EVERY CHILD ACHIEVES ACT OF 2015; Congressional Record Vol. 161, No. 110
(Senate - July 15, 2015)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.


[Pages S5092-S5124]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                    EVERY CHILD ACHIEVES ACT OF 2015

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will 
resume consideration of S. 1177, which the clerk will report.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

       A bill (S. 1177) to reauthorize the Elementary and 
     Secondary Education Act of 1965 to ensure that every child 
     achieves.

  Pending:


[[Page S5093]]


       Alexander/Murray amendment No. 2089, in the nature of a 
     substitute.
       Murray (for Peters) amendment No. 2095 (to amendment No. 
     2089), to allow local educational agencies to use parent and 
     family engagement funds for financial literacy activities.
       Murray (for Warren/Gardner) amendment No. 2120 (to 
     amendment No. 2089), to amend section 1111(d) of the 
     Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 regarding the 
     cross-tabulation of student data.
       Alexander (for Kirk) amendment No. 2161 (to amendment No. 
     2089), to ensure that States measure and report on indicators 
     of student access to critical educational resources and 
     identify disparities in such resources.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the time until 10:30 
a.m. will be equally divided in the usual form.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, is the time under this quorum call we will 
be in equally divided?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time is not equally divided.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the time be 
equally divided.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. REID. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. MERKLEY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Cotton). Without objection, it is so 
ordered.
  Mr. MERKLEY. Mr. President, I rise to address an amendment I am 
proposing to the bill, the Every Child Achieves Act. I am not going to 
ask to call up the amendment at this time, but I certainly would like 
to do so at a later point in the day. I hope this amendment will be 
part of any effort to wrap-up debate on this bill because it addresses 
an important component that is being left out of discussion on the 
Every Child Achieves Act.
  The Every Child Achieves Act is the authorization act, but it leaves 
out the vision for school policy. This is a bipartisan bill. It is a 
bill that would give a lot more flexibility to our States, and it has 
been an important effort to address many shortcomings in the former 
act, the No Child Left Behind Act, that in fact left a lot of children 
behind. In my discussions with educators throughout the State of 
Oregon, with parents, administrators, and teachers, they found a great 
number of difficulties and problems with an act that was undermining 
the success of our public schools, leaving a huge number of children 
behind, and focusing on what these educators referred to as ``the 
bubble''--that is, those children who are close enough to the testing 
line to get them over the top, while decreasing attention paid to those 
children who could already meet the testing line or those they think 
were not able to get to that line. That is not a holistic, 
comprehensive education system addressing the needs of all our 
children. So I am delighted to see this reform on the floor of the 
Senate. The focus on assisting every child in achieving is appropriate.
  But we cannot achieve a world-class education system that responds to 
a world knowledge economy, preparing our children to be fully 
successful members of that world knowledge economy, if we do not 
provide the resources necessary for our schools to thrive. It strikes 
me as a real failure of our legislative process that a generation after 
I went through elementary and secondary education, we are a far richer 
nation, but our schools have far fewer resources.
  My children have been attending public schools in the same blue-
collar school district I grew up in. I have a firsthand view of the 
difference between what the school provided when I was there and what 
has been provided while my children are there. The short conclusion is 
that our classrooms are more crowded and our schools are unable to 
provide the same range of options that benefited my generation.
  How is it that we are a much richer nation, but we are undervaluing 
and underfunding our elementary and secondary education system in this 
Nation? Well, we can tie that back to a lot that has transpired, 
including a huge growth in inequality in our Nation. But here is the 
key point: While we sit here on the floor debating better education 
policy, shouldn't we also be recognizing explicitly this huge failure 
to provide basic resources to the elementary and secondary education 
system?
  The funding cuts that are currently anticipated under the sequester 
would bring Federal investments and programs under the Elementary and 
Secondary Education Act to their lowest levels since fiscal year 
2002. Let me repeat that: the lowest level since fiscal year 2002. Of 
the lowest achieving 5 percent of schools that receive funds under part 
A of title I of such act, about two-thirds of students are not meeting 
their grade-level standards. It is certainly a more difficult task for 
teachers to enable students to meet those standards when our classrooms 
are more crowded.

  The proposed appropriations act cuts funding for part A of title I of 
the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 by $850 million as 
compared to the President's budget and the Democratic funding 
alternative.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. All time for debate has expired.
  Mr. MERKLEY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to extend the 
time allotted to complete my statement.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. MERKLEY. Mr. President, research shows that high-quality early 
education is critical to the educational development of every child. 
There, too, we are underfunding the effort. The proposed appropriations 
act provides no funding for preschool development grants and a cut of 
$750 million as compared to the President's budget and the Democratic 
alternative.
  Now, this is happening--this underfunding of education--within the 
construct known as the sequester. The sequester was partially 
alleviated 2 years ago by a budget deal known as Ryan-Murray. That 
Ryan-Murray agreement led to saying that according to the sequester 
principle defense spending and nondefense spending would be treated 
equally. If one is capped, the other is capped. If one is raised, the 
other is raised.
  That fundamental understanding led to an improvement over the last 2 
years. But that improvement is gone. So at the very moment, we are 
talking about better education policy, and we are talking about worse 
education funding. That is simply wrong--wrong for our children, wrong 
for the next generation and the success of America. So let's embrace 
that second half of the conversation and through my amendment--
amendment No. 2203--call for an intense negotiation to occur, 
essentially to restore appropriate funding on the nondefense programs.
  This is a rational counterpart to the debate over the bill that we 
have before us right now. It is certainly important for America to 
recognize that you cannot, on the one hand, call for better education 
policy and on the other hand devastate the funding for early childhood 
education and devastate the funding for K-12 education and feel like 
you have done something to make American education work better, because 
you have not.
  If you have underfunded education, you have undervalued our children, 
and you have undermined the future success of our Nation. I hope that 
amendment No. 2203, which calls upon the House and Senate to come 
together and address this failure of funding, will be a significant 
part of our conversation as we work to wrap up debate on the Every 
Child Achieves Act.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Sullivan). Without objection, it is so 
ordered.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
Senator from Maine be allowed to speak for 5 minutes following my 
comments.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. For the information of Senators, within a few minutes 
we hope to have a cloture vote. We are still working out an agreement, 
but we hope to have that done within a very few minutes and may begin 
to move on

[[Page S5094]]

that shortly after the Senator from Maine finishes his remarks.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maine.
  Mr. KING. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to address the 
Senate as in morning business for 5 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                      Nuclear Agreement With Iran

  Mr. KING. ``Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this 
Congress and this administration, will be remembered in spite of 
ourselves. No personal significance, or insignificance, can spare one 
or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass, will light us 
down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation.'' That was 
Abraham Lincoln in a message to Congress on December 1, 1862. I think 
his words echo today as we talk about the serious and solemn issues 
before us and the one that will be coming up within 60 days, the 
consideration of the agreement with Iran.
  We are embarked on a historic process, a process that will result in 
one of the most important votes that any of us will ever take in this 
body, a vote that entails risks of war and peace, of life and death, of 
relationships in the Middle East and throughout the world.
  I have been thinking in the last 24 hours about how to approach this 
decision, and I would like to share that today. This is a solemn 
responsibility. The first step for this Senator is to read the 
agreement word for word and to note in the margins the questions, data, 
and analysis that we think we need in order to make this decision. That 
is No. 1.
  No. 2 is to seek expertise, to reach outside of this body to people 
in the nuclear field--one literally needs to be a nuclear physicist to 
understand some parts of this agreement--to arms inspection people, to 
economists, to foreign policy experts. I hope and expect this will 
happen in hearings before the Foreign Relations Committee and other 
committees of this Senate, but it is also incumbent upon us as 
individuals to reach out and to try to gain as much knowledge and 
expertise in the facts of this agreement as we possibly can.
  Then I think we need to debate--to really debate with the Senators 
here in the Chamber, face to face. Our legal system is based upon the 
principle of an adversarial system where truth emerges from the fire of 
argument. And I believe that is something we owe the American people, 
not the strange debate we have where one person comes and speaks to an 
empty Chamber and then another person comes and speaks to an empty 
Chamber. I think this is an occasion where Senators should confront one 
another with their best arguments, their best facts, and listen to one 
another and make their decisions based upon what they learn and what 
they hear.
  Of course, the context of the decision is important. We must consider 
the alternatives. What happens if we don't accept this agreement? What 
happens if we do? No agreement like this can be judged solely in 
isolation; it has to be viewed in terms of what are the alternatives. 
What if nothing happens? What does Iran do then? What are the 
relationships in the Middle East? What is Iran's path to a bomb if this 
agreement is not approved?
  Mr. President, I did not plan to come to the floor today, but I am 
here because I have been shocked and, frankly, surprised at the 
outpouring of reaction from people who haven't read the agreement, who 
haven't studied the implications, who haven't gained the facts. To 
denounce an agreement or a deal before the ink is even dry strikes me 
as an abdication of our responsibility.
  My message today is, let's slow down and take a deep breath. Let's 
listen to one another. Let's gain the facts.
  I have not yet made my decision. And I commend that position to my 
colleagues. This is too important to become just another political 
issue. Even though we are headed into a Presidential year, even though 
there are partisan differences, even though there are differences with 
this President, this is a historic vote and it is a solemn 
responsibility. We owe our constituents, we owe the people of our 
States and America a close reading of the facts, a balanced weighing of 
the alternatives, and our best judgment. That is what the people of 
Maine expect of this Senator, and I believe that is what the people of 
America expect of us.
  The Senate has an extraordinary opportunity to regain its place in 
this country as the world's greatest deliberative body, and that means 
we have to deliberate and listen and learn the facts, and that is how 
we should approach this momentous decision.
  History will judge us. History will judge us not only on our ultimate 
decision but how we reached it, how we wrestled with the facts and the 
alternatives and the consequences, and how we made this decision that 
will have long-term implications for this country, for the Middle East, 
for our allies, and for the world.
  Mr. President, I have confidence in this institution. I have 
confidence that we can make this decision in a thoughtful, 
deliberative, and consciously deliberate way to reach a conclusion that 
is in the best interests of the people of America.
  Thank you, Mr. President.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
order for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Ernst). Without objection, it is so 
ordered.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that, 
notwithstanding rule XXII, there be 10 minutes of debate equally 
divided before the vote to invoke cloture on the Alexander-Murray 
substitute amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Madam President, for the information of Senators, we 
have an agreement on the amendments to our legislation to fix No Child 
Left Behind.
  The agreement represents all of the amendments that we will be 
dealing with. The exact time of the final passage will be determined by 
the Republican and Democratic leaders.
  This is how we will proceed. First, we will propose and hopefully 
adopt by consent a managers' package of 21 amendments. Second, we will 
lock in an agreement by consent to vote on 24 more amendments. That 
voting will begin this afternoon, perhaps, at 2:30 p.m. or 3 p.m. There 
are slightly more Democratic amendments than Republican amendments in 
that group of 45 amendments.
  Following the reading of that, Senator Murray and I will each have 3 
or 4 minutes of remarks that we would like to make, and then we will 
have a cloture vote, and that will be all we will do before lunch.
  Following lunch, as I said, at about 2:30 p.m. or 3 p.m., we will 
move to vote.
  I am now going to move to the managers' package, a list of 21 
amendments that have been cleared by both the Republican and Democratic 
sides.


Amendments Nos. 2111; 2141; 2145; 2149; 2150; 2151, as Modified; 2154; 
2155; 2157; 2234; 2170; 2178; 2181; 2185; 2195; 2216; 2199; 2201; 2225; 
                  2224; and 2227 to Amendment No. 2089

  Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the following 
amendments be called up and agreed to en bloc: McCain-Reid No. 2111; 
Bennet-Ayotte No. 2141; Ayotte No. 2145; Udall No. 2149; Feinstein-
Cornyn-Gardner No. 2150; Carper-Ayotte No. 2151, as modified with the 
changes at the desk; King-Capito No. 2154; Thune No. 2155; Flake No. 
2157; Lee No. 2234; Booker No. 2170; Coons-Reed-Blunt No. 2178; McCain 
No. 2181; Whitehouse No. 2185; Blunt-Cardin-Mikulski-Collins No. 2195; 
Gillibrand No. 2216; Graham No. 2199; Alexander No. 2201; Bennet No. 
2225; Booker No. 2224; and Cornyn No. 2227.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection.
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendments (Nos. 2111; 2141; 2145; 2149; 2150; 2151, as Modified; 
2154; 2155; 2157; 2234; 2170; 2178; 2181; 2185; 2195; 2216; 2199; 2201; 
2225; 2224; and 2227) proposed and agreed to are as follows:


                           AMENDMENT NO. 2111

 (Purpose: To express the sense of Congress that John Arthur ``Jack'' 
 Johnson should receive a posthumous pardon for the racially-motivated 
    conviction in 1913 that diminished the athletic, cultural, and 
   historical significance of Jack Johnson and unduly tarnished his 
                              reputation)

       At the end of part B of title X, add the following:

[[Page S5095]]

     SEC. _____. POSTHUMOUS PARDON.

       (a) Findings.--Congress finds the following:
       (1) John Arthur ``Jack'' Johnson was a flamboyant, defiant, 
     and controversial figure in the history of the United States 
     who challenged racial biases.
       (2) Jack Johnson was born in Galveston, Texas, in 1878 to 
     parents who were former slaves.
       (3) Jack Johnson became a professional boxer and traveled 
     throughout the United States, fighting White and African-
     American heavyweights.
       (4) After being denied (on purely racial grounds) the 
     opportunity to fight 2 White champions, in 1908, Jack Johnson 
     was granted an opportunity by an Australian promoter to fight 
     the reigning White title-holder, Tommy Burns.
       (5) Jack Johnson defeated Tommy Burns to become the first 
     African-American to hold the title of Heavyweight Champion of 
     the World.
       (6) The victory by Jack Johnson over Tommy Burns prompted a 
     search for a White boxer who could beat Jack Johnson, a 
     recruitment effort that was dubbed the search for the ``great 
     white hope''.
       (7) In 1910, a White former champion named Jim Jeffries 
     left retirement to fight Jack Johnson in Reno, Nevada.
       (8) Jim Jeffries lost to Jack Johnson in what was deemed 
     the ``Battle of the Century''.
       (9) The defeat of Jim Jeffries by Jack Johnson led to 
     rioting, aggression against African-Americans, and the 
     racially-motivated murder of African-Americans throughout the 
     United States.
       (10) The relationships of Jack Johnson with White women 
     compounded the resentment felt toward him by many Whites.
       (11) Between 1901 and 1910, 754 African-Americans were 
     lynched, some simply for being ``too familiar'' with White 
     women.
       (12) In 1910, Congress passed the Act of June 25, 1910 
     (commonly known as the ``White Slave Traffic Act'' or the 
     ``Mann Act'') (18 U.S.C. 2421 et seq.), which outlawed the 
     transportation of women in interstate or foreign commerce 
     ``for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery, or for any 
     other immoral purpose''.
       (13) In October 1912, Jack Johnson became involved with a 
     White woman whose mother disapproved of their relationship 
     and sought action from the Department of Justice, claiming 
     that Jack Johnson had abducted her daughter.
       (14) Jack Johnson was arrested by Federal marshals on 
     October 18, 1912, for transporting the woman across State 
     lines for an ``immoral purpose'' in violation of the Mann 
     Act.
       (15) The Mann Act charges against Jack Johnson were dropped 
     when the woman refused to cooperate with Federal authorities, 
     and then married Jack Johnson.
       (16) Federal authorities persisted and summoned a White 
     woman named Belle Schreiber, who testified that Jack Johnson 
     had transported her across States lines for the purpose of 
     ``prostitution and debauchery''.
       (17) In 1913, Jack Johnson was convicted of violating the 
     Mann Act and sentenced to 1 year and 1 day in Federal prison.
       (18) Jack Johnson fled the United States to Canada and 
     various European and South American countries.
       (19) Jack Johnson lost the Heavyweight Championship title 
     to Jess Willard in Cuba in 1915.
       (20) Jack Johnson returned to the United States in July 
     1920, surrendered to authorities, and served nearly a year in 
     the Federal penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas.
       (21) Jack Johnson subsequently fought in boxing matches, 
     but never regained the Heavyweight Championship title.
       (22) Jack Johnson served the United States during World War 
     II by encouraging citizens to buy war bonds and participating 
     in exhibition boxing matches to promote the war bond cause.
       (23) Jack Johnson died in an automobile accident in 1946.
       (24) In 1954, Jack Johnson was inducted into the Boxing 
     Hall of Fame.
       (25) Senate Concurrent Resolution 29, 111th Congress, 
     agreed to July 29, 2009, expressed the sense of the 111th 
     Congress that Jack Johnson should receive a posthumous pardon 
     for his racially-motivated 1913 conviction.
       (b) Recommendations.--It remains the sense of Congress that 
     Jack Johnson should receive a posthumous pardon--
       (1) to expunge a racially-motivated abuse of the 
     prosecutorial authority of the Federal Government from the 
     annals of criminal justice in the United States; and
       (2) in recognition of the athletic and cultural 
     contributions of Jack Johnson to society.


                           AMENDMENT NO. 2141

    (Purpose: To provide for shared services strategies and models)

       On page 622, line 18, insert ``such as through entities 
     administering shared services,'' after ``strategies,''.
       On page 624, line 9, insert ``which may include the use of 
     shared services models'' after ``time in program''.


                           AMENDMENT NO. 2145

 (Purpose: To allow States to use State activity funds provided under 
  part A of title IV of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 
   1965 for certain evidence-based mental health awareness programs)

       On page 430, between lines 6 and 7, insert the following:
       ``(ix) designing and implementing evidence-based mental 
     health awareness training programs for the purposes of--

       ``(I) recognizing the signs and symptoms of mental illness;
       ``(II) providing education to school personnel regarding 
     resources available in the community for students with mental 
     illnesses and other relevant resources relating to mental 
     health; or
       ``(III) providing education to school personal regarding 
     the safe de-escalation of crisis situations involving a 
     student with a mental illness; and


                           AMENDMENT NO. 2149

(Purpose: To allow the Bureau of Indian Education to apply for certain 
competitive grants under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 
                                 1965)

       On page 799, between lines 17 and 18, insert the following:

     SEC. 9114A. APPLICATION FOR COMPETITIVE GRANTS FROM THE 
                   BUREAU OF INDIAN EDUCATION.

