STATEMENT: House ESEA Bill Shifts Support Away from Low-Income and At-Risk Students and Provides No Accountability for Federal Funds, Says CAP’s Carmel Martin

Washington, D.C. — Carmel Martin, Executive Vice President for Policy at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement today after the House Education and the Workforce Committee passed the Student Success Act, legislation to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or ESEA:

Partisan legislation endorsed today by Republicans on the House Education and the Workforce Committee would deprive disadvantaged and low-income students of resources desperately needed to ensure their ability to succeed. The bill essentially writes a blank check to states by providing billions of dollars of federal support without any accountability for results and could dramatically shift funding from low-income schools to higher-wealth schools. The legislation would gut the historic federal role of protecting at-risk students.

The bill also misses an opportunity to invest in high-quality early childhood education, an intervention proven to improve long-term outcomes for disadvantaged students, and to increase investment in the nation’s teachers, the most important in-school factor in a student’s success. The legislation also rejects continued investment in innovation programs, which are designed to identify and bring to scale evidence-based approaches to learning.

Congress must view reauthorization of the ESEA as an opportunity to ensure a quality education for all students no matter their ZIP code, background, or income levels. This bill walks back from that goal rather than forward.

Click here to view CAP’s recent work on ESEA reauthorization.

For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Allison Preiss at or 202.478.6331.