AASA ESSA Call to Action

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Congress is poised to vote on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) as early as Wednesday, December 2. As such, AASA is issuing this call to action to ensure that members of Congress have the voice of school superintendents on record. For further information, you can read AASA’s ESSA overview  or endorsing statement.

CALL TO ACTION: When it comes to advocacy on this proposal and the related legislation, we subscribe to ‘better safe than sorry’. We strongly encourage you to reach out to the entirety of your Congressional delegation (your Representative and both Senators) to urge them to support the conference proposal to reauthorize ESEA. Top-line talking points are embedded below, and we can share a Congressional Directory with email addresses for the education staffer in each office as well as phone numbers. When it comes time for the final rush, it is important to email not only the education staffer (they are the ones who inform the boss of the policy) but also to call the front desk (the interns are inundated with calls and are merely tallying Yes and No). 

WHAT TO DO

  • Contact each of your Congressional offices. Urge them to support ESEA reauthorization. You can use the Congressional Directory shared by AASA or find your member of Congress here: http://aasa.org/legislative-action-center/# (Scroll to “Find Your Elected Officials”) 
  • Talking Points: You can craft your own talking points or a summary of the proposal based on AASA ESSA overview memo. You can also refer to some of these more general talking points: 
    • Reauthorization is crucial to providing the nation’s schools with relief from current law, which is both broken and lacking in the flexibility states and local school districts need to support student learning and achievement .
    • This proposal is a strong step in the right direction because it restores a more proper balance between federal, state and local government in public education. 
    • This framework takes the pendulum of federal overreach and prescription and places it more squarely in the area of state and local expertise and autonomy. 
    • This effort recognizes the importance of empowering state and local leaders to use their professional knowledge and proximal location to make the decisions necessary to successfully adhere to their educational missions. 
    • This is not a perfect bill, but it gets far more right than it gets wrong, and our nation’s schools and students deserve a complete reauthorization and to be free from the limited, conditional nature of ESEA waivers.   
    • We are hopeful that the federal government is now prepared to take the next steps based on our experience with the current ESEA to restore more authority (or shared authority) to local government. 
    • We are encouraged to see proposed needed changes to ESEA.  We are prepared to build upon the original intent of the ESEA authorization while reducing the excessive testing and mandates that have limited the creative local solutions to improving student achievement. 
    • We encourage our legislators to take the necessary steps advocated in the recent proposed re-authorization language for ESEA. 

Stay tuned to the Blog! We will have additional talking points and sample social media items. AASA’s The Leading Edge (www.aasa.org/aasablog.aspx)  


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