Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas

Olson Acts to Restore State Power Over K-12 Education

December 3, 2015
Press Release

Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) last night acted to restore local control over education decisions to the states and our communities. Olson voted for H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) by reining in the Secretary of Education, repealing duplicative programs, and restoring states’ authority to determine how to fix underperforming schools. The bill passed by a vote of 359-64.

"The founding fathers clearly intended education decisions to be made at the state and local level and that’s what this bill does,” Rep. Pete Olson said. “By passing this bill, we are reducing the federal role in education, restoring local control, and empowering parents. We are dismantling the federal intrusion of No Child Left Behind and ensuring that states and school districts set the standards with parental input. I urge the Senate to act quickly as well to end the era of federal control that has resulted in high stakes testing that fails our students.”

Reduces federal role
Repeals one-size-fits-all federal accountability system “Adequate Yearly Progress” (AYP)
Ends the era of federally-mandated high-stakes testing
The secretary cannot require states to adopt Common Core, or condition receipt of funds on adoption of Common Core. Nor punish states for opting out of Common Core or changing standards.
Prohibits the secretary from adding new requirements on states and schools not required by law.
Repeals 49 ineffective and duplicative programs, as well as reduces the size of the federal bureaucracy.

Restores local control
Returns accountability and school improvement authority to state and local leaders
Provides school districts with funding flexibility to help school leader’s better target federal resources on local needs and priorities.
Protects the right of state and local leaders to determine what standards, assessments, and curriculum are best for their students.
Preserves the right of states to opt-out of federal education programs.

Empowers parents
Provides parents with information about local school performance to determine what’s best for their child’s education.
Strengthens charter school and magnet school programs to offer parents greater school choice.
Prevents any federal interference in private schools and home schools.
Prohibits – for the first time in the history of federal K-12 education policy – the use of federal education funds for abortions.
Establishes an equitable per-pupil funding program to provide eligible school districts the ability to allocate federal, state, and local education funds to follow students to the school they attend.


Media Contact: Melissa Kelly
(202) 225-5951