Federal Legislative Updates
News from Capitol Hill. . .
July 18, 2014
Get involved in NEA’s campaign to end toxic testing
On Wednesday, nearly 6,000 educators joined a special tele-town hall moderated by NEA President Dennis Van Roekel featuring Reps. Chris Gibson (R-NY) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), sponsors of the Student Testing Improvement and Accountability Act (H.R. 4172), which would reduce the number of federally-mandated tests from 14 to 6. The call was part of NEA’s campaign to end toxic testing, launched at the Regional Assembly in Denver earlier this month.
The federal government must uphold its responsibility to ensure equal educational opportunity for all. Fewer federally-mandated tests would free up time for instruction, enabling educators to give greater attention to the students most in need. Share your story about high-stakes testing and sign our open letter, Take back our schools!
TAKE ACTION TODAY! Tell Congress to reduce the federal role in testing
Americans deserve degrees, not debt
The House is scheduled to vote next week on three bipartisan, NEA-supported bills that are components of the Higher Education Act (HEA), which was first passed in 1965 to ensure access to higher education for every individual, regardless of income. NEA would prefer a comprehensive rather than a piecemeal approach to HEA reauthorization—the leading edge of NEA’s Degrees Not Debt campaign—and is urging Congress to focus on affordability, access, quality, and accountability in higher education.
Schedule back-home visits with members of Congress
In just two weeks, Congress will recess for a month and members will head back home—a great opportunity for you to meet and discuss the issues that matter most to educators like over-testing students, college affordability and early childhood education, to name a few. Start thinking about scheduling back-home lobbying meetings NOW and look for more information in the Education Insider later this month.
Cheers and Jeers
Reps. Chris Gibson (R-NY) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) for participating in NEA’s special tele-town hall on reducing the federal role in testing.
House Democratic leadership for its 100-Day Action Plan to help the middle class: making college more affordable, raising the federal minimum wage; expanding access to early childhood education; providing tax incentives for companies to base their manufacturing operations in the United States; increased infrastructure spending; and the CEO/Employee Pay Fairness Act, which would require companies to hike employee pay or forfeit the tax deduction for executive pay over $1 million.