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Mitch M.
Republican KY

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  • Every Student Succeeds Bill

    by Senator Mitch McConnell

    Posted on 2015-12-09

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    McCONNELL. Mr. President, some questioned whether Washington could ever agree on a replacement for No Child Left Behind. They needn't question any longer. Just consider today's headline from the Associated Press: ``Outdated education law up for major makeover in the Senate.'' This morning we expect that a new Senate that is back to work will send the Every Student Succeeds Act to the President for his signature. This forward-looking replacement for a broken law would open new opportunities for our kids and put education back in the hands of those who understand their needs best: parents, teachers, States, and school boards.

    This bipartisan legislation would strengthen charter schools. This bipartisan legislation would prevent distant bureaucrats from imposing common core. This bipartisan legislation would substitute one-size- fits-all Federal mandates for greater State and local flexibility. In short, it is conservative reform designed to help students succeed, instead of helping Washington grow. It is a significant achievement for our country.

    I thank everyone who helped make this moment possible. At the top of the list are two Senators. There is Senator Alexander, a former Education Secretary from Tennessee, a Republican; and there is Senator Murray, a former preschool teacher from Washington State, a Democrat. They worked very hard. They worked across the aisle, and they worked in good faith.

    Their success in this effort is our country's gain. It is a win for parents, and it is a win for dedicated teachers. Most importantly, it is a win for children because these young Americans deserve the enhanced opportunities the bill would provide.

    There is something else we know about Senator Alexander and Senator Murray about their accomplishment. It is a testament to what a new and more open approach can bring to the legislative process. It gives Senators of both parties more of a say. It gives Senators of both parties more of a stake. So Senators are more likely to be interested in working together and seeing good ideas through to completion. That is just what we have seen here.

    Senator Murray said: ``I am very proud of the bipartisan work we have done on the Senate floor--debating amendments, taking votes, and making this good bill even better.'' Senator Alexander said: ``The bill is just one more example that Congress is back to work.'' I couldn't agree more. Finding a serious replacement for No Child Left Behind eluded Washington for years. Today it will become another bipartisan achievement for our country.

    I urge every colleague to join me in voting to send this forward- looking, conservative reform to the President's desk. Let's help every student by passing a bill NPR calls a ``sea change in the federal approach'' and the Wall Street Journal hails as ``the largest devolution of federal control to the states in a quarter-century.'' ____________________

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