National Alliance Releases Statement after Senate HELP Committee Approves Every Child Achieves Act

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Washington, D.C. After three days of debate, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions approved the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 (ECAA) today by a unanimous vote of 22-0, moving the bill to the full Senate.

Nina Rees, president and CEO at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools released the following statement:

"The National Alliance commends Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) for their outstanding leadership in passing bipartisan legislation to update the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). While there are important issues that must still be resolved, the Committees passage of the Every Child Achieves Act is an important step forward.

"We are pleased that the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 preserves the annual statewide assessment requirements under current law, which will help hold schools accountable for results and provide better information to parents about school performance. We also appreciate the accountability provisions in the bill that require states to set goals for all groups of students, which will help ensure that all students graduate prepared for postsecondary education or the workforce.

"We believe the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 better reflects the needs of the current public charter school landscape. Today nearly 3 million students are enrolled in over 6,700 public charter schools in 42 states and Washington, D.C.The updates to the Charter Schools Program will strengthen public education by supporting the growth of high-quality public charter schools and increasing educational opportunities for students.

"This legislation provides a strong foundation for the bipartisan consideration of the reauthorization of ESEA. We look forward to working with members of the United States Senate on ECAA as it moves closer to becoming law."

About Public Charter Schools
Public charter schools are independent, public, and tuition-free schools that are given the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Since 2010, many independent research studies have found that students in charter schools do better in school than their traditional school peers. For example, one study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low income students, minority students, and students who are still learning English than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center on Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research have found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, stay in college and have higher earnings in early adulthood.

About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit our website at