WASHINGTON, D.C. – U. S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today praised the bipartisan passage of the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA), legislation to update the No Child Left Behind law by eliminating waivers, strengthening state and local control, prohibiting the federal government from certain enforcement measures, and reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act through 2021. The legislation passed by a vote of 81-17.
“The Every Child Achieves Act is long overdue reform that will return education standards back to local communities and its leaders, teachers and parents who know our children the best,” said Inhofe. "Oklahomans want education reform that sets standards created and certified by Oklahomans, not reform enforced by bureaucrats in Washington. I fought for these state values in my bill, the Local School Board Governance Flexibility Act, and I was glad to see many aspects of it incorporated in ECAA. I applaud the bipartisan passage of this education reform bill that will empower states and local leaders to adopt the standards that they know first-hand will help their children and youth succeed.”
Inhofe voted in favor of the following amendments during Senate floor consideration of ECAA:
- Amendment #2079 would ensure the Secretary of Education does not have any governance or authority over school administrations or budgets, to issue any regulations without public notice and the opportunity for public comment, or issue any non-regulatory guidance without considering input from local leaders. This amendment passed by voice vote.
- Amendment #2094 would allow background checks to protect children from sex offenders. The amendment passed by 98-0.
- Amendment #2110, an amendment cosponsored by Inhofe, would allow states to receive funds as a block grant to use for any educational purpose. The amendment did not pass.
- Amendment #2139 would allow states to provide scholarship to low-income children to attend the school of their choice. The amendment did not pass.
- Amendment #2162 would ensure that parents are notified of any federally-required assessment their children are scheduled to take and allow them to opt-out for any reason. The amendment did not pass.
- Amendment #2169 would require separate reporting for graduation rates of foster and homeless youth. Inhofe was the lead Republican sponsor of the amendment authored by Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). The amendment passed 56-40.
- Amendment #2180 would prevent the Secretary from requiring a state to include a description of its assessment or accountability systems as a factor in awarding federal funds to the state. The amendment did not pass.
- Amendment #2194 would allow parents to request information regarding state or LEA policy on student participation in mandated assessments for the year. The amendment passed 97-0.
- Amendment #2247 would change the Title I formula to make it simpler and would only become effective when title I-A funding reaches $17 billion in a year. The amendment passed 59-39.
On March 10, Inhofe reintroduced the Local School Board Governance and Flexibility Act (S.690) with Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and James Lankford (R-Okla.). The legislation would prohibit the Department of Education from issuing regulations or other policies that conflict with the policies of local education authorities. Inhofe first introduced the legislation in the 113th Congress.