Current Situation/Background: HR5 is the House version of the long overdue reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Since its inception in 1965, ESEA has long upheld the principle that students in need, regardless of whether they attend a public or private school, are entitled to an equitable share of services and benefits. However, following the passage of No Child Left Behind in 2004 (the last ESEA reauthorization), this principle has been continually eroded with private school students and their teachers no longer receiving the equitable share of services and benefits to which they are entitled and that Congress intended. HR5 is the first step towards restoring equity and strengthening the historical safeguards designed to insure the fair and equitable treatment of private school students and their teachers. The House plans to begin considering HR5 on Wednesday and vote on the bill Friday.
USCCB Postion/Church Teaching: As the U.S. Bishops reiterated in their 2005 statement Renewing Our Commitment to Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools in the Third Millennium, “government at all levels, acting in partnership with parents, has a responsibility to provide adequate professional and material resources to assist all children to attain a quality education.” The Student Success Act’s provisions related to improving access to services to students in need and their teachers, regardless of where they attend school, makes a substantial contribution to putting the needs of students and their families first.