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Congressman Thompson is committed to working to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The primary source of federal aid to K-12 education is the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, particularly its Title I, Part A program of Education for the Disadvantaged. The ESEA was initially enacted in 1965 and was most recently amended and reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which authorized virtually all ESEA programs through FY2008. It is widely expected that the 112th Congress will consider whether to amend and extend the ESEA.

The NCLB initiated a major expansion of federal influence upon several aspects of public K-12 education, primarily with the aim of increasing the accountability of public school systems and individual public schools for improving achievement outcomes of all students, especially the disadvantaged. States must implement in all public schools and school districts a variety of standards-based assessments in reading, math and science; make complex annual adequate yearly progress (AYP) determinations for each public school and district; and require virtually all public school teachers and aides to meet a variety of qualification requirements. State AYP policies must incorporate an ultimate goal of all public school students reaching a proficient or higher level of achievement by the end of the 2013-14 school year. Further, participating states must enforce a series of increasingly substantial consequences for most of their schools and almost all school districts that fail to meet the AYP standards for two consecutive years or more. All of these requirements are associated with state participation in the ESEA Title I-A program. 

While Congressman Thompson supports the ideal of high standards for measuring students and teachers, he believes it is imperative that public school districts receive the necessary funding that would provide innovative and educational tools to teachers, parents and students in their efforts to close the achievement gaps and raise achievement for all children.

To learn more about Education issues and to view my voting record, please click on the links below. 

House Education and the Workforce Committee Democrats

United States Department of Education