On March 9,
2017, the Senate voted 50–49 to undo the Obama administration's rule [PDF] for holding schools accountable for student performance under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)—despite strong
opposition. The Congressional Review Act resolution, which has already passed the
House, now heads to President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it into law.
The Congressional Review Act
(CRA) allows Congress to overturn regulations set out by the executive branch. When
regulations are overturned, the administration cannot issue new regulations
until new authorizing legislation has passed—leaving states and local
jurisdictions to implement ESSA without regulatory guidance. Opponents of the
measure—including Democrats, business, labor, and civil rights groups—believe that
this move will cause confusion for states as they design new state plans, whereas
others feel that the rule is an example of executive overreach.
Given the rules of the CRA, the passage of this bill was inevitable; therefore, ASHA did not request its
members to take action on this joint resolution.
In February, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos
letter advising chief state school
officers to continue finalizing their state ESSA plans for review by the
Department of Education. The Department plans to issue further
guidance on how to proceed.
ASHA is in the process of
determining the information that will best assist members as they work with the
local education agencies and state departments of education to develop accountability
standards. For more information, contact Catherine D. Clarke, ASHA's director
of education and regulatory advocacy, at 202-624-5953 or [email protected].