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November 30, 2015 - 1,059 Pages, but No Time for Review: Public Being Subjected to Bum's Rush on ESEA Reauthorization

Cobbled together out of public view, the language for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has finally been made available today to citizens and federal legislators.

There's not much time to look it over. A December 2nd vote on the massive reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, aka ESEA (currently authorized as No Child Left Behind) is scheduled in the U.S. House. That's just a little over two days away. The Senate vote is scheduled on the 7th.

If you've been following Resounding Books, you're already aware of the huge stakes involved. You're also already aware of the shameful process by which this blll is being rammed through--in the dark, at the holidays, when leadership in Washington thinks we'll be too distracted to notice.

A handful of committed, insightful experts and activists with whom we've established relationships nationwide are in the process today and tomorrow of poring over the bill's language, marking it up, and helping both citizens and federal legislators to understand what's in it. We'll be keeping you posted as they make information available. 

In the meantime, we would be deeply appreciative of your help in staying on top of the people cited by our founder, Kirsten Lombard, in the video she posted on Saturday:

  • Speaker Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan)
  • The House Freedom Caucus (see Saturday's post for a list or use PJNet's Twitter action page)
  • Your state legislators and goverrnor (urge them to use whatever influence they have with federal legislators)

Add one more name to that list:  

  • Representative Steve Scalise (LA-1) (@SteveScalise)

Representative Scalise is the House Majority Whip and has reportedly been assigned to ensure support for ESEA reauthorization via ESSA passage. Whatever you can do to let him know we're not onboard with this bill would be incredibly helpful. Our friend Dr. Karen Effrem has created a couple of tweets to Representative Scalise that you can grab for use right away to get you started. The message is the same, but the image links are different:

@SteveScalise Parents in 200+ groups in 46 states want you to #StopESEA OUTRAGEOUS to dump 1059 pg bill 2d B4 vote!

.@SteveScalise Parents in 200+ groups in 46 states want you to #StopESEA OUTRAGEOUS to dump 1059 pg bill 2d B4 vote!

Just in case you missed it, we're embedding Kirsten's video again below. That should make for easy sharing with friends, neighbors, colleagues, etc, as we continue to work together to educate people.

Also, it's not too late to make your own video. Please consider recording even a 1-3 minute #StopESEA message that can be leveraged by activists across country on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media. Doesn't have to be polished. It just needs to help us educate more people and alert federal legislators to the fact that we're awake and active on this matter.

Again, we'll keep you updated with incoming information as quickly as we can. If you have information related to the bill language that you believe might help, feel free to let us know on Twitter, Facebook, or through our contact page. We'll be pleased to hear from you and help publicize anything relevant you bring our way.


UPDATE: For the the most current information on the unfolding situation with ESEA reauthorization, please see our Dec. 3rd blog post.

For a list of tools valuable in informing state and federal legislators, please see our Dec. 1st blog post.

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