More Federal Guidance from Education Secretary John B. King, Jr.

October 24th, 2016

Almost every day, U.S. Secretary of Education does his best to rework the Every Student Succeeds Act or ESSA to his liking. Signed into law by Obama in December, it replaced No Child Left Behind. Last month, he actually released his proposed education funding regulations while Congress was recessed. Known as “supplement-not-supplant,” the debate revolves around its implementation. As Jason Russell explains, “The idea is that federal aid to schools and districts should be in addition to what they already get from state and local funding, not a substitute for other aid.”

That then promoted Senate education committee Chair Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn) to say at the time: “His proposed regulation would give Washington, D.C. control over state and education dollars that is has never had before. Federal law gives him zero authority to do this. In fact, our new law [ESSA] specifically prohibits his doing this.”

Indeed, Alexander went so far as to add, “If anything resembling [the proposed regulation] becomes final, I will do everything within my power to overturn it.”

Meanwhile, a few Secretary King quotes:

  • “The USA is fortunate, I think, as a country to have some high-performing charters that are doing a great job providing great opportunities to students–charters that are helping students not only perform at higher levels academically but go on to college at much higher rates than students at similar neighborhood public schools. That’s good. We should have more schools like that, and I think any arbitrary cap on that growth of high-performing charters is a mistake.”
  • “Teachers should prepare students to become more involved in their communities, to volunteer, and to think beyond our own needs and wants… Educated citizens who take part in society will push to curtail racial profiling and end discriminatory practices by prosecutors and courts that have a dire impact on poor people.”

  • “It’s important that we see bilingualism education, multilingualism as not just for those for whom English is not their first language, but for all students. We must be committed that all students, whatever language they speak at home, have access to the opportunities to be bilingual or multilingual.”
  • “Educators play a critical role in securing our nation’s economic future and preserving the promise of an excellent education for all students, especially those who have been historically under-served. We don’t just want educators to be part of the change, we need them to lead it.”
  • “Students with disabilities need to have strong transition plans and goals to leave high school ready for college and careers. These awards [$39 million to 5 states for demonstrating projects providing work-based learning experiences] will help states implement evidence-based, work-based learning models to help break down barriers to employment.”

And all that pretty much speaks for itself…

2 Responses to “More Federal Guidance from Education Secretary John B. King, Jr.”

  1. Jean Tracy says:

    Hi Carol,

    I can understand the concern about the Federal Government having control over state and education funds.

    I’d like more information about your ideas about Secretary King’s 5 bullet quotes because I trust your info and balanced opinions.

  2. Carol Josel says:

    Few can argue with King’s concern for the historically under-served, but his solution is more federal government overreach into our schools and, indeed, every classroom. Just look at the Common Core; one visit to a kindergarten of today is enough to make you weep. It’s a a progressive agenda that is having enormous impact–and not necessarily for the better–on our public schools. Meanwhile, even the NAACP has voted to cap charter school growth, but King continues to pour millions and millions of dollars into them despite their poor track record and evidence that, instead of partnering with public schools as initially envisioned, they now compete against them and make money doing so. For instance, a recent MGT of America report showed that the Los Angeles Unified School District lost an amazing $591 million to charter school growth this year alone. I could go on, but…

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