Gardner amendments included in conference agreement to bolster childhood education

The House-Senate conference committee has reached an agreement for legislation to overhaul the No Child Left Behind Act, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) announced on Monday.

The conference committee was charged with finding a compromise between the House-passed Student Success Act and the Senate-passed Every Child Achieves Act. The resulting proposal, which includes amendments introduced by Gardner to strengthen and improve childhood education, has now been referred to the House and Senate for a vote prior to being sent to President Barack Obama to be signed into law.

“I’m pleased the House-Senate conference committee reached an agreement swiftly and included provisions I authored that will not only benefit students in Colorado, but throughout the country,” Gardner said. “A bipartisan compromise, the legislation represents a significant step forward toward removing Congress from the classroom and updating federal education policy to refocus on students, the very people it was designed to help succeed. I look forward to this legislation moving through the legislative process, and I applaud the conference committee for producing an agreement that members from both sides of the aisle can support. It’s time we return responsibility to the states and empower those who know how to best ensure student’s thrive in the classroom: school districts, parents, teachers and students.”

Language authored by Gardner that was included in the proposal includes the Expanding Concurrent and Dual Enrollment Amendment and the Recognizing Charter Schools Amendment.

The Expanding Concurrent and Dual Enroll Amendment would allow funds to be used by local educational agencies for concurrent enrollment and dual enrollment programs at eligible schools. This would allow high school students to receive college credit from courses taught by college-approved teachers in secondary education.

The Recognizing Charter Schools Amendment would require state and local educational agencies to consult with representatives from public charter schools to aid in the development of their Title I plans.

Gardner also cosponsored the Data Transparency Amendment, which is meant to ensure that academic assessment and graduation rate data is provided by states in a manner that can easily be cross-tabulated for each subgroup of students, including by race, gender, English proficiency and disability.

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