       Subpart 2 of part F of title IX (20 U.S.C. 7901 et seq.), 
     as amended by sections 4001(3) and 9114 and redesignated by 
     section 9106(1), is further amended by adding at the end the 
     following:

     ``SEC. 9539. APPLICATION FOR COMPETITIVE GRANTS FROM THE 
                   BUREAU OF INDIAN EDUCATION.

       ``(a) In General.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
     this Act and subject to subsection (b), the Bureau of Indian 
     Education may apply for, and carry out, any grant program 
     awarded on a competitive basis under this Act, as 
     appropriate, on behalf of the schools and the Indian children 
     that the Bureau serves, and shall not be subject to any 
     provision of the program that requires grant recipients to 
     contribute funds toward the costs of the grant program.
       ``(b) Limitation.--In the case of any competitive grant 
     program described in subsection (a) that also provides a 
     reservation of funds to the Bureau of Indian Education, the 
     Bureau shall not, for any fiscal year, receive both a grant 
     and a reservation under the competitive grant program.''.


                           amendment no. 2150

(Purpose: To allow eligible entities to use funds provided under part A 
of title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 for 
  bilingual paraprofessionals and linguistically responsive materials)

       On page 403, strike line 15 and insert the following:
       ``(B) intensified instruction, which may include 
     linguistically responsive materials; and
       ``(C) bilingual paraprofessionals, which may include 
     interpreters and translators.


                    amendment no. 2151, as modified

 (Purpose: To amend part A of title II of the Elementary and Secondary 
 Education Act of 1965 to improve preparation programs and strengthen 
            support for principals and other school leaders)

       On page 287, between lines 8 and 9, insert the following:
       ``(J) A description of actions the State may take to 
     improve preparation programs and strengthen support for 
     principals and other school leaders based on the needs of the 
     State, as identified by the State educational agency.


                           amendment no. 2154

(Purpose: To authorize the Institute of Education Sciences to conduct a 
 study on student access to digital learning resources outside of the 
                              school day)

       On page 264, between lines 11 and 12, insert the following:

     SEC. 1018. REPORT ON STUDENT HOME ACCESS TO DIGITAL LEARNING 
                   RESOURCES.

       (a) In General.--Not later than 18 months after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, the Director of the Institute of 
     Education Sciences, in consultation with relevant Federal 
     agencies, shall complete a national study on the educational 
     trends and behaviors associated with access to digital 
     learning resources outside of the classroom, which shall 
     include analysis of extant data and new surveys about 
     students and teachers that provide--
       (1) a description of the various locations from which 
     students access the Internet and digital learning resources 
     outside of the classroom, including through an after-school 
     or summer program, a library, and at home;
       (2) a description of the various devices and technology 
     through which students access the Internet and digital 
     learning resources outside of the classroom, including 
     through a computer or mobile device;
       (3) data associated with the number of students who lack 
     home Internet access, disaggregated by--
       (A) each of the categories of students, as defined in 
     section 1111(b)(3)(A) of the Elementary and Secondary 
     Education Act of 1965;
       (B) homeless students and children or youth in foster care; 
     and
       (C) students in geographically diverse areas, including 
     urban, suburban, and rural areas;
       (4) data associated with the barriers to students acquiring 
     home Internet access;
       (5) data associated with the proportion of educators who 
     assign homework or implement innovative learning models that 
     require or are substantially augmented by a student having 
     home Internet access and the frequency of the need for such 
     access;

[[Page S5096]]

       (6) a description of the learning behaviors associated with 
     students who lack home Internet access, including--
       (A) student participation in the classroom, including the 
     ability to complete homework and participate in innovative 
     learning models;
       (B) student engagement, through such measures as attendance 
     rates and chronic absenteeism; and
       (C) a student's ability to apply for employment, 
     postsecondary education, and financial aid programs;
       (7) an analysis of the how a student's lack of home 
     Internet access impacts the instructional practice of 
     educators, including--
       (A) the extent to which educators alter instructional 
     methods, resources, homework assignments, and curriculum in 
     order to accommodate differing levels of home Internet 
     access; and
       (B) strategies employed by educators, school leaders, and 
     administrators to address the differing levels of home 
     Internet access among students; and
       (8) a description of the ways in which State educational 
     agencies, local educational agencies, schools, and other 
     entities, including through partnerships, have developed 
     effective means to provide students with Internet access 
     outside of the school day.
       (b) Public Dissemination.--The Director of the Institute of 
     Education Sciences shall widely disseminate the findings of 
     the study under this section--
       (1) in a timely fashion;
       (2) in a form that is understandable, easily accessible, 
     and publicly available and usable, or adaptable for use in, 
     the improvement of educational practice;
       (3) through electronic transfer and other means, such as 
     posting, as available, to the website of the Institute of 
     Education Sciences, or the Department of Education; and
       (4) to all State educational agencies and other recipients 
     of funds under part D of title IV of the Elementary and 
     Secondary Education Act of 1965.
       (c) Definition of Digital Learning.--In this section, the 
     term ``digital learning''--
       (1) has the meaning given the term in section 5702 of the 
     Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965; and
       (2) includes an educational practice that effectively uses 
     technology to strengthen a student's learning experience 
     within and outside of the classroom and at home, which may 
     include the use of digital learning content, video, software, 
     and other resources that may be developed, as the Secretary 
     of Education may determine.


                           amendment no. 2155

 (Purpose: To require a report on responses to Indian student suicides)

       At the end of title VII, insert the following:

     SEC. 7006. REPORT ON RESPONSES TO INDIAN STUDENT SUICIDES.

       (a) Preparation.--
       (1) In general.--The Secretary of Education, in 
     coordination with the Secretary of the Interior and the 
     Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall prepare a 
     report on efforts to address outbreaks of suicides among 
     elementary school and secondary school students (referred to 
     in this section as ``student suicides'') that occurred within 
     1 year prior to the date of enactment of this Act in Indian 
     country (as defined in section 1151 of title 18, United 
     States Code).
       (2) Contents.--The report shall include information on--
       (A) the Federal response to the occurrence of high numbers 
     of student suicides in Indian country (as so defined);
       (B) a list of Federal resources available to prevent and 
     respond to outbreaks of student suicides, including the 
     availability and use of tele-behavioral health care;
       (C) any barriers to timely implementation of programs or 
     interagency collaboration regarding student suicides;
       (D) interagency collaboration efforts to streamline access 
     to programs regarding student suicides, including information 
     on how the Department of Education, the Department of the 
     Interior, and the Department of Health and Human Services 
     work together on administration of such programs;
       (E) recommendations to improve or consolidate resources or 
     programs described in subparagraph (B) or (D); and
       (F) feedback from Indian tribes to the Federal response 
     described in subparagraph (A).
       (b) Submission.--Not later than 90 days after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Education shall 
     submit the report described in subsection (a) to the 
     appropriate committees of Congress.


                           amendment no. 2157

    (Purpose: To reserve funds for an evaluation of early learning 
                   alignment and improvement grants)

       On page 615, between lines 22 and 23, insert the following:
       ``(3) Reservation for evaluation.--From the amounts 
     appropriated under section 5903 for a fiscal year, the 
     Secretary shall reserve one-half of 1 percent to conduct, in 
     consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, 
     an evaluation to determine whether grants under this part 
     are--
       (A) improving efficiency in the use of Federal funds for 
     early childhood education programs;
       (B) improving coordination across Federal early childhood 
     education programs; and
       (C) increasing the availability of, and access to, high-
     quality early childhood education programs for eligible 
     children.


                           amendment no. 2234

 (Purpose: To establish a rule of construction regarding travel to and 
                              from school)

       After section 9115, insert the following:

     SEC. 9116. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION REGARDING TRAVEL TO AND FROM 
                   SCHOOL.

       Subpart 2 of part F of title IX (20 U.S.C. 7901 et seq.), 
     as amended by sections, 9114 and 9115, and redesignated by 
     section 9601, is further amended by adding at the end the 
     following:

     ``SEC. 9539A. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION REGARDING TRAVEL TO AND 
                   FROM SCHOOL.

       ``(a) In General.--Subject to subsection (b), nothing in 
     this Act shall authorize the Secretary to, or shall be 
     construed to--
       ``(1) prohibit a child from traveling to and from school on 
     foot or by car, bus, or bike when the parents of the child 
     have given permission; or
       ``(2) expose parents to civil or criminal charges for 
     allowing their child to responsibly and safely travel to and 
     from school by a means the parents believe is age 
     appropriate.
       ``(b) No Preemption of State or Local Laws.--
     Notwithstanding subsection (a), nothing in this section shall 
     be construed to preempt State or local laws.''.


                           amendment no. 2170

 (Purpose: To amend the early learning alignment and improvement grant 
    program under part I of title V of the Elementary and Secondary 
  Education Act of 1965 to ensure that States support early childhood 
  education programs that maintain disciplinary policies that do not 
       include expulsion or suspension of participating children)

       On page 623, strike line 8 and insert the following:
       ``(14) a description of how the State will support, through 
     the use of professional development, early childhood 
     education programs that maintain disciplinary policies that 
     do not include expulsion or suspension of participating 
     children, except as a last resort in extraordinary 
     circumstances where--
       ``(A) there is a determination of a serious safety threat; 
     and
       ``(B) policies are in place to provide appropriate 
     alternative early educational services to expelled or 
     suspended children while they are out of school; and''.


                           amendment no. 2178

  (Purpose: To encourage increasing the amount of funds available for 
                     parent and family engagement)

       On page 170, strike lines 20 through 25, and insert the 
     following:
       ``(A) In general.--Each local educational agency shall 
     reserve at least 1 percent of its allocation under subpart 2 
     to assist schools to carry out the activities described in 
     this section, except that this subparagraph shall not apply 
     if 1 percent of such agency's allocation under subpart 2 for 
     the fiscal year for which the determination is made is $5,000 
     or less. Nothing in this subparagraph shall be construed to 
     limit local educational agencies from reserving more than the 
     1 percent of its allocation under subpart 2 to assist schools 
     to carry out activities described in this section.'';


                           Amendment No. 2181

(Purpose: To allow States to use funding under part A of title I of the 
Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to replicate and expand 
       successful practices from high-performing public schools)

       On page 70, line 3, strike the period and insert the 
     following: ``; and
       ``(iii) use funds under this part to support efforts to 
     expand and replicate successful practices from high-
     performing charter schools, magnet schools, and traditional 
     public schools.


                           Amendment No. 2185

                (Purpose: To support innovation schools)

  (The amendment is printed in the Record of July 9, 2015, under ``Text 
of Amendments.'')


                           Amendment No. 2195

  (Purpose: To amend section 1113(c) of the Elementary and Secondary 
 Education Act of 1965 to allow local educational agencies to address 
   the needs of children in schools served by schoolwide programs by 
             providing school-based mental health programs)

       On page 132, line 1, insert ``school-based mental health 
     programs,'' after ``counseling,''.


                           Amendment No. 2216

       (Purpose: To require a report on cybersecurity education)

       On page 385, between lines 4 and 5, insert the following:

     ``SEC. 2508. REPORT ON CYBERSECURITY EDUCATION.

       ``Not later than June 1, 2016, the Secretary, acting 
     through the Director of the Institute of Education Sciences, 
     shall submit to the Committee on Armed Services and the 
     Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the 
     Senate and the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee 
     on Education and the Workforce of the House of 
     Representatives, a report describing whether secondary and 
     postsecondary education programs are meeting the need of 
     public and private sectors for cyberdefense. Such report 
     shall include--
       ``(1) an assessment of the shortfalls in current secondary 
     and postsecondary education needed to develop cybersecurity 
     professionals, and recommendations to address such 
     shortfalls;

[[Page S5097]]

       ``(2) an assessment of successful secondary and 
     postsecondary programs that produce competent cybersecurity 
     professionals; and
       ``(3) recommendations of subjects to be covered by 
     elementary schools and secondary schools to better prepare 
     students for postsecondary cybersecurity education.''.


                           Amendment No. 2199

  (Purpose: To include entrepreneurship as a local educational agency 
                 allowable use of funds under title II)

       On page 306, after line 23, insert the following:
       ``(V) providing educator training to increase students' 
     entrepreneurship skills; and


                           Amendment No. 2201

  (Purpose: To provide that State assessments not evaluate or assess 
    personal or family beliefs and attitudes, or publicly disclose 
                  personally identifiable information)

       Beginning on page 37, strike line 24 and all that follows 
     through page 38, line 4, and insert the following:
       ``(iii) be used for purposes for which such assessments are 
     valid and reliable, consistent with relevant, nationally 
     recognized professional and technical testing standards, 
     objectively measure academic achievement, knowledge, and 
     skills, and be tests that do not evaluate or assess personal 
     or family beliefs and attitudes, or publicly disclose 
     personally identifiable information;


                           Amendment No. 2225

(Purpose: To improve title I by including information about assessments 
  in the categories of information that parents have a right to know 
                                 about)

       On page 111, between lines 24 and 25, insert the following:
       ``(2) Testing transparency.--
       ``(A) In general.--Subject to subparagraph (B), each local 
     educational agency that receives funds under this part shall 
     make widely available through public means (including by 
     posting in a clear and easily accessible manner on the local 
     educational agency's website and, where practicable, on the 
     website of each school served by the local educational 
     agency) for each grade served by the local educational 
     agency, information on each assessment required by the State 
     to comply with section 1111, other assessments required by 
     the State, and where such information is available and 
     feasible to report, assessments required districtwide by the 
     local educational agency, including--
       ``(i) the subject matter assessed;
       ``(ii) the purpose for which the assessment is designed and 
     used;
       ``(iii) the source of the requirement for the assessment; 
     and
       ``(iv) where such information is available--

       ``(I) the amount of time students will spend taking the 
     assessment, and the schedule and calendar for the assessment; 
     and
       ``(II) the time and format for disseminating results.

       ``(B) Local educational agency that does not operate a 
     website.--In the case of a local educational agency that does 
     not operate a website, such local educational agency shall 
     determine how to make the information described in 
     subparagraph (A) widely available, such as through 
     distribution of that information to the media, through public 
     agencies, or directly to parents.


                           Amendment No. 2224

     (Purpose: To assess and improve educator support and working 
                              conditions)

       On page 306, after line 23, add the following:
       ``(V) regularly conducting, and publicly reporting the 
     results of, an assessment and a plan to address such results, 
     of educator support and working conditions that--
       ``(i) evaluates supports for teachers, leaders, and other 
     school personnel, such as--

       ``(I) teacher and principal perceptions of availability of 
     high-quality professional development and instructional 
     materials;
       ``(II) timely availability of data on student academic 
     achievement and growth;
       ``(III) the presence of high-quality instructional 
     leadership; and
       ``(IV) opportunities for professional growth, such as 
     career ladders and mentoring and induction programs;

       ``(ii) evaluates working conditions for teachers, leaders 
     and other school personnel, such as--

       ``(I) school safety and climate;
       ``(II) availability and use of common planning time and 
     opportunities to collaborate; and
       ``(III) community engagement; and

       ``(iii) is developed with teachers, leaders, other school 
     personnel, parents, students, and the community; and


                           Amendment No. 2227

 (Purpose: To reauthorize the Education Flexibility Partnership Act of 
                                 1999)

  (The amendment is printed in the Record of July 13, 2015, under 
``Text of Amendments.'')

  Mr. ALEXANDER. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent, 
notwithstanding rule XXII, on behalf of myself and Senator Murray, that 
if cloture is invoked on the Alexander amendment No. 2089, the 
following amendments be made pending en bloc: Coons No. 2243; Cruz No. 
2180; Heitkamp No. 2171; Hatch No. 2082; Warren No. 2106; Burr No. 
2247, as modified with the changes at the desk; Murphy No. 2186; Brown 
No. 2100; Wicker No. 2144; Markey No. 2176; Murphy No. 2241; Sanders 
No. 2177; Casey No. 2242; Schatz No. 2130; Nelson No. 2215, as modified 
with the changes at the desk; Manchin No. 2222; Boozman No. 2231; 
Baldwin No. 2188; Capito No. 2156; Thune No. 2232; King No. 2256; 
Schatz No. 2240; and Warren No. 2249.
  Following that, at a time to be determined by the majority leader in 
consultation with the Democratic leader either today or tomorrow, the 
Senate vote in relation to the following amendments: Brown No. 2100; 
Heitkamp No. 2171, 60-vote threshold; Coons No. 2243, 60-vote 
threshold; Kirk No. 2161, 60-vote threshold; Burr No. 2247, as modified 
with the changes at the desk; Hatch No. 2082; Warren No. 2106; Wicker 
No. 2144, 60-vote threshold; Markey No. 2176, 60-vote threshold; Murphy 
No. 2241, 60-vote threshold; Sanders No. 2177, 60-vote threshold; Casey 
No. 2242, 60-vote threshold; Cruz No. 2180; Schatz No. 2130; Murphy No. 
2186; Nelson No. 2215, as modified with the changes at the desk; 
Manchin No. 2222; Boozman No. 2231; Baldwin No. 2188; Capito No. 2156; 
Thune No. 2232; King No. 2256; Schatz No. 2240; and Warren No. 2249, 
with no second-degree amendments in order to any of the amendments 
prior to the votes, that there be 2 minutes equally divided prior to 
each vote; and that all after the first vote in each series be 10 
minutes in length; also that the Warren amendment No. 2120 be withdrawn 
and that the following amendments in this agreement be subject to a 60-
affirmative-vote threshold for adoption: Coons No. 2243, Heitkamp No. 
2171, Kirk No. 2161, Wicker No. 2144, Markey No. 2176, Murphy No. 2241, 
Sanders No. 2177, and Casey No. 2242.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection.
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Madam President, in just a few minutes, after brief 
comments by Senator Murray and me, we will proceed to a cloture vote 
and then our next votes will be at 2:30.
  I think, from the reading of the amendments, that the Senators can 
see that we have had a fair and open amendment process. Just to give 
you an example, in our committee consideration to fix No Child Left 
Behind, we adopted 29 amendments, and the committee was pleased enough 
with the process that they reported the bill unanimously.
  The substitute amendment, one of the amendments I just listed, adopts 
the priorities of 52 Members into that substitute amendment.
  On the Senate floor already since last week, we have adopted 27 
amendments, and I just read the two consent requests. The manager's 
package has 21 amendments in it, and those have been adopted. Then 
there are the 21 more votes that we just secured approval to vote on 
either by voice or in fact.
  So the vote we are about to have is a vote on whether to end debate 
on our bill to fix No Child Left Behind. I think the question before 
the Senators is this: Do you think there has been a fair process? Do 
you think it is open enough? Do you think the bill is worthy of having 
these votes and going toward final passage? I hope every single Senator 
will agree that yes, it has been.
  This is the way the Senate is supposed to work. Basically, we are 
concluding the bill by a unanimous consent agreement, which is to say 
that virtually every Senator who wants an amendment has had that 
amendment considered, and we are going to dispose of it one way or 
another. We are going to adopt it or vote on it, whatever the Senate 
likes.
  That is important for the country to see. This a bill that Newsweek 
magazine said is the education bill everyone wants fixed.
  There is a remarkable consensus that we need to do it. After 7 years, 
this bill is overdue and a ``yes'' vote today on cloture says: We 
recognize that Governors, teachers, school board members, and school 
superintendents have united in a remarkable coalition to support the 
way we propose to fix it. So we have a consensus that it needs to be 
fixed, and we have a consensus on how to fix it. This is a vote about 
whether we are ready to do that--to do our job.
  I thank Senator Murray principally for her leadership in this 
respect, making it possible to create this environment in which we have 
been able to have such a good process.

[[Page S5098]]

  I thank the majority leader for putting the bill on the floor and 
giving us a week of time--more than a week--to deal with it.
  I thank the majority whip for his efforts, especially in helping to 
bring this to a conclusion.
  I thank the Democratic leader, Senator Reid, as well as Senators 
Schumer, Durbin and Patty Murray, who is also part of that leadership, 
for creating the kind of working environment to give Senators on both 
sides of the aisle a chance to go home and say: We fixed No Child Left 
Behind. I had my say in it, and we are going to restore responsibility. 
We are going to keep the important measurements of student achievement, 
but restore to the classroom teachers, the Governors, the legislatures, 
the school boards, and to the parents the responsibility for student 
achievement.
  I thank the Chair, and I urge my colleagues to vote yes on cloture so 
we can move toward these remaining 21 amendments on the bill.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Washington.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Madam President, I rise again to encourage all of our 
colleagues to support this vote to move us to a negotiated conclusion 
to this very important bill.
  I thank the senior Senator from Tennessee, as well as the majority 
leader, for working with us to get this agreement so we can continue 
moving forward in a bipartisan way to get this done.
  Across the country, students, parents, teachers, and communities are 
really counting on us to fix No Child Left Behind. I have been very 
pleased to work with Chairman Alexander on this bipartisan bill called 
the Every Child Achieves Act.
  This bill will give our States more flexibility, but it will also 
include some Federal guardrails to make sure all of our students do 
have access to quality education. It passed through our committee 
unanimously and, for the past week or so, we have made good progress on 
the Senate floor.
  There is still some work to be done. There are a number of amendments 
that we will be voting on this afternoon and into tomorrow. The senior 
Senator from Pennsylvania is offering a very important amendment I 
support to expand high-quality early childhood education.
  We have an amendment that we will be voting on to strengthen the 
Federal guardrails. It is the accountability amendment from Senators 
Murphy, Booker, Warren, and Coons to help make sure all of our kids, 
especially our most vulnerable students, have what they need.
  There are many more amendments, as you know, from Democrats and 
Republicans, to finish this bill, but I urge our colleagues to vote yes 
on cloture. We are finishing this bill and working to make sure that we 
can fix a broken law.
  I will have more to say about the amendments as we go through the 
process. But at this moment, I urge all of our colleagues to support 
this vote, continue this bipartisan process, and let's work to get this 
bill done.
  I yield the floor.
  I yield back the remainder of my time.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Madam President, I yield back the remainder of my 
time.


                             Cloture Motion

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Pursuant to rule XXII, the Chair lays before 
the Senate the pending cloture motion, which the clerk will state.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

                             Cloture Motion

       We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the 
     provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, 
     do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the Alexander 
     amendment No. 2089 to S. 1177, an original bill to 
     reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 
     1965 to ensure that every child achieves.
         Mitch McConnell, Orrin G. Hatch, Lamar Alexander, Cory 
           Gardner, Steve Daines, Pat Roberts, Johnny Isakson, 
           Susan M. Collins, Michael B. Enzi, Kelly Ayotte, John 
           Cornyn, Lisa Murkowski, Tim Scott, Richard Burr, Thom 
           Tillis, Lindsey Graham, John Hoeven.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. By unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum 
call has been waived.
  The question is, Is it the sense of the Senate that debate on the 
Alexander amendment No. 2089, offered by the Senator from Tennessee, 
Mr. Alexander, to S. 1177, shall be brought to a close?
  The yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator 
from South Carolina (Mr. Graham).
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Florida (Mr. Nelson) is 
necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Tillis). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 86, nays 12, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 237 Leg.]

                                YEAS--86

     Alexander
     Ayotte
     Baldwin
     Barrasso
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Boozman
     Boxer
     Brown
     Burr
     Cantwell
     Capito
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Cassidy
     Coats
     Cochran
     Collins
     Coons
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Donnelly
     Durbin
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Feinstein
     Fischer
     Flake
     Franken
     Gardner
     Gillibrand
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Heller
     Hirono
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kaine
     King
     Kirk
     Klobuchar
     Lankford
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCain
     McCaskill
     McConnell
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murkowski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Perdue
     Peters
     Portman
     Reed
     Reid
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Scott
     Sessions
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Sullivan
     Tester
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Udall
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wicker
     Wyden

                                NAYS--12

     Blunt
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Lee
     Moran
     Paul
     Risch
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Shelby
     Vitter

                             NOT VOTING--2

     Graham
     Nelson
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 86, the nays are 
12.
  Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn having voted in 
the affirmative, the motion is agreed to.


Amendments Nos. 2243; 2180; 2171; 2082; 2106; 2247, as Modified; 2186; 
  2100; 2144; 2176; 2241; 2177; 2242; 2130; 2215, as Modified; 2222; 
     2231; 2188; 2156; 2232; 2256; 2240; 2249 to Amendment No. 2089

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Cloture having been invoked, under the 
previous order, the 23 amendments enumerated earlier are now pending en 
bloc.
  The amendments (Nos. 2243; 2180; 2171; 2082; 2106; 2247, as modified; 
2186; 2100; 2144; 2176; 2241; 2177; 2242; 2130; 2215, as modified; 
2222; 2231; 2188; 2156; 2232; 2256; 2240; 2249) are proposed, as 
follows:


                           Amendment No. 2243

  (Purpose: To authorize the establishment of American Dream Accounts)

  (The amendment is printed in the Record of July 14, 2015, under 
``Text of Amendments.'')


                           Amendment No. 2180

(Purpose: To provide for State-determined assessment and accountability 
                    systems, and for other purposes)

       On page 28, between lines 6 and 7, insert the following:
       ``(vi) include in the plan a description of assessments 
     referred to in paragraph (2), or an accountability system 
     referred to in paragraph (3), of subsection (b), nor may the 
     Secretary require inclusion of a description of such 
     assessments or system in a plan or application, or use 
     inclusion of such assessments or system as a factor in 
     awarding Federal funding, under any other provision of this 
     Act; or
       On page 28, line 7, strike ``(vi)'' and insert ``(vii)''.
       On page 36, strike line 18 and all that follows through 
     line 25 on page 58, and insert the following:
       ``(2) Assessments.--A State may include in the State plan a 
     description of, and may implement, a set of high-quality 
     statewide academic assessments.
       ``(3) Accountability.--A State may include in the State 
     plan a description of, and may implement, an accountability 
     system.
       On page 146, strike line 1 and all that follows through 
     line 23, on page 166.
       On page 183, between lines 6 and 7, insert the following

     SEC. 1008A. STATE-DETERMINED ASSESSMENTS AND ACCOUNTABILITY.

       After section 1118, as redesignated by section 1004(3), 
     insert the following:

     ``SEC. 1119. STATE-DETERMINED ASSESSMENTS AND ACCOUNTABILITY.

       ``Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including any 
     other provision of this Act, wherever in this Act a reference 
     is made to assessments or accountability under this part, 
     including a reference to a provision under paragraphs (2) or 
     (3) of section 1111(b)--

[[Page S5099]]

       ``(1) in the case of a State that elects to implement 
     assessments referred to in section 1111(b)(2), a reference to 
     assessments under this part shall be deemed to be a reference 
     to those assessments and shall be carried out to the extent 
     practicable based on the State-determined assessments;
       ``(2) in the case of a State that elects to implement an 
     accountability system referred to in section 1111(b)(3), a 
     reference to accountability under this part shall be deemed 
     to be a reference to accountability under that system, and 
     shall be carried out to the extent practicable based on the 
     State-determined accountability system; and
       ``(3) in the case of any State not described in paragraph 
     (1) or (2), the reference shall have no effect.''.
       On page 185, strike line 19 and all that follows through 
     line 2 on page 228 and insert the following:

     SEC. 1012. REPEAL.

       Part B of title I (20 U.S.C. 6361 et seq.) is repealed.


                           Amendment No. 2171

(Purpose: To reinstate grants to improve the mental health of children)

       On page 492, after line 22, insert the following:

     SEC. 4006. GRANTS FOR THE INTEGRATION OF SCHOOLS AND MENTAL 
                   HEALTH SYSTEMS.

       Title IV (20 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.), as amended by sections 
     4001, 4004, and 4005, is further amended by adding at the end 
     the following:

       ``PART E--GRANTS TO IMPROVE THE MENTAL HEALTH OF CHILDREN

     ``SEC. 4501. GRANTS FOR THE INTEGRATION OF SCHOOLS AND MENTAL 
                   HEALTH SYSTEMS.

       ``(a) Authorization.--The Secretary is authorized to award 
     grants to, or enter into contracts or cooperative agreements 
     with, State educational agencies, local educational agencies, 
     Indian tribes or their tribal education agency, a school 
     operated by the Bureau of Indian Education, or a Regional 
     Corporation (as defined in section 3 of the Alaska Native 
     Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1602)) for the purpose of 
     increasing student access to quality mental health care and 
     support by developing innovative programs to link local 
     school systems with local mental health systems, such as 
     those under the Indian Health Service.
       ``(b) Duration.--With respect to a grant, contract, or 
     cooperative agreement awarded or entered into under this 
     section, the period during which payments under such grant, 
     contract or agreement are made to the recipient may not 
     exceed 5 years.
       ``(c) Use of Funds.--An entity that receives a grant, 
     contract, or cooperative agreement under this section shall 
     use amounts made available through such grant, contract, or 
     cooperative agreement for the following:
       ``(1) To enhance, improve, or develop collaborative efforts 
     between school-based service systems and mental health 
     service systems to provide, enhance, or improve prevention, 
     diagnosis, and treatment services to students.
       ``(2) To enhance the availability of crisis intervention 
     services and conflict resolution practices, such as those 
     focused on decreasing rates of bullying, teen dating 
     violence, suicide, trauma, and human trafficking (defined as 
     an act or practice described in paragraph (9) or (10) of 
     section 103 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 
     (22 U.S.C. 7102)), as well as provide appropriate referrals 
     for students potentially in need of mental health services, 
     and ongoing mental health services.
       ``(3) To provide training and professional development for 
     the school personnel and mental health professionals who will 
     participate in the program carried out under this section.
       ``(4) To provide technical assistance and consultation to 
     school systems and mental health agencies as well as to 
     families participating in the program carried out under this 
     section.
       ``(5) To provide linguistically appropriate and culturally 
     competent services.
       ``(6) To evaluate the effectiveness of the program carried 
     out under this section in increasing student access to 
     quality mental health services, and make recommendations to 
     the Secretary about the sustainability of the program.
       ``(7) To engage and utilize expertise provided by 
     institutions of higher education, such as a Tribal College or 
     University, as defined in section 316(b) of the Higher 
     Education Act of 1965.
       ``(d) Applications.--To be eligible to receive a grant, 
     contract, or cooperative agreement under this section, an 
     entity described in subsection (a) shall submit an 
     application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, 
     and containing such information as the Secretary may 
     reasonably require, such as the following:
       ``(1) A description of the program to be funded under the 
     grant, contract, or cooperative agreement.
       ``(2) A description of how such program will increase 
     access to quality mental health services for students.
       ``(3) A description of how the applicant will establish a 
     crisis intervention program or conflict resolution practices, 
     or both, that provide immediate mental health services to the 
     school community as necessary.
       ``(4) An assurance that--
       ``(A) persons providing services under the grant, contract, 
     or cooperative agreement are adequately trained to provide 
     such services;
       ``(B) the services will be provided in accordance with 
     subsection (c);
       ``(C) teachers, administrators, parents or guardians, 
     representatives of local Indian tribes, and other school 
     personnel are aware of the program; and
       ``(D) parents or guardians of students participating in 
     services under this section will be engaged and involved in 
     the design and implementation of the services.
       ``(5) An assurance that the applicant will support and 
     integrate existing school-based services with the program in 
     order to provide appropriate mental health services for 
     students.
       ``(6) An assurance that the applicant will establish a 
     program that will support students and the school in 
     improving the school climate in order to support an 
     environment conducive to learning.
       ``(e) Interagency Agreements.--
       ``(1) Designation of lead agency.--A recipient of a grant, 
     contract, or cooperative agreement under this section shall 
     designate a lead agency to direct the establishment of an 
     interagency agreement among local educational agencies, 
     juvenile justice authorities, mental health agencies, and 
     other relevant entities in the State, in collaboration with 
     local entities, such as Indian tribes.
       ``(2) Contents.--The interagency agreement shall ensure the 
     provision of the services described in subsection (c), 
     specifying with respect to each agency, authority, or 
     entity--
       ``(A) the financial responsibility for the services;
       ``(B) the conditions and terms of responsibility for the 
     services, including quality, accountability, and coordination 
     of the services; and
       ``(C) the conditions and terms of reimbursement among the 
     agencies, authorities, or entities that are parties to the 
     interagency agreement, including procedures for dispute 
     resolution.
       ``(f) Evaluation.--The Secretary shall evaluate each 
     program carried out under this section and shall disseminate 
     the findings with respect to each such evaluation to 
     appropriate public, tribal, and private entities.
       ``(g) Distribution of Awards.--The Secretary shall ensure 
     that grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements awarded or 
     entered into under this section are equitably distributed 
     among the geographical regions of the United States and among 
     tribal, urban, suburban, and rural populations.
       ``(h) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in this section shall 
     be construed--
       ``(1) to prohibit an entity involved with a program carried 
     out under this section from reporting a crime that is 
     committed by a student to appropriate authorities; or
       ``(2) to prevent State and tribal law enforcement and 
     judicial authorities from exercising their responsibilities 
     with regard to the application of Federal, tribal, and State 
     law to crimes committed by a student.
       ``(i) Supplement, Not Supplant.--Any services provided 
     through programs carried out under this section shall 
     supplement, and not supplant, existing mental health 
     services, including any services required to be provided 
     under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
       ``(j) Consultation With Indian Tribes.--In carrying out 
     subsection (a), the Secretary shall, in a timely manner, 
     meaningfully consult, engage, and cooperate with Indian 
     tribes and their representatives to ensure notice of 
     eligibility.
       ``(k) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are 
     authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section such 
     sums as may be necessary for fiscal years 2016 through 
     2021.''.


                           Amendment No. 2082

 (Purpose: To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 
                      relating to early learning)

       On page 627, line 8, strike ``State.'' and insert ``State, 
     such as pay for success initiatives that promote coordination 
     among existing programs and meet the purposes of this 
     part.''.


                           Amendment No. 2106

 (Purpose: To amend title II of the Elementary and Secondary Education 
 Act of 1965 to include specialized instructional support personnel in 
                 the literacy development of children)

       On page 361, line 3, strike ``school leaders, and'' and 
     insert ``school leaders, specialized instructional support 
     personnel (as appropriate), and''.
       On page 362, line 19, insert ``specialized instructional 
     support personnel (as appropriate),'' after ``other school 
     leaders,''.
       On page 364, line 20, strike ``and school personnel'' and 
     insert ``school personnel, and specialized instructional 
     support personnel (as appropriate)''.
       On page 366, line 5, strike ``and school personnel'' and 
     insert ``specialized instructional support personnel (as 
     appropriate), and school personnel''.
       On page 367, line 2, insert ``or specialized instructional 
     support personnel'' after ``librarians''.


                    AMENDMENT NO. 2247, as modified

(Purpose: To amend the allocation of funds under subpart 2 of part A of 
     title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965)

       Strike sections 1009, 1010, and 1011 and insert the 
     following:

     SEC. 1009. GRANTS FOR THE OUTLYING AREAS AND THE SECRETARY OF 
                   THE INTERIOR.

       Section 1121 (20 U.S.C. 6331) is amended--

[[Page S5100]]

       (1) in subsection (a), in the matter preceding paragraph 
     (1), by striking ``and 1125A(f)''; and
       (2) in subsection (b)(3)(C)(ii), by striking ``challenging 
     State academic content standards'' and inserting 
     ``challenging State academic standards''.

     SEC. 1010. ALLOCATIONS TO STATES.

       Section 1122 (20 U.S.C. 6332) is amended--
       (1) by striking subsection (a) and inserting the following:
       ``(a) Allocation Formula.--
       ``(1) Initial allocation.--For each of fiscal years 2016 
     through 2021 (referred to in this subsection as the `current 
     fiscal year'), the Secretary shall allocate $17,000,000,000 
     of the amount appropriated under section 1002(a) to carry out 
     this part (or, if the total amount appropriated for this part 
     is equal to or less than $17,000,000,000, all of such amount) 
     in accordance with the following:
       ``(A) An amount equal to the amount made available to carry 
     out section 1124 for fiscal year 2015 shall be allocated in 
     accordance with section 1124.
       ``(B) An amount equal to the amount made available to carry 
     out section 1124A for fiscal year 2015 shall be allocated in 
     accordance with section 1124A.
       ``(C) An amount equal to 100 percent of the amount, if any, 
     by which the amount made available under this paragraph for 
     the current fiscal year for which the determination is made 
     exceeds the amount available to carry out sections 1124 and 
     1124A for fiscal year 2001 shall be allocated in accordance 
     with section 1125 and 1125A.
       ``(2) Allocations in excess of $17,000,000,000.--For each 
     of the current fiscal years for which the amounts 
     appropriated under section 1002(a) to carry out this part 
     exceed $17,000,000,000, an amount equal to such excess amount 
     shall be allocated in accordance with section 1123.'';
       (2) in subsection (b)--
       (A) in paragraph (1)--
       (i) by striking ``under this subpart'' and inserting 
     ``under subsection (a)(1) for sections 1124, 1124A, 1125, and 
     1125A''; and
       (ii) by striking ``and 1125'' and inserting ``1125, and 
     1125A''; and
       (B) in paragraph (2)--
       (i) by inserting ``under subsection (a)(1)'' after ``become 
     available''; and
       (ii) by striking ``and 1125'' and inserting ``1125, and 
     1125A'';
       (3) in subsection (c)(1), by inserting ``and to the extent 
     amounts under subsection (a)(1) are available'' after ``For 
     each fiscal year''; and
       (4) in subsection (d)(1), by striking ``under this 
     subpart'' and inserting ``under subsection (a)(1) for 
     sections 1124, 1124A, 1125, and 1125A''.

     SEC. 1011. EQUITY GRANTS.

       Subpart 2 of part A of title I (20 U.S.C. 6331 et se.) is 
     amended by inserting after section 1122 the following:

     ``SEC. 1123. EQUITY GRANTS.

       ``(a) Authorization.--From funds appropriated under section 
     1002(a) for a fiscal year and available for allocation 
     pursuant to section 1122(a)(2), the Secretary is authorized 
     to make grants to States, from allotments under subsection 
     (b), to carry out the programs and activities of this part.
       ``(b) Distribution Based Upon Concentrations of Poverty.--
       ``(1) In general.--
       ``(A) In general.--Except as provided in subparagraphs (B) 
     and (C), funds appropriated pursuant to subsection (a) for a 
     fiscal year shall be allotted to each State based upon the 
     number of children counted under section 1124(c) in such 
     State multiplied by the product of--
       ``(i) 40 percent of the average per-pupil expenditure in 
     the United States (other than the Commonwealth of Puerto 
     Rico); multiplied by
       ``(ii) 1.30 minus such State's equity factor described in 
     paragraph (2).
       ``(B) Puerto rico.--For each fiscal year, the Secretary 
     shall allot to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico an amount of 
     the funds appropriated under subsection (a) that bears the 
     same relation to the total amount of funds appropriated under 
     such subsection as the amount that the Commonwealth of Puerto 
     Rico received under this subpart for fiscal year 2015 bears 
     to the total amount received by all States for such fiscal 
     year.
       ``(C) State minimum.--Notwithstanding any other provision 
     of this section except for subparagraph (B), from the total 
     amount available for any fiscal year to carry out this 
     section, each State shall be allotted at least the lesser 
     of--
       ``(i) 0.35 percent of the total amount available to carry 
     out this section for such fiscal year; or
       ``(ii) the average of--

       ``(I) 0.35 percent of such total amount for such fiscal 
     year; and
       ``(II) 150 percent of the national average grant under this 
     section per child described in section 1124(c), without 
     application of a weighting factor, multiplied by the State's 
     total number of children described in section 1124(c), 
     without application of a weighting factor.

       ``(2) Equity factor.--
       ``(A) Determination.--
       ``(i) In general.--Except as provided in subparagraph (B), 
     the Secretary shall determine the equity factor under this 
     section for each State in accordance with clause (ii).
       ``(ii) Computation.--

       ``(I) In general.--For each State, the Secretary shall 
     compute a weighted coefficient of variation for the per-pupil 
     expenditures of local educational agencies in accordance with 
     subclauses (II), (III), and (IV).
       ``(II) Variation.--In computing coefficients of variation, 
     the Secretary shall weigh the variation between per-pupil 
     expenditures in each local educational agency and the average 
     per-pupil expenditures in the State according to the number 
     of pupils served by the local educational agency.
       ``(III) Number of pupils.--In determining the number of 
     pupils under this paragraph served by each local educational 
     agency and in each State, the Secretary shall multiply the 
     number of children counted under section 1124(c) by a factor 
     of 1.4.
       ``(IV) Enrollment requirement.--In computing coefficients 
     of variation, the Secretary shall include only those local 
     educational agencies with an enrollment of more than 200 
     students.

       ``(B) Special rule.--The equity factor for a State that 
     meets the disparity standard described in section 222.162 of 
     title 34, Code of Federal Regulations (as such section was in 
     effect on the day preceding the date of enactment of the No 
     Child Left Behind Act of 2001) or a State with only one local 
     educational agency shall be not greater than 0.10.
       ``(c) Use of Funds; Eligibility of Local Educational 
     Agencies.--All funds awarded to each State under this section 
     shall be allocated to local educational agencies under the 
     following provisions:
       ``(1) Distribution within local educational agencies.--
     Within local educational agencies, funds allocated under this 
     section shall be distributed to schools on a basis consistent 
     with section 1113, and may only be used to carry out 
     activities under this part.
       ``(2) Eligibility for grant.--A local educational agency in 
     a State is eligible to receive a grant under this section for 
     any fiscal year if--
       ``(A) the number of children in the local educational 
     agency counted under section 1124(c), before application of 
     the weighted child count described in subsection (d), is at 
     least 10; and
       ``(B) if the number of children counted for grants under 
     section 1124(c), before application of the weighted child 
     count described in subsection (d), is at least 5 percent of 
     the total number of children aged 5 to 17 years, inclusive, 
     in the school district of the local educational agency.
       ``(d) Allocation of Funds to Eligible Local Educational 
     Agencies.--
       ``(1) In general.--Funds received by States under this 
     section for a fiscal year shall be allocated within States to 
     eligible local educational agencies on the basis of weighted 
     child counts calculated in accordance with paragraph (2), 
     (3), or (4), as appropriate for each State.
       ``(2) States with an equity factor less than .10.--
       ``(A) In general.--In States with an equity factor less 
     than .10, the weighted child counts referred to in paragraph 
     (1) for a fiscal year shall be the larger of the 2 amounts 
     determined under subparagraphs (B) and (C).
       ``(B) By percentage of children.--The amount referred to in 
     subparagraph (A) is determined by adding--
       ``(i) the number of children determined under section 
     1124(c) for that local educational agency who constitute not 
     more than 17.27 percent, inclusive, of the agency's total 
     population aged 5 to 17, inclusive, multiplied by 1.0;
       ``(ii) the number of such children who constitute more than 
     17.27 percent, but not more than 23.48 percent, of such 
     population, multiplied by 1.75;
       ``(iii) the number of such children who constitute more 
     than 23.48 percent, but not more than 29.11 percent, of such 
     population, multiplied by 2.5;
       ``(iv) the number of such children who constitute more than 
     29.11 percent, but not more than 36.10 percent, of such 
     population, multiplied by 3.25; and
       ``(v) the number of such children who constitute more than 
     36.10 percent of such population, multiplied by 4.0.
       ``(C) By number of children.--The amount referred to in 
     subparagraph (A) is determined by adding--
       ``(i) the number of children determined under section 
     1124(c) who constitute not more than 834, inclusive, of the 
     agency's total population aged 5 to 17, inclusive, multiplied 
     by 1.0;
       ``(ii) the number of such children between 835 and 2,629, 
     inclusive, in such population, multiplied by 1.5;
       ``(iii) the number of such children between 2,630 and 
     7,668, inclusive, in such population, multiplied by 2.0; and
       ``(iv)(I) in the case of an agency that is not a high 
     poverty percentage local educational agency, the number of 
     such children in excess of 7,668 in such population, 
     multiplied by 2.0; or
       ``(II) in the case of a high poverty percentage local 
     educational agency--

       ``(aa) the number of such children between 7,669 and 
     26,412, inclusive, in such population, multiplied by 2.5; and
       ``(bb) the number of such children in excess of 26,412 in 
     such population, multiplied by 3.0.

       ``(3) States with an equity factor greater than or equal to 
     .10 and less than .20.--
       ``(A) In general.--In States with an equity factor greater 
     than or equal to .10 and less than .20, the weighted child 
     counts referred to in paragraph (1) for a fiscal year shall 
     be the larger of the 2 amounts determined under subparagraphs 
     (B) and (C).

[[Page S5101]]

       ``(B) By percentage of children.--The amount referred to in 
     subparagraph (A) is determined by adding--
       ``(i) the number of children determined under section 
     1124(c) for that local educational agency who constitute not 
     more than 17.27 percent, inclusive, of the agency's total 
     population aged 5 to 17, inclusive, multiplied by 1.0;
       ``(ii) the number of such children who constitute more than 
     17.27 percent, but not more than 23.48 percent, of such 
     population, multiplied by 1.5;
       ``(iii) the number of such children who constitute more 
     than 23.48 percent, but not more than 29.11 percent, of such 
     population, multiplied by 3.0;
       ``(iv) the number of such children who constitute more than 
     29.11 percent, but not more than 36.10 percent, of such 
     population, multiplied by 4.5; and
       ``(v) the number of such children who constitute more than 
     36.10 percent of such population, multiplied by 6.0.
       ``(C) By number of children.--The amount referred to in 
     subparagraph (A) is determined by adding--
       ``(i) the number of children determined under section 
     1124(c) who constitute not more than 834, inclusive, of the 
     agency's total population aged 5 to 17, inclusive, multiplied 
     by 1.0;
       ``(ii) the number of such children between 835 and 2,629, 
     inclusive, in such population, multiplied by 1.5;
       ``(iii) the number of such children between 2,630 and 
     7,668, inclusive, in such population, multiplied by 2.25; and
       ``(iv)(I) in the case of an agency that is not a high 
     poverty percentage local educational agency, the number of 
     such children in excess of 7,668 in such population, 
     multiplied by 2.25; or
       ``(II) in the case of a high poverty percentage local 
     educational agency--

       ``(aa) the number of such children between 7,669 and 
     26,412, inclusive, in such population, multiplied by 3.375; 
     and
       ``(bb) the number of such children in excess of 26,412 in 
     such population, multiplied by 4.5.

       ``(4) States with an equity factor greater than or equal to 
     .20.--
       ``(A) In general.--In States with an equity factor greater 
     than or equal to .20, the weighted child counts referred to 
     in paragraph (1) for a fiscal year shall be the larger of the 
     2 amounts determined under subparagraphs (B) and (C).
       ``(B) By percentage of children.--The amount referred to in 
     subparagraph (A) is determined by adding--
       ``(i) the number of children determined under section 
     1124(c) for that local educational agency who constitute not 
     more than 17.27 percent, inclusive, of the agency's total 
     population aged 5 to 17, inclusive, multiplied by 1.0;
       ``(ii) the number of such children who constitute more than 
     17.27 percent, but not more than 23.48 percent, of such 
     population, multiplied by 2.0;
       ``(iii) the number of such children who constitute more 
     than 23.48 percent, but not more than 29.11 percent, of such 
     population, multiplied by 4.0;
       ``(iv) the number of such children who constitute more than 
     29.11 percent, but not more than 36.10 percent, of such 
     population, multiplied by 6.0; and
       ``(v) the number of such children who constitute more than 
     36.10 percent of such population, multiplied by 8.0.
       ``(C) By number of children.--The amount referred to in 
     subparagraph (A) is determined by adding--
       ``(i) the number of children determined under section 
     1124(c) who constitute not more than 834, inclusive, of the 
     agency's total population aged 5 to 17, inclusive, multiplied 
     by 1.0;
       ``(ii) the number of such children between 835 and 2,629, 
     inclusive, in such population, multiplied by 2.0;
       ``(iii) the number of such children between 2,630 and 
     7,668, inclusive, in such population, multiplied by 3.0; and
       ``(iv)(I) in the case of an agency that is not a high 
     poverty percentage local educational agency, the number of 
     such children in excess of 7,668 in such population, 
     multiplied by 3.0; or
       ``(II) in the case of a high poverty percentage local 
     educational agency--

       ``(aa) the number of such children between 7,669 and 
     26,412, inclusive, in such population, multiplied by 4.5; and
       ``(bb) the number of such children in excess of 26,412 in 
     such population, multiplied by 6.0.

       ``(e) Maintenance of Effort.--
       ``(1) In general.--A State is entitled to receive its full 
     allotment of funds under this section for any fiscal year if 
     the Secretary finds that the State's fiscal effort per 
     student or the aggregate expenditures of the State with 
     respect to the provision of free public education by the 
     State for the preceding fiscal year was not less than 90 
     percent of the fiscal effort or aggregate expenditures for 
     the second preceding fiscal year, subject to the requirements 
     of paragraph (2).
       ``(2) Reduction in case of failure to meet.--
       ``(A) In general.--The Secretary shall reduce the amount of 
     the allotment of funds under this section in any fiscal year 
     in the exact proportion by which a State fails to meet the 
     requirement of paragraph (1) by falling below 90 percent of 
     both the fiscal effort per student and aggregate expenditures 
     (using the measure most favorable to the State), if such 
     State has also failed to meet such requirement (as determined 
     using the measure most favorable to the State) for 1 or more 
     of the 5 immediately preceding fiscal years.
       ``(B) Special rule.--No such lesser amount shall be used 
     for computing the effort required under paragraph (1) for 
     subsequent years.
       ``(3) Waiver.--The Secretary may waive the requirements of 
     this subsection if the Secretary determines that a waiver 
     would be equitable due to--
       ``(A) exceptional or uncontrollable circumstances, such as 
     a natural disaster or a change in the organizational 
     structure of the State; or
       ``(B) a precipitous decline in the financial resources of 
     the State.
       ``(f) Adjustments Where Necessitated by Appropriations.--
       ``(1) In general.--If the sums available under this section 
     for any fiscal year are insufficient to pay the full amounts 
     that all local educational agencies in States are eligible to 
     receive under this section for such year, the Secretary shall 
     ratably reduce the allocations to such local educational 
     agencies, subject to paragraphs (2) and (3).
       ``(2) Additional funds.--If additional funds become 
     available for making payments under this section for such 
     fiscal year, allocations that were reduced under paragraph 
     (1) shall be increased on the same basis as they were 
     reduced.
       ``(3) Hold harmless amounts.--Beginning with the second 
     fiscal year for which amounts are appropriated to carry out 
     this section, and if sufficient funds are available, the 
     amount made available to each local educational agency under 
     this section for a fiscal year shall be--
       ``(A) not less than 95 percent of the amount made available 
     for the preceding fiscal year if the number of children 
     counted under section 1124(c) is equal to or more than 30 
     percent of the total number of children aged 5 to 17 years, 
     inclusive, in the local educational agency;
       ``(B) not less than 90 percent of the amount made available 
     for the preceding fiscal year if the percentage described in 
     subparagraph (A) is less than 30 percent and equal to or more 
     than 15 percent; and
       ``(C) not less than 85 percent of the amount made available 
     for the preceding fiscal year if the percentage described in 
     subparagraph (A) is less than 15 percent.
       ``(4) Applicability.--Notwithstanding any other provision 
     of law, the Secretary shall not take into consideration the 
     hold-harmless provisions of this subsection for any fiscal 
     year for purposes of calculating State or local allocations 
     for the fiscal year under any program administered by the 
     Secretary other than a program authorized under this part.
       ``(g) Definitions.--In this section:
       ``(1) High poverty percentage local educational agency.--
     The term `high poverty percentage local educational agency' 
     means a local educational agency for which the number of 
     children determined under subsection (b) for a fiscal year is 
     20 percent or more of the total population aged 5 to 17, 
     inclusive, of the local educational agency for such fiscal 
     year.
       ``(2) State.--The term `State' means each of the 50 States, 
     the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto 
     Rico.''.

     SEC. 1011A. ADEQUACY OF FUNDING RULE.

       Section 1125AA(b) (20 U.S.C. 6336(b)) is amended by 
     striking ``section 1122(a)'' and inserting ``section 
     1122(a)(1)''.

     SEC. 1011B. EDUCATION FINANCE INCENTIVE GRANT PROGRAM.

       In section 1125A (20 U.S.C. 6337)--
       (1) in subsection (a), by striking ``under subsection (f)'' 
     and inserting ``under section 1002(a) and made available 
     under section 1122(a)(1)'';
       (2) in subsection (b), by striking ``pursuant to subsection 
     (f)'' and inserting ``made available for this section under 
     section 1122(a)(1)'';
       (3) in subsection (c), by redesignating subparagraphs (A) 
     and (B) as paragraphs (1) and (2), respectively;
       (4) in subsection (d)(1)(A)(ii), by striking ``clause 
     ``(i)'' and inserting ``clause (i)'';
       (5) by striking subsection (e) and inserting the following:
       ``(e) Maintenance of Effort.--
       ``(1) In general.--A State is entitled to receive its full 
     allotment of funds under this section for any fiscal year if 
     the Secretary finds that the State's fiscal effort per 
     student or the aggregate expenditures of the State with 
     respect to the provision of free public education by the 
     State for the preceding fiscal year was not less than 90 
     percent of the fiscal effort or aggregate expenditures for 
     the second preceding fiscal year, subject to the requirements 
     of paragraph (2).
       ``(2) Reduction in case of failure to meet.--
       ``(A) In general.--The Secretary shall reduce the amount of 
     the allotment of funds under this section for any fiscal year 
     in the exact proportion by which a State fails to meet the 
     requirement of paragraph (1) by falling below 90 percent of 
     both the fiscal effort per student and aggregate expenditures 
     (using the measure most favorable to the State), if such 
     State has also failed to meet such requirement (as determined 
     using the measure most favorable to the State) for 1 or more 
     of the 5 immediately preceding fiscal years.

[[Page S5102]]

       ``(B) Special rule.--No such lesser amount shall be used 
     for computing the effort required under paragraph (1) for 
     subsequent years.
       ``(3) Waiver.--The Secretary may waive the requirements of 
     this subsection if the Secretary determines that a waiver 
     would be equitable due to--
       ``(A) exceptional or uncontrollable circumstances, such as 
     a natural disaster or a change in the organizational 
     structure of the State; or
       ``(B) a precipitous decline in the financial resources of 
     the State.'';
       (6) by striking subsection (f);
       (7) by redesignating subsection (g) as subsection (f); and
       (8) in subsection (f), as redesignated by paragraph (7)--
       (A) in paragraph (1), by striking ``under this section'' 
     and inserting ``to carry out this section''; and
       (B) in subsection (f)(3), in the matter preceding 
     subparagraph (A), by striking ``shall be'' and inserting 
     ``shall be--''.

     SEC. 1011C. SPECIAL ALLOCATION PROCEDURES.

       Section 1126 (20 U.S.C. 6338) is amended by striking 
     ``sections 1124, 1124A, 1125, and 1125A'' each place the term 
     appears and inserting ``sections 1123, 1124, 1124A, 1125, and 
     1125A''.


                           Amendment No. 2186

       (Purpose: To establish the Promise Neighborhoods program)

  (The amendment is printed in the Record of July 9, 2015, under ``Text 
of Amendments.'')


                           Amendment No. 2100

 (Purpose: To amend title V of the Elementary and Secondary Education 
    Act of 1965 to establish a full-service community schools grant 
                                program)

  (The amendment is printed in the Record of July 7, 2015, under ``Text 
of Amendments.'')


                           Amendment No. 2144

    (Purpose: To provide States and local educational agencies with 
   resources on climate theory to promote improved science education)

       At the end of part B of title X, add the following:

     SEC. 10202. RESOURCES FOR IMPROVED SCIENCE EDUCATION.

       (a) In General.--The Administrator of the Environmental 
     Protection Agency and the Administrator of the National 
     Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shall provide States 
     and local educational agencies with balanced, objective 
     resources on climate theory to promote improved science 
     education for students in kindergarten through grade 12, 
     including materials regarding--
       (1) the natural causes and cycles of climate change;
       (2) the uncertainties inherent in climate modeling; and
       (3) the myriad factors that influence the climate of the 
     Earth.
       (b) Resources.--The resources provided under subsection (a) 
     shall be--
       (1) in addition to any climate theory resources the 
     Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency or the 
     Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
     Administration are providing to States or local educational 
     agencies on the day before the date of enactment of this Act; 
     and
       (2) made available to promote open classroom discussion 
     that builds student skills in scientific reasoning, critical 
     thinking, and independent thought.


                           Amendment No. 2176

       (Purpose: To establish a climate change education program)

       At the end of title V, add the following:

     SEC. 5011. CLIMATE CHANGE EDUCATION.

       (a) Short Title.--This section may be cited as the 
     ``Climate Change Education Act''.
       (b) Findings.--Congress finds that--
       (1) carbon pollution is accumulating in the atmosphere, 
     causing global temperatures to rise at a rate that poses a 
     significant threat to the economy and security of the United 
     States, to public health and welfare, and to the global 
     environment;
       (2) climate change is already impacting the United States 
     with sea level rise, ocean acidification, and more frequent 
     or intense extreme weather events such as heat waves, heavy 
     rainfalls, droughts, floods, and wildfires;
       (3) the scientific evidence for human-induced climate 
     change is overwhelming and undeniable as demonstrated by 
     statements from the National Academy of Sciences, the 
     National Climate Assessment, and numerous other science 
     professional organizations in the United States;
       (4) the United States has a responsibility to children and 
     future generations of the United States to address the 
     harmful effects of climate change;
       (5) providing clear information about climate change, in a 
     variety of forms, can encourage individuals and communities 
     to take action;
       (6) the actions of a single nation cannot solve the climate 
     crisis, so solutions that address both mitigation and 
     adaptation must involve developed and developing nations 
     around the world;
       (7) investing in the development of innovative clean energy 
     and energy efficiency technologies will--
       (A) enhance the global leadership and competitiveness of 
     the United States; and
       (B) create and sustain short and long term job growth;
       (8) implementation of measures that promote energy 
     efficiency, conservation, and renewable energy will greatly 
     reduce human impact on the environment; and
       (9) education about climate change is important to ensure 
     the future generation of leaders is well-informed about the 
     challenges facing our planet in order to make decisions based 
     on science and fact.
       (c) Amendment to ESEA.--Title V of the Elementary and 
     Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.), as 
     amended by section 5010, is further amended by adding at the 
     end the following:

                   ``PART J--CLIMATE CHANGE EDUCATION

     ``SEC. 5911. CLIMATE CHANGE EDUCATION PROGRAM.

       ``(a) Purpose.--The purpose of this section is to--
       ``(1) broaden the understanding of human induced climate 
     change, possible long and short-term consequences, and 
     potential solutions;
       ``(2) provide learning opportunities in climate science 
     education for all students through grade 12, including those 
     of diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds;
       ``(3) emphasize actionable information to help students 
     understand how to utilize new technologies and programs 
     related to energy conservation, clean energy, and carbon 
     pollution reduction; and
       ``(4) inform the public of impacts to human health and 
     safety as a result of climate change.
       ``(b) Grants Authorized.--The Secretary, in consultation 
     with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the 
     Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of 
     Energy, shall establish a competitive grant program to 
     provide grants to States to--
       ``(1) develop or improve climate science curriculum and 
     supplementary educational materials for grades kindergarten 
     through grade 12;
       ``(2) initiate, develop, expand, or implement statewide 
     plans and programs for climate change education, including 
     relevant teacher training and professional development and 
     multidisciplinary studies to ensure that students graduate 
     from high school climate literate; or
       ``(3) create State green school building standards or 
     policies.
       ``(c) Application.--A State desiring to receive a grant 
     under this section shall submit an application to the 
     Secretary at such time, in such manner, and accompanied by 
     such information as the Secretary may reasonably require.
       ``(d) Report to Congress.--Not later than 1 year after the 
     date of enactment of this section, and annually thereafter, 
     the Secretary shall transmit to Congress a report that 
     evaluates the scientific merits, educational effectiveness, 
     and broader impacts of activities under this section.
       ``(e) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are 
     authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section such 
     sums as may be necessary.''.


                           AMENDMENT NO. 2241

           (Purpose: To amend the accountability provisions)

  (The amendment is printed in the Record of July 14, 2015, under 
``Text of Amendments.'')


                           AMENDMENT NO. 2177

      (Purpose: To provide for youth jobs, and for other purposes)

  (The amendment is printed in the Record of July 8, 2015, under ``Text 
of Amendments.'')


                           Amendment No. 2242

(Purpose: To establish a Federal-State partnership to provide access to 
   high-quality public prekindergarten programs from low-income and 
    moderate-income families to ensure that they enter kindergarten 
             prepared for success, and for other purposes)

  (The amendment is printed in the Record of July 14, 2015, under 
``Text of Amendments.'')


                           Amendment No. 2130

(Purpose: To amend title I to support assessments of school facilities)

       On page 69, between lines 16 and 17, insert the following:
       ``(N) if applicable, whether the State conducts periodic 
     assessments of the condition of elementary school and 
     secondary school facilities in the State, which may include 
     an assessment of the age of the facility and the state of 
     repair of the facility;


                    Amendment No. 2215, as modified

(Purpose: To include partnering with current and recently retired STEM 
 professionals and tailoring educational resources to engage students 
                         and teachers in STEM)

       Beginning on page 373, strike line 22 and all that follows 
     through page 374, line 3, and insert the following:
     in the State;
       ``(C) information on student exposure to and retention in 
     science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields, 
     including among low-income and underrepresented groups, which 
     may include results from a pre-existing analysis; and
       ``(D) an analysis of the quality of pre-service preparation 
     at all public institutions of

[[Page S5103]]

     higher education (including alternative pathways to teacher 
     licensure or certification) for individuals preparing to 
     teach science, technology, engineering, and mathematics 
     subjects in the State.
       On page 381, between lines 18 and 19, insert the following:
       ``(vi) partner with current or recently retired science, 
     technology, engineering, and mathematics professionals to 
     engage students and teachers in instruction in such subjects;
       ``(vii) tailor and integrate educational resources 
     developed by Federal agencies, as appropriate, to improve 
     student achievement in science, technology, engineering, and 
     mathematics;


                           Amendment No. 2222

 (Purpose: To amend the State plan requirements of section 1111 of the 
  Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 in order to support 
              children facing substance abuse in the home)

       On page 69, between lines 16 and 17, insert the following:
       ``(N) if applicable, how the State educational agency will 
     provide support to local educational agencies for the 
     education of children facing substance abuse in the home, 
     which may include how such agency will provide professional 
     development, training, and technical assistance to local 
     educational agencies, elementary schools, and secondary 
     schools in communities with high rates of substance abuse; 
     and''.


                           Amendment No. 2231

(Purpose: To support professional development to help students prepare 
             for postsecondary education and the workforce)

       On page 284, strike lines 4 through 8 and insert the 
     following:
       (xix) Supporting the efforts and professional development 
     of teachers, principals, and other school leaders to 
     integrate academic and career and technical education content 
     into instructional practices, which may include--

       (I) integrating career and technical education with 
     advanced coursework, such as by allowing the acquisition of 
     postsecondary credits, recognized postsecondary credentials, 
     and industry-based credentials, by students while in high 
     school; or
       (II) coordinating activities with employers and entities 
     carrying out initiatives under other workforce development 
     programs to identify State and regional workforce needs, such 
     as through the development of State and local plans under 
     title I of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (29 
     U.S.C. 3111 et seq);

       On page 306, strike lines 18 through 23 and insert the 
     following:
       (U) providing high-quality professional development for 
     teachers, principals, and other school leaders on effective 
     strategies to integrate rigorous academic content, career and 
     technical education, and work-based learning, if appropriate, 
     which may include providing common planning time, to help 
     prepare students for postsecondary education and the 
     workforce without the need for remediation; and


                           Amendment No. 2188

(Purpose: To ensure States will ensure the unique needs of students at 
                        all levels of schooling)

       On page 69, between lines 12 and 13, insert the following:
       ``(M) how the State will ensure the unique needs of 
     students at all levels of schooling are met, particularly 
     students in the middle grades and high school, including how 
     the State will work with local educational agencies to--
       ``(i) assist in the identification of middle grades and 
     high school students who are at-risk of dropping out, such as 
     through the continuous use of student data related to 
     measures such as attendance, student suspensions, course 
     performance, and, postsecondary credit accumulation that 
     results in actionable steps to inform and differentiate 
     instruction and support;
       ``(ii) ensure effective student transitions from elementary 
     school to middle grades and middle grades to high school, 
     such as by aligning curriculum and supports or implementing 
     personal academic plans to enable such students to stay on 
     the path to graduation;
       ``(iii) ensure effective student transitions from high 
     school to postsecondary education, such as through the 
     establishment of partnerships between local educational 
     agencies and institutions of higher education and providing 
     students with choices for pathways to postsecondary 
     education, which may include the integration of rigorous 
     academics, career and technical education, and work-based 
     learning;
       ``(iv) provide professional development to teachers, 
     principals, other school leaders, and other school personnel 
     in addressing the academic and developmental needs of such 
     students; and
       ``(v) implement any other evidence-based strategies or 
     activities that the State determines appropriate for 
     addressing the unique needs of such students;
       On page 69, line 13, strike ``(M)'' and insert ``(N)''.
       On page 69, line 17, strike ``(N)'' and insert ``(O)''.
       On page 772, between lines 14 and 15, insert the following:
       ``(47) Middle grades.--The term middle grades means any of 
     grades 5 through 8.''.
       At the end of the bill, add the following:

     SEC. 1020_. REPORT ON THE REDUCTION OF THE NUMBER AND 
                   PERCENTAGE OF STUDENTS WHO DROP OUT OF SCHOOL.

       Not later than 5 years after the date of enactment of this 
     Act, the Director of the Institute of Education Sciences 
     shall evaluate the impact of section 1111(c)(1)(M) on 
     reducing the number and percentage of students who drop out 
     of school.


                           Amendment No. 2156

  (Purpose: To amend the State report card under section 1111 of the 
Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to include the rates of 
enrollment in postsecondary education, and remediation rates, for high 
                                schools)

       On page 82, between lines 23 and 24, insert the following:
       ``(xviii) for each high school in the State, and beginning 
     with the report card released in 2017, the cohort rate (in 
     the aggregate, and disaggregated for each category of 
     students defined in subsection (b)(3)(A), except that such 
     disaggregation shall not be required in a case in which the 
     number of students is insufficient to yield statistically 
     reliable information or the results would reveal personally 
     identifiable information about an individual student) at 
     which students who graduate from the high school enroll, for 
     the first academic year that begins after the students' 
     graduation--

       ``(I) in programs of public postsecondary education in the 
     State; and
       ``(II) if data are available and to the extent practicable, 
     in programs of private postsecondary education in the State 
     or programs of postsecondary education outside the State;

       ``(xix) if available and to the extent practicable, for 
     each high school in the State and beginning with the report 
     card released in 2018, the remediation rate (in the 
     aggregate, and disaggregated for each category of students 
     defined in subsection (b)(3)(A), except that such 
     disaggregation shall not be required in a case in which the 
     number of students is insufficient to yield statistically 
     reliable information or the results would reveal personally 
     identifiable information about an individual student) for 
     students who graduate from the high school at--

       ``(I) programs of postsecondary education in the State; and
       ``(II) programs of postsecondary education outside the 
     State;


                           Amendment No. 2232

 (Purpose: To allow extended services Project SERV grants under part A 
of title IV of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to be 
             available for violence prevention activities)

       On page 431, between lines 19 and 20, insert the following:
       ``(e) Project SERV.--
       ``(1) Additional use of funds.--Funds available under 
     subsection (a)(4) for extended services grants under the 
     Project School Emergency Response to Violence program 
     (referred to in this subsection as the `Project SERV 
     program') may be used by a local educational agency or 
     institution of higher education receiving such grant to 
     initiate or strengthen violence prevention activities, as 
     part of the activities designed to restore the learning 
     environment that was disrupted by the violent or traumatic 
     crisis in response to which the grant was awarded, and as 
     provided in this subsection.
       ``(2) Application process.--
       ``(A) In general.--A local educational agency or 
     institution of higher education desiring to use a portion of 
     extended services grant funds under the Project SERV program 
     to initiate or strengthen a violence prevention activity 
     shall--
       ``(i) submit, in an application that meets all requirements 
     of the Secretary for the Project SERV program, the 
     information described in subparagraph (B); or
       ``(ii) in the case of a local educational agency or 
     institution of higher education that has already received an 
     extended services grant under the Project SERV program, 
     submit an addition to the original application that includes 
     the information described in subparagraph (B).
       ``(B) Application requirements.--The information required 
     under this subparagraph is the following:
       ``(i) A demonstration that there is a continued disruption 
     or a substantial risk of disruption to the learning 
     environment that would be addressed by such activity.
       ``(ii) An explanation of the proposed activity designed to 
     restore and preserve the learning environment.
       ``(iii) A budget and budget narrative for the proposed 
     activity.
       ``(3) Award basis.--Any award of funds under the Project 
     SERV program for violence prevention activities under this 
     subsection shall be subject to the discretion of the 
     Secretary and the availability of funds.
       ``(4) Prohibited use.--No funds provided to a local 
     educational agency or institution of higher education under 
     the Project SERV program for violence prevention activities 
     may be used for construction, renovation, or repair of a 
     facility or for the permanent infrastructure of the local 
     educational agency or institution.


                           Amendment No. 2256

     (Purpose: To amend the definitions of eligible technology and 
   technology readiness survey and to provide a restriction on funds)

       Beginning on page 587, strike line 15 and all that follows 
     through page 588, line 10, and insert the following:

[[Page S5104]]

       ``(2) Eligible technology.--The term `eligible technology' 
     means modern computer, and communication technology software, 
     services, or tools, including computer or mobile devices, 
     whether for use in school or at home, software applications, 
     systems and platforms, digital learning content, and related 
     services, supports, and strategies, which may include 
     strategies to assist eligible children without adequate 
     Internet access at home to complete homework.
       ``(3) Technology readiness survey.--The term `technology 
     readiness survey' means a survey completed by a local 
     educational agency that provides standardized information on 
     the quantity and types of technology infrastructure and 
     access available to the students and in the community served 
     by the local educational agency, including computer devices, 
     access to school libraries, Internet connectivity (including 
     Internet access outside of the school day), operating 
     systems, related network infrastructure, data systems, 
     educator professional learning needs and priorities, and data 
     security.
       ``(4) Universal design for learning.--The term `universal 
     design for learning' has the meaning given the term in 
     section 103 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 
     1003).

     ``SEC. 5702A. RESTRICTION.

       ``Funds awarded under this part shall not be used to 
     address the networking needs of an entity that is eligible to 
     receive support under the E-rate program.


                           Amendment No. 2240

   (Purpose: To provide resources needed to study and review Native 
             American language medium schools and programs)

       At the end of the bill, add the following:

     SEC. 1020__. REPORT ON NATIVE AMERICAN LANGUAGE MEDIUM 
                   EDUCATION.

       (a) Purpose.--The purpose of this section is to authorize a 
     study to evaluate all levels of education being provided 
     primarily through the medium of Native languages and to 
     require a report of the findings, within the context of the 
     findings, purposes, and provisions of the Native American 
     Languages Act (25 U.S.C. 2901), the findings, purposes, and 
     provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 
     1965 (20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq.), and other related laws.
       (b) Study and Review.--The Secretary of Education shall 
     award grants to eligible entities to study and review Native 
     language medium schools and programs.
       (c) Eligible Entity Defined.--In this section, the term 
     ``eligible entity'' means a consortium that--
       (1) includes not less than 3 units of an institution of 
     higher education, such as a department, center, or college, 
     that has significant experience--
       (A) and expertise in Native American or Alaska Native 
     languages, and Native language medium education; and
       (B) in outreach and collaboration with Native communities;
       (2) has within its membership at least 10 years of 
     experience--
       (A) addressing a range of Native American or Alaska Native 
     languages and indigenous language medium education issues 
     through the lens of Native studies, linguistics, and 
     education; and
       (B) working in close association with a variety of schools 
     and programs taught predominantly through the medium of a 
     Native language;
       (3) includes for each of American Indians, Alaska Natives, 
     and Native Hawaiians, at least 1 unit of an institution of 
     higher education that focuses on schools that serve such 
     populations; and
       (4) includes Native American scholars and staff who are 
     fluent in Native American languages.
       (d) Applications.--An eligible entity that desires to 
     receive a grant under this section shall submit an 
     application to the Secretary of Education that--
       (1) identifies 1 unit in the consortium that is the lead 
     unit of the consortium for the study, reporting, and funding 
     purposes;
       (2) includes letters of verification of participation from 
     the top internal administrators of each unit in the 
     consortium;
       (3) includes a brief description of how the consortium 
     meets the eligibility qualifications under subsection (c);
       (4) describes the work proposed to carry out the purpose of 
     this section; and
       (5) provides other information as requested by the 
     Secretary of Education.
       (e) Scope of Study.--An eligible entity that receives a 
     grant under this section shall use the grant funds to study 
     and review Native American language medium schools and 
     programs and evaluate the components, policies, and practices 
     of successful Native language medium schools and programs and 
     how the students who enroll in them do over the long term, 
     including--
       (1) the level of expertise in educational pedagogy, Native 
     language fluency, and experience of the principal, teachers, 
     paraprofessionals, and other educational staff;
       (2) how such schools and programs are using Native 
     languages to provide instruction in reading, language arts, 
     mathematics, science, and, as applicable, other core academic 
     subjects;
       (3) how such school and programs' curricula incorporates 
     the relevant Native culture of the students;
       (4) how such schools and programs assess the academic 
     proficiency of the students, including--
       (A) whether the school administers assessments of language 
     arts, mathematics, science, and other academic subjects in 
     the Native language of instruction;
       (B) whether the school administers assessments of language 
     arts, mathematics, science, and other academic subjects in 
     English; and
       (C) how the standards measured by the assessments in the 
     Native language of instruction and in English compare;
       (5) the academic, graduation rate, and other outcomes of 
     students who have completed the highest grade taught 
     primarily through such schools or programs, including, when 
     available, college attendance rates compared with 
     demographically similar students who did not attend a school 
     in which the language of instruction was a Native language; 
     and
       (6) other appropriate information consistent with the 
     purpose of this section.
       (f) Other Entities.--An eligible entity may enter into a 
     contract with another individual, entity, or organization to 
     assist in carrying out research necessary to fulfill the 
     purpose of this section.
       (g) Recommendations.--Not later than 18 months after the 
     date of enactment of this Act, an eligible entity that 
     receives a grant under this section shall--
       (1) develop a detailed statement of findings and 
     conclusions regarding the study completed under subsection 
     (e), including recommendations for such legislative and 
     administrative actions as the eligible entity considers to be 
     appropriate; and
       (2) submit a report setting forth the findings and 
     conclusions, including recommendations, described in 
     paragraph (1) to each of the following:
       (A) The Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions 
     of the Senate.
       (B) The Committee on Education and the Workforce of the 
     House of Representatives.
       (C) The Committee on Indian Affairs of the Senate.
       (D) The Subcommittee on Indian, Insular, and Alaska Native 
     Affairs of the House of Representatives.
       (E) The Secretary of Education.
       (F) The Secretary of the Interior.


                           Amendment No. 2249

  (Purpose: To amend section 1111(c) of the ESEA to require States to 
    provide an assurance regarding cross-tabulation of student data)

       On page 73, line 12, strike the period at the end and 
     insert the following: ``; and
       ``(N) the State educational agency will provide the 
     information described in clauses (ii), (iii), and (iv) of 
     subsection (d)(1)(C) to the public in an easily accessible 
     and user-friendly manner that can be cross-tabulated by, at a 
     minimum, each major racial and ethnic group, gender, English 
     proficiency, and students with or without disabilities, 
     which--
       ``(i) may be accomplished by including such information on 
     the annual State report card described subsection (d)(1)(C)); 
     and
       ``(ii) shall be presented in a manner that--

       ``(I) is first anonymized and does not reveal personally 
     identifiable information about an individual student;
       ``(II) does not include a number of students in any 
     category of students that is insufficient to yield 
     statistically reliable information or that would reveal 
     personally identifiable information about an individual 
     student; and
       ``(III) is consistent with the requirements of section 444 
     of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g, 
     commonly known as the `Family Educational Rights and Privacy 
     Act of 1974').

       ``(3) Rules of construction.--Nothing in paragraph (2)(N) 
     shall be construed to--
       ``(A) require groups of students obtained by any entity 
     that cross-tabulates the information provided under such 
     paragraph to be considered categories of students under 
     subsection (b)(3)(A) for the purposes of the State 
     accountability system under subsection (b)(3); or
       ``(B) to prohibit States from publicly reporting data in a 
     cross-tabulated manner, in order to meet the requirements of 
     paragraph (2)(N).
       ``(4) Technical assistance.--Upon request by a State 
     educational agency, the Secretary shall provide technical 
     assistance to such agency in order to meet the requirements 
     of paragraph (2)(N).
       On page 189, after line 23, insert the following:
       ``(5) Designing the report cards and reports under section 
     1111(d) in an easily accessible, user-friendly manner that 
     cross-tabulates student information by any category the State 
     determines appropriate, as long as such cross-tabulation--
       ``(A) does not reveal personally identifiable information 
     about an individual student; and
       ``(B) is derived from existing State and local reporting 
     requirements and data sources.
       ``(b) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in paragraph (5) shall 
     be construed as authorizing, requiring, or allowing any 
     additional reporting requirements, data elements, or 
     information to be reported to the Secretary not otherwise 
     explicitly authorized under this Act.


                      Amendment No. 2120 Withdrawn

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Warren amendment 
No. 2120 is withdrawn.
  The Senator from Missouri.
  Mr. BLUNT. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to address the 
Senate as in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

[[Page S5105]]

                      Nuclear Agreement With Iran

  Mr. BLUNT. Mr. President, needless to say, yesterday's announcement 
about our ongoing stature and status with Iran is, in my view, a 
dangerous step forward in advancing not only the illicit nuclear 
program that they have had up until now but the clear nuclear weapons 
capability they would have under this agreement.
  I think the agreement confirms that the President was too willing to 
get a deal with Iran at any price. The concessions made by the 
administration, based on the starting point of these discussions, I 
believe to be stunning. All we have to do is go back and review a 
little bit of recent history to see that today Iran's advancement of 
instability, terrorism, and violence in the world continues unabated 
and not hampered by the agreement that has just been announced. 
Tomorrow, we will see all of those things still continue unabated, and 
unfortunately they are much better positioned and much better funded 
than they are right now.
  Supported by Iran, Assad in Syria has been massacring his own people, 
resulting in the deaths of at least 191,000 people in Syria. That is 
according to the U.N., and those numbers were reported a year ago. 
Assad, by the way, stepped forward immediately to praise this 
agreement.
  Supported by Iran, Shiite militias are continuing to support Assad 
and promote division and violence throughout the country of Iraq. 
Supported by Iran, Houthi rebels have seized key territory in Yemen and 
continue to work to destabilize that country. Supported by Iran, 
Hezbollah in Lebanon wages terrorism and calls for the annihilation. 
Supported by Iran, Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza continue to lob 
mortars and rockets into Israel.
  Last April, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy stopped a 
Marshall Islands-flagged ship as it tried to go into the Strait of 
Hormuz. This is at a time when Iran is trying to get major countries in 
the world to negotiate with them.
  Iran continues to hold hostages without any reasonable way of 
defining hostages and without any reasonable charge. They currently 
have three Americans held as hostages: Pastor Saeed Abedini, former 
U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, and Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian. 
They also remain totally uncooperative in helping to locate former FBI 
official Robert Levinson. When the Secretary of State was asked about 
why these people weren't part of the negotiations, he said: Well, this 
was a negotiation about nuclear weapons but not about people unlawfully 
and wrongly detained.
  Well, it quickly became a negotiation about not just nuclear weapons 
but all kinds of other weapons that we have prevented the Iranians from 
having access to in a worldwide marketplace. That was quickly added to 
the topic, but we couldn't get three Americans released and find out 
more about one American than we know now.
  The concessions laid out by yesterday's announcement were also, I 
thought, pretty stunning. Concerning uranium enrichment, the Obama 
administration said a year and a half ago Iran didn't have the right to 
enrich.
  In November of 2013, the Secretary of State told ABC News:

       We do not recognize the right to enrich. It is clear . . . 
     in the nonproliferation treaty, it's very, very [clear] that 
     there is no right to enrich.

  Under the agreement, Iran is allowed to continue to enrich.
  As far as inspections, the President said we would have to be able to 
verify Iran's compliance or Iran's cheating through anywhere, anytime 
inspections. It is widely understood that any good deal must allow 
inspections--trust but verify. The President may say that is in there, 
but it is clearly not in there.
  In fact, last April the President's Deputy National Security Advisor 
proudly proclaimed that ``under this deal'' we ``will have anywhere, 
anytime 24/7 access'' to Iran's nuclear facilities. As it turns out 
under this deal, inspectors will be forced to wait up to 24 days for 
access to suspicious sites once they ask for access to suspicious 
sites. That is a brand-new definition of ``anywhere, anytime.'' You can 
possibly have access in 24 days, and obviously lots of things can and 
would change in 24 days.
  Militarily, the President said we would disclose and define the 
possible military dimensions of the research and where Iran's illegal 
nuclear program was headed. The President said this information is 
critical to knowing what Iran's true breakout potential and their true 
intentions would be. Under this agreement, however, the option of 
examining the possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program is 
off the table.
  As far as sanctions, the administration said that removing all 
sanctions was a nonstarter until Iran demonstrated that it is complying 
with the agreement. A little over a year ago, in March of 2014, 
Secretary Kerry said: ``Iran is not open for business until Iran is 
closed for nuclear bombs.'' However, we know now that Iran will, in 
fact, be open for business much sooner than that. This deal will not 
only allow them to be open for business, but they will be rewarded with 
hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of sanctions relief and return 
of assets that didn't have to be returned. And under this agreement all 
sanctions, even those related to arms, missiles, and proliferation, 
will be removed--not suspended. These will be removed. We have some of 
the most aggressive arms suppliers in the world, and Iran is now being 
given access to all kinds of arms that they couldn't get legally or 
easily up until now.
  All economic and banking sections, as well as those imposed on 
transport, insurance, petrochemical industries, and valuable materials 
will be removed.
  As far as dismantling, the President said Iran would have to 
dismantle its illegal nuclear program. In December of 2013, the chief 
negotiator, Wendy Sherman, told PBS that a final agreement should 
include ``a lot of dismantling of their infrastructure.'' Yet under 
this deal we are seeing that Iran's program will, in fact, almost all 
be preserved, not dismantled.
  The length of the agreement--the P5+1 initially stipulated that Iran 
must accept restrictions on its nuclear program for 20 years plus 
another 25 years, and then later they said 20 years plus another 10 
years, and finally their last offer was just 20 years, which in the end 
was reduced to 10 years. I think over the next 60 days, as people read 
the fine print of the agreement, they might find out that it is even 
less than 10 years, but they certainly know now it is not 20 years plus 
25 years.
  This is a bad deal for the United States and one that will embolden 
our enemies, jeopardize the security of our allies, and further lead 
our friends to not believe they can trust us and our enemies not to be 
afraid of us. In a dangerous world, what worse place could we be in 
than that.
  The stated goal of the negotiations was to ensure that Iran never 
developed the capability of producing a nuclear weapon. Yet the 
President agreed to a deal that does just the opposite. By allowing 
Iran to become nuclear weapons capable and failing to provide for 
anytime, anywhere inspections, this deal gives Iran a free pass to 
cheat at its military sites with no access to U.S. inspectors.

  Meanwhile, just last week Iran continued its calls for the 
destruction of Israel. These are the people we are allowing, through 
this process, to have access to more weapons and to become nuclear 
weapons capable. Just last week, Iran called, as it has for decades, 
for the destruction of Israel and ``death to America.'' In fact, Iran's 
Supreme Leader stood by, calling for the need to fight the United 
States even if there is an agreement. I don't know that we have ever 
before entered into an agreement with another country that, while we 
are in the agreement, says: And by the way, no matter if there is an 
agreement or not, we want to continue to see the United States as an 
enemy we need to fight.
  This deal undermines the security of our friends and allies. It 
legitimizes Iran's unapologetic sponsorship of terrorism throughout the 
Middle East.
  It is interesting what could be included, by the way, and what 
couldn't be included.
  Iran has repeatedly refused to abide by international agreements that 
require inspection of nuclear facilities, details of facility designs, 
acquisition and production of nuclear materials. What makes us think 
Iran is going to change that behavior now? The negotiations themselves 
should lead us to believe the new Iran is still the old Iran.
  This is a bad deal. It is a deal that just hopes that in the next 8 
or 10 years

[[Page S5106]]

the Iranian Government totally changes, the Iranian attitude totally 
changes, our relationship with them totally changes, and it just hopes 
that in the interim--during the time we have that hoped-for change--the 
Iranians don't cheat. This is a hope, not a strategy, and it is a hope, 
not a strategy, wherein we would let the world become much more 
destabilized as a result.
  After months of negotiations, Iran hasn't released a single American 
prisoner, nor have they announced any intentions to do so.
  The Iranians, the Russians, the Chinese, the Syrians--or at least the 
Syrians who are still controlled by Assad--may like this deal, but this 
is a bad deal for the United States of America, it is a bad deal for 
world stability, and it is a bad deal for our friends.
  Frankly, I think the law that Congress passed that now gives the 
Congress of the United States 60 days to look at it will turn out to be 
60 days that the President himself is about to find out what is in the 
deal he and the administration signed.
  This is a serious matter for every Member of the Senate.
  I was asked earlier today: Are you going to lobby Members of the 
Senate as to how they should vote on this agreement when it comes up?
  I said: I am going to do everything I can to talk about the real 
shortcomings of this agreement, the destabilizing effects of this 
agreement, but every Member of the Senate is going to have to answer 
for this agreement and this vote for a long time.
  Members of the Senate on their own are going to have to decide what 
side of this to wind up on. I predict that a majority--and maybe a 
substantial majority--of the Senate will wind up understanding that 
this is a bad deal for America and a bad deal for the future of the 
world's security.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. BENNET. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                           Amendment No. 2241

  Mr. BENNET. Mr. President, as we wait for colleagues to arrive to the 
floor, I thought I would take a few minutes to speak a little bit about 
accountability in this bill.
  As we know, the No Child Left Behind legislation and now this new 
version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act require annual 
tests. They are not popular.
  I believe we are overtesting kids in this country. It is not the 
Federal requirement that is causing that; it is the relationship of the 
Federal requirement to State and local tests that are administered, so 
that by the time we get to the classroom inhabited by one of my three 
daughters who go to Denver's public schools, for example, kids end up 
spending too much time being tested. Part of that is because we haven't 
done a good job, I don't think, of distinguishing between tests that 
are used for accountability purposes--how is the school doing growing 
kids--and tests that are used for teaching and learning purposes, which 
are assessments that have to happen all the time during the school 
year. When I was in school, we called those quizzes, and we dreaded 
them, just as people dread them today. That was the way teachers were 
able to keep an eye on how students were doing in their classroom 
throughout the year so they could course correct, so they could make 
changes based on the individual needs of the kids in their classroom.
  Teaching and learning and accountability aren't the same things, and 
I think we put too much freight on some of these assessments. I hope 
what we are going to see as we come out of this new reauthorization is 
an understanding about the importance of the accountability--why we 
have it--and better implementation of tests at the State and local 
level.
  There is no reason for the Federal Government to be involved in 
education, really--only 9 percent of what we spend is Federal money, 
and the rest of it is State and local money--except for one reason. The 
civil rights imperative in this bill and that is at the heart of this 
bill has said to us that we just can't look the other way when it comes 
to kids of color and kids living in poverty in this country, which we 
did for decades--for decades--without knowing where we were headed.
  The one great benefit of No Child Left Behind is that it required 
that data about kids living in poverty, kids of color, kids with 
special needs, and English language learners as well be published so we 
could see the huge gaps that exist all across this country in 
educational attainment. We can't go backward on that. I agree that 
allowing States to have more flexibility in the design of these systems 
is important. It is an important step forward in this bill.
  As I mentioned yesterday, when I was the superintendent of the Denver 
Public Schools--the best job I ever had; I had that honor--I used to 
wonder all the time why people in Washington were so mean to our 
teachers and to our kids. I got here and I realized they weren't mean, 
they just have absolutely no idea what is going on in our schools and 
our classrooms. Where the Presiding Officer is right now, right here, 
in this place--and I mean this literally--is as far away as one can get 
from a school or a classroom in this country and still be in this 
universe. We are very distant. We may think we know what is going on 
there, but we don't know. This institution doesn't know.
  While I, as that superintendent, have developed a very strong view 
that I didn't want to be told how we should do things by Washington, 
and I didn't want Washington telling my teachers how to do things, our 
principals how to do things, kids and families how to do things, I 
think it is important and imperative that we have a national 
expectation for what kids ought to be able to do at certain grade 
levels and that we have a national imperative around the achievement 
gap in this country.
  We also have a national imperative--people may not like to know 
this--to figure out how we are going to replace the 1.5 million 
teachers we are going to require in this country over the next several 
years.
  Those are all issues of national concern, but our federalist system 
tells us there are certain responsibilities assumed by the States and 
certain responsibilities assumed by the Federal Government, and we have 
gotten that twisted up when it comes to education. So I think that is 
an important step forward, that we are not going to be telling people 
how to do it, but we need to remind people that they need to do it.
  It is not OK that we live in a country where if you are unlucky 
enough to be born poor, your chances of getting a college degree or its 
equivalent are roughly 9 in 100. That is not OK. That is a matter of 
national concern. That is why the accountability provisions in this 
bill are so important. To be honest, that is why the annual testing is 
so important, if it is done wisely and well and if the data is used in 
a thoughtful way to measure student growth.
  No Child Left Behind not only was a huge overreach by the Federal 
Government, it also asked and answered the profoundly wrong question. 
It asked: How did this year's group of fourth graders do compared to 
last year's fourth graders? That is how we evaluated schools, on that 
basis. That is crazy. They are not the same kids. The question we 
should be asking and the question we are asking now in many States and 
in many communities across the country is this: How did this group of 
sixth graders do compared to how they did as fifth graders compared to 
how they did as fourth graders and then compared to all the kids in the 
State--this is the way we do it in Colorado--who had a statistically 
similar test history. That reveals a lot of information.
  For No Child Left Behind, we used to have a matrix in Denver, and it 
was four squares, and in the upper right-hand corner was--well, there 
are two measures; one is growth and one is status. How much did you 
grow this year? It would be like saying, how much weight did you gain 
or lose this year, versus status, which is, how much did you weigh? 
What is your achievement level? Those are two different ideas.
  In those four boxes I mentioned earlier, in the upper right we had 
high growth, high status schools, and in this corner we had high status 
but low growth schools. Those are schools we

