Congressman Tim Ryan Statement on the Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization Act

Jul 9, 2015 Issues: Education

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan released the following statement today after voting against the Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization Act (H.R. 5):

I agree that the Elementary and Secondary Education Act was long overdue for an update, but this bill fails to make the critical improvements our schools desperately need to ensure our students are getting the best education possible. This legislation freezes funding at the Fiscal Year 2015 level, which effectively represents over $800 million in education cuts due to sequestration

I am disappointed that this bill does not take steps to narrow the achievement or opportunity gaps, nor give our children access to a well-rounded education that includes physical education, music and the arts. It cruelly diverts funding from low-income school districts to wealthier districts. This bill is moving our education system backwards, and is not properly preparing our children for their futures.

Although I clearly did not support this legislation and voted accordingly, I was happy to see the inclusion of language that would promote the teaching of social and emotional learning (SEL) skills in our schools. The number one indicator of success in schools is a student’s ability to regulate themselves—and we need to emphasize it in our school curriculum.