President Obama signed the bipartisan measure today -- replacing the No Child Left Behind Act and including Congressman Nolan's amendment making improvement of the nation's Indian schools a national priority.
U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan voiced high praise today for the landmark bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) education bill President Obama signed late this morning. The bill replaces the old and widely unpopular No Child Left Behind Act, reducing the amount of standardized testing and giving teachers, local school districts and states far more flexibility and control over how they use federal funds to improve schools and educational outcomes.
"This new law is a win for teachers, school officials and students alike," Nolan said. "It enhances local control, marks the end of the high stakes associated with testing, gives teachers more voice and adds flexibility for rural and tribal school leaders in how they use federal funds to meet their own unique educational needs. Moreover, the bill maintains strong accountability requirements to ensure that all students -- regardless of where they live or the challenges they face -- have access to the resources they need to live up to their full potential."
The new law also includes Nolan's bipartisan amendment making it "the policy of the United States to ensure that Indian children do not attend school in buildings that are dilapidated or deteriorating -- which may negatively affect the academic success of such children."
Nolan, a former teacher, noted that with this provision, "Thousands of Indian children attending dangerous and dilapidated facilities like the Bug-O-Nay-Gee-Shig school on Minnesota's Leech Lake Reservation are a step closer to getting the education they are entitled to. It's an important addition that lays the groundwork for future funding to bring 63 Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools in terrible condition up to standard."