House boosts states rights in amendment votes to education bill

The issue of state control was central to many of the amendments debated on Thursday. In a 241-182 vote, members accepted language from Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) that adds a sense of Congress that state and local education agencies should maintain the right to determine the curriculum for elementary and secondary education.

And in a 239-187 vote, the House approved language from Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Pa.) that ensures the federal government will not impose any additional requirements on states unless authorized by law.

Several other states-rights amendments were approved Thursday evening by voice vote, a full listing of which can be found below.

In another roll call vote, the House agreed 263-161 to add an amendment from Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) that would maintain current education programs for American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians.

Other amendments handled by voice vote or otherwise disposed of by early Thursday evening were from:

— John Kline (R-Minn.), clarifying in a managers amendment that a state opting not to receive funds shall not be required to carry out any federal education requirements, and making technical changes. Accepted in voice vote.

— Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.), increasing funding under the bill for English language learned from $750 million to $775 million through fiscal 2019. Withdrawn.

— Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), requiring states to focus federal funding on schools serving English learners, migrant students and other at-risk students. Accepted in voice vote.

— Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.), requiring states to consult with private companies as they develop their education plan. Accepted in voice vote.

— Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), reinstating a requirement that states spend 1 percent of federal funding on students with disabilities. Withdrawn.

— Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), clarifying that state and local governments can use multiple measures to identify academic performance measurements. Accepted in voice vote.

— Dan Benishek (R-Mich.), encouraging states to report on the number of students attaining career and technical education proficiencies. Accepted in voice vote.

— Joe Heck (R-Nev.), giving local education agencies the option of entering into partnerships to start programs serving youth in correctional facilities. Accepted in voice vote.

— Steve Scalise (R-La.), stating that there is no federal mandate for states to conduct teacher evaluations. Accepted in voice vote.

— Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), delaying implementation of federal funding formulas until the secretary of Education finds that it will not cut funding to schools serving poor students. Accepted in voice vote.

— Rob Bishop (R-Utah), eliminating language that allows grant money to bypass states to go right to local districts. Accepted in voice vote.

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