Children & Youth Action Network (CAN) Reports

David Bateman, chair of the Public Policy Committee for the Division for Learning Disabilities, provides brief reports forTeachingLD.org so that visitors can keep informed about important developments in policies affecting students with learning disabilities and their teachers. Here are the latest notes from David (as well as links to earlier posts).

April 20, 2015

DLD Update on ESEA Reauthorization
April 20, 2015

As you know, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is up for reauthorization.

Last week, the Senate in a surprisingly fireworks-free markup of a bipartisan Elementary and Secondary Education Act rewrite, members of the U.S. Senate education committee approved the measure 22-0. There were many amendments offered, but most that passed were not controversial or were withdrawn to be brought up later on the Senate floor. For a good read on the behind the scenes negotiations on what brought about a unified committee please see this story by Maggie Severns (it involves meetings at a Shake Shack).

Sen. Cassidy (R-LA) specifically targeting funds for students with dyslexia and offered one proposed amendment important to members of the Division for Learning Disabilities. This was some of the most heated discussion, and was not supported by the committee due to the prioritization of one disability group over another. The disability coalition in DC was very opposed to this amendment, which was duly noted by Sen. Murray (D-WA).

Other important points:

  • Highly qualified is eliminated, allowing the states to decide who can be certified.
  • No mandate of teacher evaluation or any definition of teacher effectiveness.
  • No requirement to implement teacher and leader evaluation systems.
  • Title I is not portable to private schools.

What’s Next?

The reauthorization of ESEA/NCLB is far from over on the Senate side. Amendments will be offered on the Senate floor, and with several Senators seeking national attention from their party there may be some drama.

House of Representatives

All the attention has been on the Senate for the past few weeks, but a bill will require action from the House side as well. We do not know when that will happen and what to expect.

I will hopefully have more to update next week.

David Bateman
Chair, Public Policy Committee
Division for Learning Disabilities