Governmental Affairs Action Alert ~ February 3, 2017
BACKGROUND: On February 2, 2017, a resolution, H.J. Res 57, was introduced in the House of Representatives under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), to disapprove of the accountability regulations under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). If the resolution is passed, the regulations will be repealed and the U.S. Department of Education will be prohibited from issuing substantially similar regulations. The vote is expected to take place early next week.
Regulations are critically important because they instruct the states on how to implement the law in a way that meets the purposes of the statute. This is particularly important under ESSA, which says that ALL students are to have a significant opportunity for a fair, equitable and high quality education. Also, regulations clarify vague or confusing provisions in the law. For example, the ESSA accountability regulations outline acceptable options states can use in the development of their accountability systems, while also leaving the door open for states to define their own options that are equally rigorous. A summary of the accountability regulations is here.
A repeal of the accountability regulations will provide states with too much flexibility and too little oversight This will make it harder for state advocates to ensure that their ESSA state plans address the needs of all students with disabilities, including those with Down syndrome. NDSC sample comments for state ESSA plan decisions are based on many of the key provisions in the regulations. They will not have the same impact if the regulations are repealed! Furthermore, we are concerned that a successful effort to weaken ESSA accountability could encourage weakening of accountability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
TAKE ACTION NOW!
Call the US Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Representative’s office. You can also call your Representative’s local offices, which are listed on his/her website. To find out who your Representative is, go to: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
ACTION:Tell your Representative to vote NO on the H.J. Resolution 57 to disapprove of the ESSA accountability regulations. States will still have much flexibility, but we need to hold them accountable!
This just in …
NDSC sent a letter to the heads of the House Education and Workforce Committee to express our opposition to the House Joint Resolution. You can see it here.