Senate Committee Passes Education Bill

May 1, 2015

At the end of April, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions passed the Every Child Achieves Act (S.1177), a bipartisan bill which would reauthorize the nation’s federal education law for the first time since 2001.  Three key policy changes requested in more than 400 communications to the Senate from orchestras were addressed during full Committee consideration.  A definition of core academic subjects was added to the bill, including “arts” and “music.”  The bill also supports the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, and provides an authorization for activities currently funded through the U.S. Department of Education’s Arts in Education program.  The next step is for this bill to go to the Senate floor. Despite the Committee’s unanimous approval of the bill, full consideration by the Senate will involve debate over many amendments. 

In the meantime, there has been no movement on the House’s version of the education bill, the Student Success Act (H.R. 5) since February, when a scheduled vote failed to take place due to sufficient support of the bill. New amendments may be offered, which could revive consideration of the House bill.