The House bill 610 was introduced on January 23 2017 by Republican Representative Steve King.
and what it does is sacrifice public education on the altar of the school voucher system…
House Bill 610 makes some large changes.
The bill establishes an education voucher program, through which each state shall distribute block grant funds among local educational agencies (LEAs) based on the number of eligible children within each LEA’s geographical area. From these amounts, each LEA shall: (1) distribute a portion of funds to parents who elect to enroll their child in a private school or to home-school their child, and (2) do so in a manner that ensures that such payments will be used for appropriate educational expenses.
To be eligible to receive a block grant, a state must: (1) comply with education voucher program requirements, and (2) make it lawful for parents of an eligible child to elect to enroll their child in any public or private elementary or secondary school in the state or to home-school their child. What this means is that the bill will begin the defunding process of public schools in the country.
In addition the bill will eliminate the Elementary and Education Act of 1965, which is the nation’s educational law and provides equal opportunity in education. ESSA is a big comprehensive program that covers programs for struggling learners, AP classes, English-as-a-Second-Language classes, classes for minorities such as Native Americans, Rural Education, Education for the Homeless, School Safety (Gun-Free schools), Monitoring and Compliance and Federal Accountability Programs.
The Bill also abolishes the Nutritional Act of 2012 (No Hungry Kids Act) which provides nutritional standards in school breakfast and lunch. The bill has no wording whatsoever protecting Special Needs kids, no mention of Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE, the educational right of children with disabilities in the United States that is guaranteed by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973) or of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Some things ESSA does for Children with Disabilities:
-Ensures access to the general education curriculum
-Ensures access to accommodations on assessments
-Ensures concepts of Universal Design for Learning
-Includes provisions that require local education agencies to provide evidence-based interventions in schools with consistently underperforming subgroups
-Requires states in Title I plans to address how they will improve conditions for learning including reducing incidents of bullying and harassment in schools,
overuse of discipline practices and reduce the use of aversive behavioral interventions (such as restraints and seclusion)
Please Inform yourselves on the contents of this bill, and call your representative and ask him/her to vote NO on House Bill 610 (HR 610).” Also contact Rep King and urge him to withdraw this harmful bill.
His website is https://steveking.house.gov/ and his office address and phone number is 2210 Rayburn House Office Building (202 225-4426)