[[Page S5107]]

called excellent schools under No Child Left Behind. Those were blue 
ribbon schools even though kids were losing ground in those schools. 
They arguably shouldn't have been because those schools didn't have the 
struggles schools have with kids living in poverty. Those were blue 
ribbon schools. Those are schools where we were telling moms and dads 
and kids that everything is fine, even though kids were losing ground 
when they showed up at the schoolhouse door.
  The reverse was also true. The reverse was also true because we were 
saying to schools that were below the threshold of high status--low 
status schools--that they were failing schools even though they might 
have been schools where what we were seeing was 2 years of growth for 
kids who had started out way behind because they had come to 
kindergarten with that stubborn word gap, that 30 million word gap that 
kids have who are living in poverty and are showing up in kindergarten. 
By the way, we are not doing anything, almost, as a country to deal 
with that problem.
  As I mentioned yesterday, we are having a debate in Washington about 
income redistribution sometimes. We have a discussion about what the 
Tax Code should be, and there are people here who believe that it 
shouldn't do anything. That is a principled position, but if that is a 
person's position, they better be working day and night to make sure 
every single kid in America has access to high-quality early childhood 
education. We better make sure every kid in America has access and a 
choice to go to a high-performing K-12 school. And we better make sure 
we are doing everything we can to make it easier, not harder, to go to 
college to get a higher education degree because this unforgiving 
international economy is not going to change its mind about whether a 
high school degree is enough or dropping out of high school is enough.
  We need to be focused on education in this country. It is the single 
most important public good we provide domestically. If a person asks me 
as a parent what I would take a risk on for my kids, the No. 1 thing I 
wouldn't take a risk on is their education. That is how we ought to be 
feeling about all of the kids in the United States of America. We 
should stop treating America's children as though they are someone 
else's kids. They are not someone else's kids; they are our kids. And 
if we extrapolate the academic outcomes that we are seeing in this 
country, the college graduation rates we are seeing, the high school 
graduation rates--if we extrapolate those against the changing 
demographics in the United States, we are not going to recognize 
ourselves in the 21st century.
  When we constrain a child, a human being, an American citizen to the 
margin of this economy or the margin of the democracy simply because 
they are born into poverty and we can't do the work to provide a high-
quality education, that is all the evidence we need that we are 
treating people as though they are someone else's kids. That is why, by 
the way, there is more we need to do on accountability.
  I feel as though we have made good progress with a lot of this bill, 
and I am extremely grateful for the leadership of Chairman Alexander 
from Tennessee and the ranking member of the committee, Senator Patty 
Murray, and I am pleased to see that the bill passed out of committee 
unanimously. Remember, ESEA is fundamentally a civil rights law. We 
should measure growth. We should identify the bottom 5 percent of 
schools in this country. We need to ensure that subgroups and high-
performing schools are not left behind. And that is the power of the 
data that is collected, and that is the power of what is called the 
disaggregation of that data so that we can see outcomes.
  I see my colleague from New Jersey is here. Through the Chair, I 
would ask if he wishes to speak, and if so, I will stop. I was filling 
time. I do want to talk about the comparability loophole, but I will 
come back to that and yield to my colleague from New Jersey.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Jersey.
  Mr. BOOKER. Mr. President, I am grateful to Senator Bennet. Senator 
Bennet and I met around education issues. Senator Bennet led the 
largest public school system in the State of Colorado. Senator Bennet 
has been in the weeds of education for years, if not decades.
  I am grateful that Senator Bennet began his remarks by saying all of 
the things that have been wrong with No Child Left Behind. That was a 
bad piece of legislation. We saw the aspects of it that were causing 
problems and that have created a bipartisan push to fix them.
  I want to give credit to Senator Lamar Alexander and Senator Patty 
Murray for joining together and doing the things necessary to improve 
the bill. The culture of education has shifted in this country, from 
high-stakes testing to looking at measures that made no sense to 
creating artificial deadlines that could not be met or even doing 
things that undermined the very goals and aspirations that we have for 
our country, which is to lead the globe in educational excellence.
  So, I am encouraged by Senator Bennet and myself and the majority of 
this body who agree that this legislation needs to be changed. It is a 
left-right coalition that is encouraging to me.
  But I want to echo Senator Bennet's concerns about a problem that is 
not being addressed--that as the pendulum swings away from the problems 
of No Child Left Behind, we not create new ones that cut against the 
very ideals with which this legislation was put in place by Lyndon 
Johnson. Lyndon Johnson said clearly that this was a bill to bridge the 
gap in this country between help and the helpless, for those children 
who are suffering on the educational margins of our society, drowning 
in the eddies of educational lack of opportunity, caught in the 
quicksand of poverty and race, and with challenges that undermine and 
contribute to the dysfunction and inequality in our Nation. This was to 
be the bridge. It is why this body acted under President Johnson.
  So now, Senator Bennet, I have a distressed heart, because what this 
amendment we are trying to put forward does is to allow us to get to a 
point where we are now not even putting a spotlight on where we are 
failing to live up to our values. This amendment calls for us to at 
least acknowledge that there are children in our country who are stuck 
in so-called dropout factories, children who are perpetually 
underachieving, and schools that are failing the genius of our 
children. What this amendment was seeking to do was to say that we 
cannot ignore our children, we cannot turn our backs on these children, 
we cannot turn over and say it doesn't exist, because we do have a 
problem in our Nation. What anguishes me about this problem is that the 
children we are turning our backs on and not focusing on are children 
that are poor and children that are disproportionately minority.
  To paraphrase Martin Luther King, he said that what we will have to 
repent for in this day and age is not the vitriolic words and actions 
of the bad people but the appalling silence and inaction of the good 
people.
  I hear time and again that we love our children in America. Well, if 
we love them, we should do something about the challenges that are 
afflicting a small percentage of our kids who do not get the 
educational environment they deserve. This is a peculiar form of 
American insanity--insanity being defined as doing the same thing over 
and over again and expecting different results. We are not going to 
change this problem of perpetual failure in too many of our schools 
that affect poor and minorities by not having some attention to that 
problem.
  Let's be clear. We have learned lessons. This amendment No. 2241, the 
ESEA accountability amendment, does not do the things that this body in 
its majority thinks should no longer be done by the Federal Government.
  Let me be clear. This amendment does not reinstate any type of 
adequate yearly progress, or AYP. In fact, the underlying bill is 
repealed. AYP is repealed. It does not establish artificial deadlines 
such as No Child Left Behind did, saying that all children will be 
proficient by 2014. It does not establish Federal goals for our 
students. States will have the prerogative to set their own. It does 
not impose test-based accountability on States. States must include a 
range of factors in their State-designed accountability systems. It

[[Page S5108]]

does not require schools to implement a one-size-fits-all intervention. 
Local districts will design the intervention for underperforming 
schools.
  This legislation is not prescriptive. This legislation is not 
Washington telling local districts what to do. This amendment does not 
design programs. It simply says that there must be a commitment made 
when there are these dropout factories and when there are these 
populations that are not being served to ensure that States identify 
certain low-performing schools so that students in these schools 
receive the support they need.
  It would require locally designed, evidence-based interventions to 
schools identified in the following categories: the lowest performing 5 
percent of our schools; high schools where less than two-thirds of 
students graduate; and schools where subgroups, including low-income 
students, students of color, students with disabilities, and English 
learners miss State-established goals on multiple measures for 2 
consecutive years. This amendment says that we cannot ignore those 
children whom we are failing to serve, and that we can't turn our back 
on these kids.
  We salute this flag and say ``liberty and justice for all.'' Well, 
every issue that I hear discussed in this august body cannot be dealt 
with unless we deal with all children. The achievement gap in America 
will not be addressed unless we focus on all children. The poverty gap 
in America will not be addressed unless we focus on all children. The 
opportunity gap in America will not be addressed unless we deal with 
all children. Issues that I am passionate about such as mass 
incarceration will not be addressed unless we focus on all children. 
And the competitive economy--the productivity of our Nation--will not 
reach its full strength unless we focus on all children.
  So I am distressed today that this body will put into place a piece 
of educational legislation that ignores the very children to whom this 
original legislation was dedicated to serving years ago. We cannot be a 
great nation if we have parts of our country--be they neighborhoods or 
schools--that fail to experience what should be the bedrock of our 
country: equal opportunity, a great education, and the opportunity to 
succeed through one's grit, sweat, and hard work. We don't have that 
now.
  If we in this body create legislation that pours millions of dollars 
into the States and then say that if States choose to ignore these 
kids, if States choose to turn their backs on the children who need 
them most, if States don't even want to put forward an idea of how to 
address this persistent problem, and we are OK, then to me we belie the 
oath we took, the pledge we gave to bring justice to all children.
  We speak of accountability in this country. Well, we should be 
accountable to the government dollars that we spend for America. We 
should be accountable for the ideals of this Nation.
  So I hope I can get my colleagues to support this bill that Senator 
Murphy and Senator Bennet are leading so well. I hope we can stand up 
in a chorus of conviction in this body, saying that every single 
child--no matter what station in life, no matter how poor your parents 
are, no matter what your background, color, creed or religion--can have 
hope and opportunity in our public schools.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Colorado.
  Mr. BENNET. Mr. President, I thank Senator Booker.
  I see the Senator from Pennsylvania is here. The Senator from 
Connecticut is here, and I want to thank him for his leadership and how 
he has stuck with it week after week after week.
  I want to say to my friend from New Jersey, through the Chair, how 
much I appreciate his words and his aspirations for our country, 
because we are falling down on the job.
  We have issue after issue after issue that comes here to the Senate 
floor--sometimes resolved, sometimes not. Education almost never is in 
front of us.
  I sometimes hear people say this, and it rattles me when I hear them 
say it. Sometimes people say: Michael, don't you know that not 
everybody is going to go to college? Don't you know that not everybody 
is going to go to college?
  That is OK with me as long as it is their decision that they are 
making and that they are an educated 12th grader but they are deciding 
not going to go to college. That is the decision they are making.
  But the reality is that it is not that we are sort of, kind of 
getting it right when it comes to kids in this country. Let's do the 
math. If you are born poor in the United States, because of the way our 
K-12 system works in access to higher education, you stand a 9-in-100 
chance of getting a college degree--not an 80 percent chance, not a 75 
percent chance, but 9 in 100.
  If we were poor kids in this place instead of Senators, it would be 
those desks in the front row, the desks in the row behind them, and 
three desks in the next row. The entire rest of this Senate would be a 
sea of people without a college degree. That is the condition for poor 
kids living in the United States of America. That is the circumstance 
they face. We have to start believing there are kids--they are not 
someone else's kids. We learned for the first time a month ago--this is 
not a measure of poverty in the same sense that I was just using the 
word, but for the first time in this country's history, over half our 
public school children are poor enough that they qualify for free and 
reduced lunch.

  We did not change the standard for free and reduced lunch. That is 
the effect of 20 years of an economy that is not driving middle-class 
wages up and the worst recession since the Great Depression. So at 
every level from the schoolhouse door to the floor of the Senate, this 
ought to be our No. 1 priority. Because as the Senator from New Jersey 
said, all the other stuff that we want to fix--he mentioned what we 
need to do with sentencing reform.
  Eighty-five percent of the people in our prisons are high school 
dropouts. That tells you something about what you might do to cure that 
problem. This ought to be our No. 1 issue. It ought to be our No. 1 
here, and it ought to be our No. 1 issue at home.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Jersey.
  Mr. BOOKER. Before our leader on this amendment speaks, Senator 
Murphy, I do want to echo what Senator Bennet said. He has been leading 
this charge in a bipartisan manner, pulling people together trying to 
get this across. I just want to echo that last point that Senator 
Bennet made. We as a nation have this ideal that America is the best 
country if you are poor to be born into; that you can make it here. 
This is the country--Statue of Liberty, give us your tired, your 
hungry, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores. This is the country 
you can make it in.
  Well, unfortunately, in social mobility, which is a measurable 
index--the ability for somebody to make it out of poverty into the 
middle class--we have fallen. We have fallen on that list compared to 
our peers from other nations. If you just have the simple goal of 
making it out of poverty, America is no longer the No. 1 country to do 
that.
  The principle reason for this is that the tried and true pathway to 
the middle class must be the schoolhouse door. That path must lead 
through educational systems. If our children don't have that access or 
if we leave some children behind, we shut those doors to quality 
education. Then it is an affront to the very ideal of the American 
dream, and we are failing the purpose, the greatness, the glory that is 
America.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.


                    Amendment No. 2247, as modified

  Mr. TOOMEY. Mr. President, I rise to speak on an amendment that is 
offered by the senior Senator from North Carolina. It is an amendment 
that would change the formula for how title I funds are allocated among 
the States. So first by way of background, title I is the largest 
category of Federal financial assistance for K-through-12 education. So 
we are talking about a large pot of money. This is the biggest single 
source of Federal funding for primary and secondary education.
  Under current law, the formula for how that money is allocated to the 
school districts is based on two things. It is based on the number of 
children who live in poverty in these respective districts, but it is 
also related to the average amount that the various States spend on 
education. So let me

[[Page S5109]]

be very clear. It is not a single, uniform amount per student. It was 
never meant to be. It still is not.
  There is a reason for that. The reason is it is meant--this 
correlation to not only the number of kids in poverty but also the 
amount of money States spend on education is designed that way in order 
to reflect the fact that there are different costs of living in 
different States. Nobody would dispute that, I don't think. In some 
States, the real estate on which you build the school is more 
expensive. Some States have a higher general wage level, so teachers 
get paid more. States just have different expenses.
  In addition, there is an incentive element. The incentive is, for 
States that are willing to commit more resources--that means taxing 
their residents more to fund education--then there is that little bit 
more that comes from the Federal Government. So this is a finite amount 
of money. What this amendment goes to is the question of how does this 
get allocated? The amendment originally offered by the senior Senator 
from North Carolina was very troubling to me because it would 
profoundly change the formula effective immediately. This is a zero-sum 
game. So some States would win a lot, other States would lose a lot. 
Pennsylvania stood to lose a lot of funding under the formulation that 
was originally constructed for this amendment--the gist of it being to 
convert the funding to an almost uniform amount per student.
  I can assure you, I was hearing loudly and clearly from the folks who 
run especially the large school districts in Pennsylvania about how 
concerned they were because it was a multimillion-dollar-per-year hit 
that they were going to take. I spoke with Dr. Hite, who is the 
superintendent of Philadelphia schools, and Dr. Lane from Pittsburgh 
school district, as they would have been hit the hardest in the 
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  In total, had the original amendment become law, it would have cost 
Pennsylvania over $120 million per year. Every one of Pennsylvania's 
500 school districts, except one, would have lost money. So 499 school 
districts would have had to do with less and one would have had a 
little more. Many of them would have lost huge amounts of their 
funding.
  I first want to say I appreciate the fact that the Senator from North 
Carolina and other Senators worked with my office and other offices 
across the aisle to take a different approach. So the original 
amendment is no longer under consideration. My understanding is the 
unanimous consent agreement which was struck earlier abandons that 
approach, but it does still have an element of that direction that does 
concern me.
  I want to touch on that. So here is my understanding: Under the form 
that the amendment now takes, and which we will be voting on maybe 
later today, the current levels of funding will continue under the 
current formula. In fact, that funding level, as it naturally tends to 
grow each year because the Federal Government increases funding in 
this--for a while, that growth will also occur according to the current 
formulation. But at some point in the not-too-distant future, the total 
spending on title I funding will reach about $17 billion--now it is 
about 14.5. When it gets to $17 billion, from that point forward, 
prospectively, the increments each year will then be allocated 
according to the new formula, which is, by the design, the same design 
as the original amendment, which is nearly uniform spending per child, 
disregarding, in my view, the important consideration of the different 
costs of living in the various States.
  So this is a huge improvement, from my point of view, over what we 
were looking at before. Pennsylvania will not have a dime cut from its 
spending. The formula does not change next year or the year after. I am 
not sure exactly when we will reach that $17 billion figure. But at 
some point, if this amendment passes, this reformulated amendment from 
the senior Senator from North Carolina, if it does pass, then at some 
point we start to move incremental funding into this sort of uniform 
formulation, rather than the current formulation where we take into 
account the varying costs of education. So while this is a huge 
improvement over the original version of this amendment, it is still 
something that I think is very problematic and so I will be voting no 
on this.
  I would just summarize by saying that I think the amendment is 
mistaken in two respects: One, it fundamentally fails to recognize the 
varying costs of living in varying States. That is a very big 
difference. Secondly, it penalizes those States that are willing to ask 
their citizens to invest more in education by eliminating the current 
mechanism. So I would urge my colleagues to vote no on that amendment.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, I thank my great friends Senator Booker 
and Senator Bennet for their passionate and moving remarks about the 
task ahead of us, to make sure that as we reauthorize No Child Left 
Behind, as we reorder our priorities, that we remember that this law is 
an education reform law, but it has to be a civil rights law as well. 
It has to make sure that in the best traditions of this country, we are 
requiring that every single child gets a quality education.
  I want to talk about my amendment that is cosponsored by Senators 
Booker and Warren, Coons, Durbin, Mikulski, and others. I want to start 
by telling a story that is, unfortunately, not unfamiliar in probably 
every corner of this country. I am going to talk about a 16-year-old 
African-American boy, an eighth grader in an urban middle school in 
Connecticut. I will call him James for today's purposes.
  James had a habit of walking out of class in the middle of 
instruction. He walked out of class and he would wander the hallways 
until he would eventually run into a teacher, an administrator, a 
school resource officer, who would haul him down to the principal's 
office. His grandmother, who was his primary care giver, would get a 
phone call. She would come pick him up and then the suspension 
proceedings would start.
  James would get suspended for a few days. He would come back, and the 
whole cycle would play out again, such that by the middle of his first 
semester of his eighth grade year, he had been out of school--
suspended--more days than he had been in school. One day he was so 
frustrated when an assistant principal stopped him, once again, as he 
was wandering the halls that he had an argument. He was a big kid for 
his age, but he was a total teddy bear. He never hurt anybody. But that 
day when he talked back to that assistant principal, they called the 
police and James got arrested. Now he has a criminal record. But the 
reason he was walking out of class day after day, week after week, was 
pretty simple: James was an eighth grader who could not read--he could 
not read. He could barely read. So he had this toxic mixture of 
frustration and embarrassment every day that he sat in class such that 
it had no relevance to him and he walked out.
  The worst of it is that the school knew he could not read because he 
had an identified learning disability. It was not a mystery. Yet James 
got promoted year after year because it was easier to pass him along, 
easier to push him out, as the suspensions and eventual arrest were on 
their way to doing, rather than actually give James an education. Now, 
I only know this story because my wife, who was then a legal aid lawyer 
in Connecticut, represented James. His grandmother, who just wanted 
James to get a decent education, would call my wife in tears every time 
James was found in the hallway and suspended again and again.
  My wife actually got the services James needed. But James' story is 
not unique. Most kids do not have legal aid lawyers fighting on their 
behalf. Most kids in James' situation have the deck stacked against 
them: disabled kids who are hard to teach, poor kids who are warehoused 
in failing schools, Black and Hispanic kids struggling to overcome 
generations of discrimination.
  They do not all have lawyers. They have us in the Congress. This 
place, Washington, DC, has had its finest moments when it stands up for 
educational civil rights: the idea that a child in this country should 
get a quality education no matter their race or their address or their 
disability. Whether we like it or not, there are these political 
pressures in America that cause minority kids and disabled kids and 
poor kids to get an education

