Today, the U.S. Senate passed S. 1177, more commonly referred to as the “Every Child Achieves Act” (ECAA), a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
The bipartisan, common sense charter provisions contained within the ECAA demonstrate the Senate is committed to ensuring all American children—including the 1.6 million children attending charter schools—have the opportunity to attend a great school.
With hundreds of thousands of students dropping out of high school each year, the need for more quality schools throughout our country is clear. It is our obligation to serve these children by opening and expanding only the best schools and by making the tough decisions to close those that consistently fail to live up to their promises.
The bill maintains annual testing requirements and strengthens the Public Charter School Program with significant provisions that raise standards and strengthen accountability for quality charter school authorizing. In choosing these common sense provisions, both the Senate and the House have embraced a vision of smart charter school growth and rejected other extreme measures meant to halt charter growth in its tracks. Importantly, ECAA also maintains annual testing requirements, without the inclusion of opt-out provisions, to ensure we have meaningful information about the quality of our public schools.
We recognize Congress for this important step forward and encourage our nation’s leaders to stand firm on this vision to improve the lives of children across the country as they work towards a final bill.