Alexander: Obama-era Education Regulation is in “Direct Violation of Law that 85 Senators Voted for 15 Months Ago”

Says 2015 law fixing No Child Left Behind reversed trend to National School Board, but education regulation “begins to restore the National School Board and take away responsibility from classroom teachers and local school boards”

Posted on March 8, 2017

WASHINGTON, March 8 — Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said that the Senate is poised to overturn an Obama administration education regulation that “is in direct violation of the law that 85 senators voted for just 15 months ago.”

In a speech on the Senate floor, Senator Alexander today said: “In 2015, 85 United States senators voted for the law fixing No Child Left Behind that reversed the trend to a National School Board and restored decisions to classroom teachers, local school boards, and states. The Wall Street Journal said it was ‘the largest devolution of federal control to the states in a quarter-century.’ The Department of Education regulation that this resolution seeks to overturn does exactly the reverse – it begins to restore the National School Board and takes away responsibility from classroom teachers and local school boards. It does this in direct violation of the law that 85 senators voted for just 15 months ago.”

Senator Alexander continued: “So the question before us today is not only whether we believe in a National School Board or we believe in local school boards. But more important perhaps is the question of who writes the law: Does Congress write the law, or does the Department of Education?”

Senator Alexander concluded: “Article 1 of the United States Constitution says that Congress writes the law. The purpose of this resolution is to overturn a regulation that in 7 cases directly violates the Every Student Succeeds Act law passed just 15 months ago. And in 16 cases exceeds the authority allowed by that law. This regulation says to states: Ignore the law that 85 senators just passed 15 months ago… and listen instead to unelected bureaucrats at the U.S. Department of Education. This regulation issued by the Department of Education specifically does things or requires states to do things that Congress said in our law fixing No Child Left Behind that the Department cannot do. It violates the law.”

Senator Alexander’s full prepared remarks are here, and you can watch the video of the full speech here.

 

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For access to this release and Chairman Alexander’s other statements, click here