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Senate passes Every Child Achieve Act; Many Opportunities for Summer Learning

Thursday, July 16, 2015  
Posted by: Tyler Mattingly
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On July 16, 2015, the Senate voted to pass the Every Child Achieves Act. The final vote tally of 81-17 demonstrates strong bipartisan support for the bill. This marks an important step forward toward reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind).

The bipartisan amendment to preserve the 21st Century Community Learning Center program, passed by the Senate HELP Committee in mid-April, was supported by Senators Murkowski (R-AK), Baldwin (D-WI), Boxer (D-CA), Cassidy (R-LA), Collins (R-ME), Franken (D-MN), Sanders (I-VT), and Warren (D-MA). This marks a tremendous victory for summer and afterschool programs that rely on this critical funding stream to serve low-income students outside of the school day.

Over 170 additional amendments were considered during the full Senate debate, and several opportunities to boost summer learning passed through:

  • An amendment from Sen. Brown (D-OH) establishes a full-service community schools grant program, which promotes community-based partnerships for summer and afterschool activities.
  • An amendment from Sen. Shaheen (D-NH) establishes and funds a new STEM education grant program, highlighting the opportunity for summer and afterschool programs to support STEM learning.
  • An amendment from Sen. Bennet (D-CO) provides support for improved and coordinated family engagement activities, including partnership with community-based organizations.
  • An amendment from Sen. King (I-ME) authorizes the Institute of Education Sciences to conduct a study on student access to digital learning resources outside of the school day.

While this passage is a monumental step forward for ESEA reauthorization, the House and Senate now must reconcile their different bills through a conference committee process. Staff from the House and Senate education committees will lead that work over the coming weeks, potentially setting the stage for a conference this fall and a final vote this winter.

Thank you to everyone for reaching out to your senators and representatives on behalf of summer learning!

Stay tuned to the Summer Times, like us on Facebook and follow @summerlearning on Twitter for future updates!

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