WASHINGTON – In the flurry of legislative business before the year’s end, the House passed two bills this week to reauthorize transportation infrastructure funding and restore local control of primary and secondary education. Congressman John Shimkus (R, Illinois-15) supported both bipartisan measures.
“Repaving miles of interstate and building new bridges are major construction projects that directly and indirectly employ thousands of workers,” Shimkus said of H.R. 22, the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act. “After years of short term patches, this five year reauthorization allows states to plan for big infrastructure projects with certainty that they’ll have the resources to see them through.”
The transportation bill does not raise the federal gas tax or add to the deficit.
This week the House also approved S. 1177, the Every Student Succeeds Act. This four year reauthorization and reform of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is the first since the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2002.
“In the years since NCLB, the Department of Education has made a bad situation worse,”said Shimkus. “This bill prohibits the federal government from forcing or incentivizing the adoption of the Common Core curriculum. It also eliminates federally-prescribed school turnaround models, putting states and local school districts in charge of designing their own accountability and intervention procedures.”
The legislation eliminates NCLB’s Adequate Yearly Progress performance measurement system and also allows parents to opt their child(ren) out of the annual assessment if state law allows.