Education Reform Bills Pass Both Chambers, But Now the Real Work Begins

It has been a busy July for education reform.  In the most significant re-write in 14 years, the Senate passed an update to the Education and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, also known as “No Child Left Behind”) with bipartisan support. The Senate bill, which passed 81-17, found a balance to appease Republicans and Democrats in the upper chamber alike by maintaining the annual testing requirements, but giving states control over low and under performing schools.

In a time of partisan deadlock, the spirit in which this legislation passed the Senate was remarkable. Especially when compared to how things played out on the House side. The House passed their update to ESEA, known as the Student Success Act, without the support of a single Democrat. In addition, 27 Republicans joined their Democratic colleagues to vote against the bill.  This is not the first time the House has tried to pass the Student Success Act, as earlier this year the bill was pulled from the floor at the 11th hour when it became clear to leadership that they did not have the votes to pass the bill.  

It is expected that the conference process for these two bills will be extremely challenging and it is unclear whether or not a compromise can be reached that will appease both Senate Democrats and House Republicans, let alone the President. CompTIA has long supported reauthorizing and updating ESEA for many reasons, including its role in furthering career and technical education.  We urge Congress to work together to find a compromise on this important legislation.