Hoeven: New Senate Education Bill Restores Local Control, Includes Hoeven-Klobuchar Provision to Support STEM Ed

Senator Helps Kick off Annual Career and Technical Education Conference

BISMARCK, N.D. – Speaking at the 45th Annual Career and Technical Education Professional Development Conference today, Senator John Hoeven stressed the bipartisan Every Child Achieves Act, which returns educational control to parents and local school districts. The measure also includes a provision offered by Hoeven and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) to bolster Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.

“The Every Child Achieves Act replaces No Child Left Behind and provides flexibility in funding and testing so that states and local school districts are empowered to design and deliver education as the see best,” Hoeven said. “It puts parents, teachers and local school districts back in control of our schools. It also includes an important provision we offered to bolster STEM education, which is vital to growing our economy and helping students in North Dakota and across the nation secure the jobs of the future.”

The Every Child Achieves Act:

  • Allows states to develop their own educational accountability plans, instead of the current federal accountability system.
  • Affirms state control over standards and prevents the federal government from mandating or incentivizing the adoption of assessments, academic standards, or standards like Common Core.
  • Requires school districts to inform parents of assessment policies, purposes, and parental rights.
  • Keeps testing requirements that are important measures of student achievement, but prevents the federal government from imposing any particular assessment tool on the states. Testing includes annual math and English tests for grades 3-8 and once in high school, as well as science tests once in elementary, middle and high school.
  • Allows states and school districts to use existing federal funding to improve state-led early-childhood education.

The Every Child Achieves Act also includes legislation offered by Hoeven and Klobuchar to bolster STEM education by giving North Dakota students access to the programs and resources they need to prepare for the high-tech jobs of the future.

The bipartisan legislation improves students’ access to STEM education by allowing states to award funding to create or enhance a STEM-focused specialty school or a STEM program within a school. The amendment also directs the U.S. Department of Education to identify STEM-specific needs of states and school districts and align existing STEM programs with identified needs to avoid unnecessary duplication.

Further, as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Hoeven works to support programs, such as Pell grants, Jobs Corps centers and tribal colleges, which supplement state, local and tribal efforts to give young people the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Earlier this year, Hoeven announced the Fiscal Year 2016 Interior Appropriations bill fully funds the Tribally Controlled Postsecondary Career and Technical Institutions account, which includes forward funding for United Tribes Technical College.

The annual, two-day conference is hosted by the North Dakota State Board for Career and Technical Education and offers a number of programs designed to provide educators with the latest in teaching techniques and instructional technology. Approximately 600 of North Dakota’s career and technical educators are slated to participate this year. Hoeven serves as a member of the Senate STEM Education Caucus and the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus.