Does a Dept. of Education Regulation On State Accountability Plans Need to be Blocked? (H. Joint Res. 57)
Do you support or oppose this bill?
What is H. Joint Res. 57?
(Updated December 4, 2021)
This bill was enacted on March 27, 2017
This resolution would overturn a regulation issued by the Dept. of Education that placed additional federal restrictions on systems developed by states to hold schools accountable to parents and taxpayers for their performance. The rule was finalized during the final days of the Obama administration.
The Dept. of Education’s regulation was produced to implement portions of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which passed Congress with bipartisan majorities in December 2015. Critics of the regulation argue that the Dept. of Education exceeded its authority under the ESSA, which sought to empower states, because of content it required to be included in state accountability plans.
Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress is able to overturn regulations finalized within the last 60 legislative days with simple majority votes in both chambers. It would need to be signed into law by the president to take effect, and would also prohibit the agency that produced the regulation from issuing a similar rule without being directed to do so by Congress.
Argument in favor
The Obama administration’s regulation implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act constrained states’ flexibility in developing their own accountability systems and violates the intent of the ESSA. The regulation should be blocked so that states can have the freedom that bipartisan majorities in Congress wanted them to have.
The Obama administration’s regulation provided states with strong guidance as to what factors should be included in their state accountability plan. States still have flexibility in determining what goes into their accountability plan as long as it includes indicators that the ESSA and Department of Education say are necessary.
Students and their parents; schools and school boards; states; and the Dept. of Education.
Cost of H. Joint Res. 57
A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.
In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN) introduced this resolution to overturn the Dept. of Education’s regulation, which he sees as dictating accountability requirements to states and “violates prohibitions on the Secretary of Education’s authority” under the Every Student Succeeds Act:
“Last Congress, Republicans and Democrats worked in a bipartisan way to advance reforms that will help all children receive the education they deserve. However, the Obama Department of Education worked in a very partisan manner to implement those reforms. We are committed to holding both the former and current administrations accountable to students, parents, and local leaders, and this resolution is one way we can do just that. It puts a stop to an overreaching rule that diminishes the authority of state and local education leaders — something Congress expressly prohibited with the Every Student Succeeds Act.”
Proponents of the Dept. of Education’s regulation have said that overturning the regulation “will only leave states and districts further confused about how to comply with the law’s safeguards” and that “chaos” could ensue.
This legislation has the support of three Republican cosponsors in the House.
House Education and Workforce Committee Press Release
Republican Policy Committee Press Release
Dept. of Education Regulatory Summary
The 74 Million
FreedomWorks (In Favor)
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