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Coalition to Congress: Rewrite NCLB, but Keep Safeguards for Underserved Students

WASHINGTON, DC – Last week, U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) began negotiating a bipartisan bill to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Today, a coalition of education and civil rights organizations urged the senators to use the lessons learned from more than a decade of NCLB to modernize the law while also preserving the federal government’s traditional support for students of color, low-income students, and other underserved students.

“The current educational system is failing students of color and other underserved students,” states the letter to Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray. “As you continue to work on this reauthorization, we urge you to maintain a critical federal role in education and continue to ensure resource equity to support the nation’s most underserved students.”

Raising concerns regarding a draft bill to rewrite ESEA that Alexander circulated in January, the coalition urged the two senators, as part of their bipartisan negotiations, to address:

The letter was signed by the Alliance for Excellent Education; Campaign for High School Equity; Education Post; League of United Latin American Citizens; Hispanic Education Coalition; Mexican American Legal Defense Education Fund; NAACP; NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; National Center for Learning Disabilities; National Council of La Raza; National Indian Education Association; National Urban League; New Leaders; Southeast Asia Resource Action Center; Stand For Children; and Teach Plus.

Download the coalition letter.

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The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC–based national policy and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring all students, particularly those traditionally underserved, graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship.