WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today voted in favor of the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015, a bill that returns decisions about elementary and secondary education to states, local officials, teachers and parents and will help West Virginia children succeed in school. The bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support on an 81-17 vote.

“Today’s overwhelming bipartisan vote reflects the broad consensus that it was time to fix our education system. The nearly 300,000 students in West Virginia and millions of students around the country deserve the highest academic standards, best teaching and true accountability, and this bill will help achieve those goals,” said Senator Capito.

“The Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 eliminates Washington’s ‘one size fits all’ approach to education. It keeps important measures of student achievement while giving our students, parents, teachers and state and local officials the responsibility for improving teaching and ensuring accountability in our schools. It also includes provisions to bridge the digital divide and equip students with the tools necessary to learn, thrive and grow outside of the classroom.”

Several key provisions in the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 will benefit West Virginians:

The bill eliminates the Common Core mandate and federal control over academic standards, giving states and teachers flexibility to design and implement their own education programs and systems. The legislation eliminates the federal test-based accountability system, allowing states to craft their own plans that ensure parents and taxpayers continue to have access to important information about how their children and schools are performing.

Included in the final bill is an amendment by Senator Capito and Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) that requires state and local educational agencies to include postsecondary enrollment information and encourages inclusion of remediation rates on state and local report cards. By including these simple, easy to understand outcome measures, parents and students will have the information they need to make informed choices about their education. Additionally, the data will help states and school districts target limited resources to the schools that need it most. 

The legislation also included amendments offered by Senator Capito and Senator Angus King (I-Maine), similar to the Digital Learning Equity Act they recently introduced, to improve student access to the Internet and other digital learning resources outside of the classroom.

Finally, the bill ensures that any West Virginia community school program receiving Title I funds can use these funds to have a site resource coordinator for their school or local education agency. Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act provides financial assistance to local schools with high numbers of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards. Site resource coordinators work with the local community and nonprofits to identify additional resources that benefit students.