May 03, 2016

Senators Urge Education Department to Fully Enforce Key Funding Accountability Provision in "Every Student Succeeds Act"

"Supplement, Not Supplant" Provision Ensures Federal Education Funding Provides Additional Programs, Supports, and Services to Help Schools and Students Most in Need"

A PDF copy of the letter is available here

Washington, DC - United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), along with seven other senators, urged the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to use the authority that it was given by Congress to fully enforce the "supplement, not supplant" provision in the recently-passed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This provision helps ensure the law meets it goal of protecting the civil rights and educational opportunity for all students. The letter was signed by Senators Warren, Murphy, Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

The senators explain in their letter that the core purpose of the federal K-12 education law is "to protect the civil rights and educational opportunity for all students, especially our most vulnerable students," and that the "supplement, not supplant" provision "is critical to ensure that states and districts spend federal education dollars to provide additional resources to low-income schools, and to not simply replace existing investments that states and school districts are already supposed to be making."

The senators continue, "Simply put-we believe that state and local educational agencies should not use federal funds as an excuse to spend less money on low-income children...The Department has the authority and responsibility to enforce the fiscal accountability safeguards in ESSA through strong regulations and oversight, and that's precisely what we expect to see."

Read a PDF copy of the senators' letter to ED here.