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NEA president on Senate HELP ESEA bill

WASHINGTON - April 16, 2015 -

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions today completed mark up of a bill to overhaul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), more commonly known as No Child Left Behind. The final bill unanimously passed.

Educators, students, and families are demanding that Congress get ESEA right this time by ushering in a new and improved vision for our nation’s public schools that provides a high quality education for every child.

NEA President Lily Eskelsen García issued the following statement:

“From the very beginning, the goal of educators has been to ensure that ESEA reauthorization truly promotes opportunity, equity, and excellence for all students. For more than a decade No Child Left Behind has perpetuated a system that delivers unequal opportunities and uneven quality to America’s children based on the zip code where they live. It’s time to get it right.

“We applaud Senators Alexander and Murray, along with all the members of the committee, for listening to educators and leading the improvements made to the bill in committee over the course of the past week. As things progress, we will continue to call on senators to go even further in helping each and every student, particularly those in poverty and with the greatest educational needs. We still have work to do to ensure equity and opportunity for all students.

“Educators across the nation are watching Congress and want to ensure concrete steps are taken that remedy opportunity gaps for students and fix the broken test, label, and punish regime instituted under No Child Left Behind. A reauthorized ESEA must do three things: create more opportunities for all students to receive a quality education, no matter their ZIP code; allow more time for students to learn; and ensure every student has a qualified educator who is empowered to teach and to lead. Let’s get ESEA right this time.

“We look forward to working with all senators to craft a final reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that promotes opportunity, equity, and excellence for all.”

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The National Education Association ( is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing nearly 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Celeste Busser  202-262-0589,