Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas


July 19, 2013
Press Release

Washington, DC- Rep. Pete Olson (TX-22) today voted to reform the nation’s K-12 education system. The bill, H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act with changes that restore local control of education, support effective teachers, reduce the federal footprint and empower parents. The bill passed the House by a vote of 221-207.

"Education is the cornerstone of a productive and civil society," Olson said. "This bill provides needed reforms to strengthen our schools, ensure local control over education decisions and gives parents a greater voice in their children's education. School boards and parents are best able to make decisions on what works for their students, not federal bureaucrats."

H.R. 5 ensures money and decision making control is in the hands of states and individual school districts, NOT the federal government. It empowers states to develop their own accountability systems to better evaluate student achievement and teacher effectiveness, eliminates duplicative and ineffective programs, increases opportunities for Charter Schools, and enables parents to make informed decisions about their children’s education.

Education Statistics:

·         Only 40% of 4th graders are proficient in math.

·         Just 34% of 8th graders are proficient in reading.

·         Nearly 1 in 4 high school students fails to graduate on time.

H.R. 5 Solutions:

·         Eliminates the one-size fits all federal accountability system known as the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) metric that restricts states’ ability to effectively gauge student learning, and replaces it with state-determined accountability systems.

·         Repeals the “Highly Qualified Teacher” requirements that have little bearing on teacher effectiveness, and gives states and school districts the authority to develop teacher evaluation systems.

·         Eliminates federal actions and interventions for poor performing schools, giving the authority to the states.

·         Eliminates more than 70 duplicative and ineffective federal K-12 programs.

·         Consolidates grants programs and increases their flexibility, so states determine how best to spend the money.

·         Limits the authority of the Secretary of Education by prohibiting coercion of states into adopting specific academic standards (including Common Core Standard Assessments).

·         Reauthorizes and expands the Charter School Program to assist states in replicating high-quality charter schools.

·         Streamlines data reporting for data on student achievement and high school graduation rates, ensuring parents have information to make decisions about their children’s education.


Media Contact: Melissa Kelly