Difference Between U. S. House and Senate Education Bills

congress-74032_1280The Senate version of the education bill (See: US Senator Lamar Alexandar Bill ) and the House version differ mostly on the requirements for achievement testing.

The House version is a reintroduction of last year’s Student Success Act.  Both version emphasize returning control to the states.

A summary of the House version follows.  We will track the bills.  Check Legislative Updates on the rotating banner for the blog.  It is the photo of the green chalkboard.

The Student Success Act  (HR 5) has seven major topics.  It is being reviewed by the Education and Work Force Committee.  We include five which have substantive changes to current law:

Returning Responsibilities for Student Achievement to States, Districts and Parents

  • Reading, math and science state standards required at the state level only, and basic, proficient, and advanced proficiency level designations removed. The U.S. DOE may not require Common Core or federal standards.
  • Annual assessments of standards and schools are retained. Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) indicator is abolished.
  • The Title I set aside for states increases to 7% from 4% but eliminates local set-asides.
  • School Improvement Grants are eliminated. (These are the grants that have facilitated take over of public schools in some large cities.)
  • Title I funds can be used for all students attending a qualified school, not just low income students.

Eliminating Ineffective Programs:

  • Consolidates and eliminates 65 programs.  Provides for Local Academic Flexible Grants for states with unique priorities that include private sector initiatives
  • Maintenance of Funding Effort  by states for public schools eliminated.  States set their own funding levels but federal funds must supplement not supplant state funds

Supporting Local Efforts to Measure Teacher Effectiveness

  • Broadens federal guidelines to allow states more flexibility in defining effectiveness measures.  There is no mandate to tie teacher evaluations to test scores, but states may continue to do so.
  • Consolidates other teacher quality programs into a new Teacher and School Leader Flexible Grant program.  This program will focus on teacher recruitment, alternative certification, performance based pay, new teacher or school leader induction programs. (Support for charter management firm training programs?)

Engaging Parents

  • Title I funding follows the students to charter schools.
  • Funding increase for expansion of charter schools.
  • Three percent of Title I allocated to a competitive grant program. for tutoring or public school choice.

Strengthening Local Autonomy

  • Strengthens provisions for private school participation in federally funded programs
  • Reduces the role of the U.S. DOE





Posted in Achievement, Charter Schools, Common Core Standards, Department of Education, Funding, Legislation, Public Education, State and Local government, Testing, US Government.


  1. I’m sorry, I haven’t really read the bills yet, just second party articles – but I am concerned that annual state testing, school letter grades and teacher evals tied to student scores, common standards, charter schools and voucher programs are promoted in the laws.

    • The difference between the Senate and House bills is how much testing. Sen. Alexander prefers less. Both bills support charter schools. Both bills put control back at the state level. There is a section in Rep. Kline’s bill about private schools and innovation grants with the private sector that is ambiguous.

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