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Congressman Larry Bucshon Comments on ESEA Reauthorization

Congressman Larry Bucshon (IN-08) released the following statement after the Committee on Education and the Workforce approved H.R. 3989, the Student Success Act and H.R. 3990, the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act on February 28, 2012.

Congressman Bucshon (IN-08) states:

“Strengthening our education system should be the goal of every Member of Congress; these two bills will do that by promoting the success of all students, holding teachers accountable, and streamlining the federal bureaucracies in education. 

“I was glad to have worked with Chairman Kline and the committee to include language in the bill that encourages local school districts and states to hire teachers with professional experience in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.  The STEM workforce is exploding and is expected to continue to grow well into the future. From 2000 to 2010, STEM jobs grew nearly 8 percent.  From 2010 to 2018, that increase is expected to jump to nearly 17 percent. This is why STEM education will be vital to the careers of the future, and what better way to encourage student participation than by putting before them teachers who have a passion and experience within STEM fields?  Promoting STEM education, as we strive to upskill our nation’s workforce, is an important step in meeting the demands of the future.”

During Committee Markup of H.R. 3990, Chairman Kline stated:

“…Second, the substitute also specifies that when recruiting mid-level professionals to become teachers, states and school districts should also make an effort to seek experts in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.  I appreciate Dr. Bucshon’s work on this issue to encourage more STEM professionals in our classrooms.”

The full statement can be read here.


Congressman Bucshon spoke during the markup of H.R. 3990 in support of the inclusion of language promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education by encouraging local and state school districts to hiring teachers with professional STEM backgrounds.  The video can be viewed here.

H.R. 3989 and H.R. 3990 are the last two of five bills that focus on the reauthorization of the Early and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). 

H.R. 3989, the Student Success Act:

  •  Eliminates Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and the federally mandated interventions required of schools, replacing them with state-determined accountability and school improvement systems. The bill establishes key parameters around accountability systems to ensure schools continue to focus on all students through assessments and disseminated data, state driven accountability and flexibility, and continued participation in the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
  • Allows states and school districts to use federal funds across certain federal programs to address their own unique needs.
  • Protects state and local autonomy over decisions in the classroom by limiting the authority of the secretary of education.

H.R. 3990, the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act:

  •  Encourages school districts and states to develop and implement teacher evaluation systems to identify those teachers who are excelling in the classroom. In exchange, the legislation eliminates the onerous Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) requirement that is an enormous burden on states and districts and tells us little to nothing about teacher effectiveness.
  • Ensures teacher evaluations are locally developed and implemented within broad parameters that factor in student achievement, incorporate multiple measures, and include feedback from all stakeholders.
  •  Consolidates more than 70 existing ESEA programs into a Local Academic Flexible Grant. States and school districts will have maximum authority to apply federal funds to local priorities.

The previous three previous ESEA Reauthorization bills are:

  • H.R. 1891, the Setting New Priorities in Education Spending Act, which repeals the authorizations of 42 wasteful and ineffective education programs to help balance the budget, restore fiscal discipline, and promote a more appropriate federal role in education.
  • H.R. 2218, the Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act, which encourages states to support the development and expansion of charter schools, streamlines the federal Charter School program to reduce administrative burdens, and improves funding opportunities for the replication of successful charter school models and facilities assistance. The bill was approved by the full House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support.
  • H.R. 2445, the State and Local Funding Flexibility Act, which allows states and school districts to use federal funds received under ESEA and the Education Jobs Fund for any activity authorized under current law.