 599 – Improving Access to Emergency Psychiatric Care Act, as amended (Sponsored by Sen. Cardin / Energy and Commerce Committee)

S. 799 – Protecting Our Infants Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Sen. Mitch McConnell / Energy and Commerce Committee)

H.R. 2583 – Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2015, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Greg Walden / Energy and Commerce Committee)

Concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 2262 – SPACE Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Kevin McCarthy / Science, Space, and Technology Committee)

H.R. 1317 – To amend the Commodity Exchange Act and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to specify how clearing requirements apply to certain affiliate transactions, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Rep. Gwen Moore / Financial Services Committee)

H.R. 3032 – Securities and Exchange Commission Reporting Modernization Act (Sponsored by Rep. Kyrsten Sinema / Financial Services Committee)

S. 2036 – Equity in Government Compensation Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Sen. David Vitter / Financial Services Committee)

H.R. 1478 – Policyholder Protection Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Bill Posey / Financial Services Committee)

Concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 208 – RISE After Disaster Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Nydia Velázquez / Small Business Committee)

In addition, the House may consider a short-term extension of the Highway Trust Fund.

On Tuesday, the House will vote on H.R. 511 – Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act of 2015 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Todd Rokita / Education and the Workforce Committee).  The House will also vote on a motion to go to conference on legislation reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

On Wednesday and the balance of the week, the House will consider the following:

H.R. 1737 – Reforming CFPB Indirect Auto Financing Guidance Act (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Frank Guinta / Financial Services Committee)

H.R. 1210 – Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Andy Barr / Financial Services Committee)

H.R. 3189 – FORM Act of 2015, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Bill Huizenga / Financial Services Committee)

Senate: On Monday afternoon, the Senate will consider a judicial nomination.  Later in the week, the chamber will take up legislation blocking two Environmental Protection Agency Regulations, S. J. Res. 23 and S. J. Res. 24.  

On Wednesday, the Senate has scheduled a procedural vote on S. 2193, sponsored by Sen. Cruz (R-TX).  The legislation would establish new mandatory minimum sentences for illegal re-entry into the United States.

White House:

On Monday, the president will attend a G20 meeting on financial regulation, international tax, anti-corruption, and a G20 working lunch on trade, energy and the adoption of the Communique and Antalya Action Plan. In the evening, President Obama will hold a press conference before departing Turkey en route Manila, Philippines.

On Tuesday, the president will arrive in Manila, Philippines. In the afternoon, President Obama will tour the BRP Gregorio del Pilar. In the afternoon, the president will also participate in a meeting with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of the Commonwealth of Australia.

On Wednesday, the president will hold a meeting with President Benigno Aquino of the Philippines. Later in the morning, President Obama will deliver remarks at a CEO Summit. In the afternoon, the president will take a family photo and participate in a meeting on the Trans-Pacific Partnership with the leaders of the TPP countries. Later in the afternoon, President Obama will participate in a Pacific Alliance meeting. In the evening, the President will participate in an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) family photo and attend an APEC welcome dinner and cultural performance.

On Thursday, the president will participate in the APEC family photo and the opening session of the APEC retreat on inclusive growth through integrated economics. In the afternoon, the President will participate in a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and attend the second session of the APEC retreat on sustainable and resilient communities. In the evening, President Obama will participate in a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.

On Friday, the president will depart the Philippines en route Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In Malaysia, President Obama will participate in a Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) town hall.

On Saturday, while in Malaysia, the president will deliver remarks at the ASEAN business and investment summit. In the afternoon, President Obama will tour the Dignity for Children Foundation. Following the tour, the president will participate in a Civil Society roundtable at the Ritz Carlton and in the evening, President Obama participates in a US-ASEAN meeting. The president will also participate in a pull aside with Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Later in the evening President Obama will attend and participate in a family photo and the EAS gala dinner at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre.

On Sunday, the president will participate in an East Asia Summit family photo and meeting. In the afternoon, President Obama will hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of the Republic of Singapore. Later in the afternoon, the president will hold a press conference, before departing Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia en route Yokota, Japan on the way back to Washington.

Also this Week:

Education – This week, the House and Senate will appoint conferees to a committee to reconcile differences in House and Senate versions of legislation reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (last rewritten as No Child Left Behind).  The conference committee is expected to meet on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday and final legislation is expected in both chambers sometime in early December. Informal negotiations have been ongoing since the summer, leading to an agreement on a framework announced late last week. In a statement, the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House Education and Workforce Committee and Senate HELP Committee said they “believe we have a path forward” toward a compromise between the House version, H.R. 5, and the Senate-passed bill, S. 1177.

Immigration – The Senate plans to take a procedural vote on Wednesday morning on S. 2193, “Kate’s Law.” The legislation sponsored by Sen. Cruz (R-Texas) would create two new mandatory minimum prison sentences for five years for certain immigrants who re-enter the country illegally. It would also increase the penalty for first-time illegal re-entry from two years to five years and create new penalties for those who have illegally re-entered three or more times. Earlier in the fall, the Senate voted on similar legislation from Sen. Vitter that would block certain federal funding streams in addition to establishing a mandatory minimum sentence; Democrats successfully blocked this bill.

Consumer Protections – The House will vote on two bills this week relating to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s regulatory authority.  The first, H.R. 1737 would over-ride the CFPB’s guidance on fair lending requirement for indirect auto lending.  The second, H.R. 1210 would broaden the definition of a “qualified mortgage,” granting additional liability protection to mortgage lenders. 

Law Enforcement – Attorney General Loretta Lynch will appear before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. This hearing was rescheduled from earlier in October.  Her remarks are expected to address issues facing the Justice Department, and law enforcement in particular. In the Senate, the Judiciary Committee’s Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights, and Federal Courts Subcommittee will also hold a hearing on Tuesday on the relationship among federal, state, and local law enforcement. 

Nutrition – The House Agriculture Committee has scheduled a hearing on Wednesday to review the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Budget – The House Budget Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday on whether the Congressional budget process should shift from annual to biennial budgeting.  The Senate Budget Committee held a similar hearing earlier this fall. 

How Education Reform Will Affect Latino Students

You’re invited!

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John B. King, Jr.

Join the Honorable John King, Delegated Deputy Secretary of Education, and our President and CEO, Janet Murguía, for a conference call on reforming the nation’s education system.

Congress is currently working to rewrite one of our signature civil rights laws, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. You might know it better by the name it was given the last time it was rewritten: “No Child Left Behind.” On the call you’ll hear what this rewrite means for English learners and Latino students.

Don’t miss it!

NOTE: This call is closed to the press. 

Date: November 16, 2015
Time: 2:00 p.m. EST
RSVP: oraledu@nclr.org

Call-in Number: (877) 888-4314
Conference ID: NCLB
Program Title: Reviewing No Child Left Behind

Why We Oppose H.R. 5

Today, NCLR joined other Latino civil rights organizations and the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda in a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives outlining our opposition to H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, the House’s rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act

Read the whole letter below:

NHLA Letter Opposed to H.R. 5