Scott Amendment Provides States with More Choices in Education

Blanket federal mandates such as Common Core lead to Washington bureaucrats making educational choices for students across the country
Washington – U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) offered an amendment today to empower individual states and local school districts, not Washington bureaucrats, to make educational decisions for their students. Scott introduced his amendment during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on the Strengthening America’s Schools Act (S. 1094).
“As someone who almost failed out of high school, I know firsthand the importance of empowering parents and teachers to make a difference in students’ lives,” said Senator Scott. “A one-size-fits-all approach from Washington is not the right solution for helping kids who face challenges like I did, and it is not the best way to prepare them for success after finishing school.”
Scott continued, “South Carolina faces challenges in its education system that are unique and unlike those in other states. Instead of being forced to adopt blanket standards like Common Core as a prerequisite for funding, let’s put decision-making back in the hands of parents and teachers in our communities.”
Scott’s amendment would prevent the U.S. Department of Education from requiring states or local school districts to adopt common standards or tests. This includes adoption of those standards as a condition of federal grants or flexibility waivers. The amendment would allow states to determine and create those standards and tests on their own rather than receiving a one-size-fits-all prescription from the federal government.
The Strengthening America’s Schools Act, introduced by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), rewrites the nation’s K-12 education laws, and is a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965.
The amendment failed by a vote of 10-12.