America Forward’s Wednesday ESEA Update

This week marks the beginning of new energy and action around the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). For more information check out some of our previous posts and stay tuned for more updates in the future:
America Forward Hard at Work on ESEA
America Forward’s Quick Reference ESEA Guide
America Forward’s Senate ESEA Markup Preview

What is happening today?
Today, April 15th, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee is returning to consideration of the bipartisan Every Child Achieves Act, the Senate bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  The action kicks off at 10:00 am EST and you can follow the live feed here. The Committee will continue to work through the long list of amendments that Senators are offering to alter the bill.

How did the first day of markup go?

On Tuesday, the HELP Committee opened consideration of the Every Child Achieves Act with opening statements by Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA). Then other Senators began offering amendments. Of the over 90 amendments up for consideration by the Committee, 24 were discussed on Tuesday. Of those, 7 amendments passed, 2 failed, 14 were withdrawn and 1 will be voted on today. The amendments that passed were not controversial, making small tweaks or additions to the bill rather than dramatic changes, and most passed unanimously.

The 14 amendments that were withdrawn aren’t gone forever. Many of those, such as an amendment offered by Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) on vouchers, are some of the more contentious issues and are expected to reappear if the bill makes it to the Senate floor.

What amendments are being considered?

Senators on the HELP Committee are considering over 80 amendments, though only some of those will receive a vote by the Committee. Amendments are expected to span the ideological spectrum, from amendments to provide students with vouchers to attend private schools to new early education programs. Some of these amendments are likely to pass, while others will be rejected by the Committee and may reemerge if the bill is considered by the full Senate.

How can I follow along?

Follow the America Forward Team on Twitter:

The Penn Hill Group will also be posting live updates from the markup throughout the week here.

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