[[Page S5110]]

that is not equal to that of their White or nondisabled or more 
affluent peers.
  The facts are just very stubborn. I can't say them any better than 
Senator Bennet did earlier today. Today, half of African-American and 
Latino fourth grade students score below the basic level of reading 
that we expect of our students. Just one out of every seven African-
American eighth grade students scores at a basic proficiency level in 
math. Nationally, 70 percent of students who attend high school with 
low graduation rates come from low-income families. These statistics, 
they represent a stain on the conscience of our Nation.
  If this body wants to stay true to its history of standing up for 
educational civil rights, then we have to make a stand this week to 
make sure this Every Child Achieves Act ensures that minority and poor 
and disabled kids get a fair shot at a good education.
  Now, right now this bill does not meet this test. That is why the 
Nation's leading civil rights organizations, from the NAACP to La Raza, 
to the Urban League oppose this bill in its current form. It is why 
they have joined together with business groups who want to make sure 
our educational system stays competitive for everyone, to propose a 
fairly simple solution to a problem that is also fairly simple.
  So this bill requires that schools continue to assess student 
performance while getting rid of those annual high-stakes tests that 
were unquestionably bad for schools and for students. No Child Left 
Behind was a bad bill for my State and for the Nation. So I am glad 
Senators Murray and Alexander have come together to create something 
better for our kids.
  The bill requires that States track results by what we call 
subgroups: minority students, disabled students, poor students, and 
non-English-speaking students. But the problem is that when the schools 
are failing or when minority or disabled students are falling way 
behind their peers, the bill doesn't require or even ask States or 
school districts to do anything to fix it--nothing. As a civil rights 
matter, that is unacceptable.

  No Child Left Behind said a lot on this issue, and most of it wasn't 
helpful or productive. NCLB made the measurement of schools and 
subgroups a test and only a test. NCLB prescribed in a detailed way 
what schools had to do to turn around student outcomes, and NCLB 
punished schools that didn't turn around those outcomes quickly enough.
  We have learned a lot from that backwards approach, from this 
``Washington knows best'' attitude. That is why the amendment we are 
offering today takes a very different approach to accountability for 
vulnerable kids. Under our amendment, States are required to identify 
the bottom 5 percent of performing schools according to their 
measurement of performance; they have to identify the dropout 
factories--the high schools where fewer than two-thirds of the students 
are graduating; and then they have to identify, again according to 
their own measurement, schools where subgroups of students--low-income 
students, students of color, students with disabilities, English 
learners--aren't meeting their own set of criteria.
  This amendment ensures that schools are identified based on a 
measurement that is set by the State, not by Washington, and it has to 
include multiple measures, not just test scores alone. Let me say that 
again. The measurement is determined by the State, and it cannot be 
based on test scores alone.
  Then the amendment says that once you have identified those schools 
or those student groups who are in need of improvement according to 
your own measurements, then the State needs to come up with a plan to 
improve outcomes. Period. Stop. Identify your achievement gaps 
according to your own comprehensive measurements and come up with a 
plan to fix the gaps. There is no federally dictated measurement, no 
federally set intervention, no Federal penalty if you don't succeed. 
Just identify your problems and come up with a plan to make the 
problems better. The accountability will then happen naturally, as 
students and parents and community members have input into that plan 
and the ability to watch to see if it is working--local solutions, 
local oversight, local accountability.
  In 2006, as a candidate for Congress, I excoriated No Child Left 
Behind wherever I went. I come from a family of teachers, and I married 
a former teacher. Now I have two kids, one in the public school system 
and one on his way there. And I watched firsthand as NCLB failed 
teachers, parents, and students.
  But about a month or so after I was sworn in to the House of 
Representatives in 2007, I received a visit from the Children's Defense 
Fund. They had heard how vocal I was in my criticism of the law, and 
they just wanted me to know that not every State was like Connecticut. 
They told me stories of places where prior to NCLB kids with 
disabilities were sent for half a day of ``vocational training'' with 
the janitor. Nothing was expected of those kids, and more often than 
not those kids lived up to the low expectations that were set for them.
  So maybe the only redeeming quality of No Child Left Behind was that 
it did expose these inexcusable gaps in performance between disabled 
and non-disabled kids. It forced States to talk about why Black 
students year after year were 30 percent behind their White peer 
students in achievement tests. It caused embarrassment for school 
systems with schools where the majority of kids got so little out of 
school that they dropped out before graduation. And it put pressure on 
all of us to do better.
  This is an education bill, but it is not a worthwhile bill unless it 
is also a civil rights bill. Every single child, no matter their race 
or their geography, their income or their disability, deserves a first-
rate education.
  I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this vital amendment 
that continues our march away from the stringent, inflexible 
requirements of No Child Left Behind, while ensuring that all of our 
students receive the support they need to be successful.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Scott). The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. CASEY. Mr. President, I rise today to talk about a couple aspects 
of the legislation. I will do it in summary form. I will submit a 
longer statement for the Record.
  First, I wish to say how much I appreciate the work that has been 
done not only this week but over many weeks and months that led up to 
today. We were working a number of months ago on the Health, Education, 
Labor and Pensions Committee to get a bill out of the committee. After 
it was completed, of course it looked easy, but I know how hard Senator 
Alexander, the chairman of the committee, and Senator Murray, the 
ranking member, worked to reach this point. The vote that day was 22 to 
0, and now we are considering the bill on the floor. So that is 
significant and noteworthy, especially in these times in the Senate.
  I just wanted to talk about a couple of aspects of this legislation.
  For far too long, States have had to deal with the uncertainty of 
Federal waivers. One aspect of the legislation we are focused on is 
that we need one law that provides States and districts with more 
flexibility.
  We hear all across the country--I certainly heard it in 
Pennsylvania--that among the concerns people had was a lack of 
flexibility, sometimes a one-size-fits-all regimen that came from 
Washington. So that flexibility is important. We also want to make sure 
we are recapturing the original intent of the Elementary and Secondary 
Education Act--to protect our most vulnerable students.
  The bill acknowledges the anxiety students, parents, and teachers 
often feel about testing, but it also realizes and contemplates that we 
must at the same time have a way to determine what students are 
learning each year. So I am pleased to see that the legislation strikes 
the balance by maintaining annual testing while taking significant 
steps to reduce the high-stakes nature of the testing.
  So while there is more work to be done to ensure that all our 
children have access to high-quality early childhood education, I am 
encouraged that the bill builds on decades of research on early 
learning by requiring that States align their early learning guidelines 
with their kindergarten through 12th grade standards. So this change 
will help educators from Head Start, childcare, and other early 
childhood

[[Page S5111]]

education programs in elementary schools work together so young 
children have a successful continuity of learning over time that sets a 
strong foundation throughout the kindergarten through 12th grade years 
and beyond. That is something I pushed for over many years in the so-
called Continuum of Learning Act, and I am pleased it has been included 
in the bill.
  Mr. President, I wish to move to two other topics. I know we may have 
limited time. The first is on the question of bullying, which we have 
begun to address in the debates we have had leading up to this 
legislation. We had a vote yesterday on Senator Franken's Student Non-
Discrimination Act. I supported that, and I commend him for his work, 
but even with that vote, we have a long way to go on this issue.
  Bullying, of course, is not what my generation understood it to be. 
It is a much worse problem today. It is more severe, it is more 
damaging, and it is destroying lives all across the country.
  More students than ever are not in school every day for one reason--
bullying, because of the impact bullying has on their lives. If a child 
is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, they are often and 
disproportionately the victims of bullying. If a student has a 
disability, he or she is often the victim of bullying, and again it is 
disproportionate. So students are more likely to be bullied if they are 
disabled, if they have a disability, or if they are gay, lesbian, 
bisexual, or transgender. That is an abomination. That is an insult to 
our country. Unless we begin to do something about this, we will still 
see those numbers soaring.
  Bullying, of course, is the ultimate betrayal. It is a betrayal by 
adults with regard to children, and it is a betrayal of everything we 
claim to stand for in America because we say to our children, ``If you 
go to school every day and study hard and go to class and do your 
homework and study hard for tests and quizzes, you will succeed,'' but, 
of course, often children are betrayed because in between there, they 
are bullied. When they go home, they are bullied. When dinner is over 
at night, they are bullied. All throughout the night they are bullied 
often because of technology and because of vicious students who go 
after one student and use social media or other tools to harass and 
bully that person. We have to do something about this. We have to do 
more than just debate it and talk about it. We need to do something.
  I am hoping that some of the efforts I have undertaken in my 
legislation will be the subject of not just more debate but more 
action, progress, and results when we get through the conference 
committee because I think this overall legislation should reach the 
point of getting to conference.
  I am going to conclude because I see our chairman, who wants some 
time before we start.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. I am fine.
  Mr. CASEY. Thank you.
  I wish to give one example of a particular individual--a real-life 
example of what bullying means, and I will have some comments as well 
about prekindergarten education.
  This is a real-life story. Brandon Bitner, 14 years old, of Mount 
Pleasant Mills, PA, walked 13 miles from his home on an early Friday 
morning in November of 2010 to a busy intersection and threw himself in 
front of an oncoming tractor trailer after leaving a suicide note at 
his home. That is what happened to a 14-year-old Pennsylvanian. I 
cannot even imagine the horror of that, what led to that action he took 
when he took his own life. It is, unfortunately, not an isolated 
example. There are too many of these today. There would be too many if 
there were one, but unfortunately there are many more than one.
  So there seems to be little doubt in our minds and certainly in the 
minds of those who knew Brandon why he did what he did on that day in 
November of 2010. I am going to quote a friend, Takara Jo Folk. Here is 
what Takara said: ``It was because of bullying.'' That was written in a 
letter to the Daily Item, a newspaper in central Pennsylvania.
  Quoting again from that letter:

       ``It was not about race or gender, but they bullied him for 
     his sexual preferences and the way he dressed. Which,'' she 
     said, ``they wrongly accused him of.''

  Brandon's suicide note reportedly explained that he was constantly 
bullied at Midwest High School in Middleburg, where he was a freshman. 
Bullies at that school allegedly called Brandon names--names which I 
will not repeat on the floor of the Senate. He stated in the note that 
a humiliating event in school this past week was the ``straw that broke 
the camel's back.''
  Brandon was an accomplished violinist, having been a member of the 
Susquehanna Youth Orchestra in 2009, the year before he took his own 
life.
  That story, unfortunately and tragically, is emblematic of the 
problem. We read these stories all the time. They may not be every 
single day and in every single newspaper, but not more than a week can 
go by in the United States of America where you don't read something 
like that.
  I have others I could read as well, but I think folks within the 
sound of my voice know this. We all know this. So what are we going to 
do about it? Well, we all have a role to play. Parents have to do a lot 
more. Parents haven't done enough. Public officials haven't done 
enough. Schools haven't done enough. You could go down the list. At a 
minimum--and that is why I introduced legislation that we want to get 
back to; we want to be able to reach consensus--at a minimum, we should 
say to school districts: Look, if you are getting Federal money and you 
don't have a policy in place that deals with bullying and harassment 
and you don't specifically define or list or enumerate what is unlawful 
conduct, what is prohibited, then there should be a consequence for 
that. You should have to prescribe what is wrong by way of a set of 
rules, a code of conduct. You should enforce it. And you should keep 
data. If we take those kinds of steps, at least we can say that in a 
school or a school district, there is a heightened consciousness about 
this problem and that it is everybody's problem. This isn't just the 
problem of the person being bullied and the person engaging in 
bullying; it is the problem of all of us, whether we are parents, 
taxpayers, public officials, or whatever. We all have an obligation.

  So I hope we can get back to this, in addition to continuing the good 
work Senator Franken and others have started, because this is a 
betrayal. It is a betrayal of our children. And we are all diminished 
by our allowing this problem to persist.
  The only good news here--and it is significant--is that in a lot of 
places we have parents who are taking responsibility, teachers, school 
administrators, school board directors, and of course students 
themselves taking on the responsibility of making sure in their school 
there will be zero tolerance for bullying, the best that they can 
implement that kind of a policy. So we have students who are working 
with other students to resolve disputes, to help someone who might be a 
victim before something goes wrong and someone becomes a tragedy after 
being a victim of bullying. So we have a ways to go on this issue, and 
we have more to do.


                           Amendment No. 2242

  Let me conclude with some thoughts about what we will likely be 
voting on tomorrow, which is prekindergarten education. It is a very 
rare vote on the floor of the Senate where the entire Senate will cast 
a vote on a very basic program--a program to make sure that if a State 
wants to join together in partnership with the Federal Government to 
build upon, expand, enlarge, or even start from scratch an early 
learning, prekindergarten program for 4-year-olds, this legislation 
will give them that opportunity. This is paid for. We have an offset 
for the cost of it.
  This is the right thing to do for 3 million American children, 
meaning that if this prekindergarten education program were enacted and 
if every State took advantage and implemented this program, 3 million 
children in the country would have prekindergarten education, 93,930 in 
Pennsylvania alone. The State of Texas, for example, upon passage of 
this kind of a program into law, will have the opportunity to have 
300,000 children get the benefit of early learning.
  Let me say finally that this is not just any program; we want high-
quality early learning. All the experts know, have known for years, and 
have told us for years what works. If there is a high-quality program, 
a child will learn more now and he or she will earn

[[Page S5112]]

more later. It is not just a rhyme, it is the truth. We have 50 years 
of data making that direct linkage between learning and earning, and 
all we need to do is give States the opportunity to work with us to 
develop a nationwide strategy so that the United States can say we are 
preparing not just our children for that bright future we hope they 
have but that we are preparing our workforce and our economy. When you 
make that linkage between learning and earning, you are literally not 
just improving the life of that child, but you are improving our 
economic prosperity as well. I think our economic destiny is tied to 
these kinds of strategies.
  So we have a long way to go to get there, but tomorrow we should have 
a vote, and I am looking forward to that.
  I also again commend Senators Alexander and Murray for their work on 
the legislation overall.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Will the Senator yield for a moment?
  Mr. SANDERS. Of course.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, for Senators' information, I will be 
talking to Senator Murray in the next few minutes, and there is a good 
possibility we will have votes beginning at about 3 o'clock. But I will 
have more to report, hopefully, after the Senator from Vermont makes 
his remarks.
  I thank the Senator.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Vermont.


                           Amendment No. 2177

  Mr. SANDERS. Mr. President, one of the amendments that will be 
offered is an amendment I have submitted regarding a major crisis in 
this country that we don't talk about enough, and that is the 
frighteningly high rate of youth unemployment in America.
  I am delighted that the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is on 
the floor for debate today, and I thank Senator Alexander and Senator 
Murray for their hard and constructive work on this important piece of 
legislation. In my State of Vermont, we have held town meetings on No 
Child Left Behind, and the people of Vermont want to leave No Child 
Left Behind very far behind. They want to get rid of it. They feel it 
has not been productive for our kids, and I think that sentiment exists 
all over the country. If we go forward on this legislation, I think we 
will be taking a very important step forward for the children of 
America.
  When we talk about the needs of our young people, it is not just a 
dysfunctional child care system we talk about and the need to make sure 
working families all over this country have good-quality, affordable 
childcare; it is not simply that college is increasingly unaffordable 
for millions of working-class families; it is not just that the United 
States, tragically and embarrassingly, has the highest rate by far of 
childhood poverty of any major industrialized country on Earth. We talk 
about the future. We talk about family values. But the truth is that we 
have significantly ignored the needs of our children, and that is not 
what a great nation does--not a nation that looks forward to the 
future.
  This country has to come to grips with the reality that we have not 
just a high rate of youth unemployment but a tragically high rate of 
youth unemployment in this country. This is an issue we don't discuss. 
It is literally swept under the rug. We have to bring it out in the 
open, we have to discuss it, and we have to address this issue.
  Last month, the Economic Policy Institute released a new study about 
the level of youth unemployment in this country. This study took a 
close look at census data on unemployment among young people between 17 
and 20 who are jobless, those who are working part time when they need 
a full-time job, and those who have given up looking for work 
altogether. The results of this study should concern everybody in our 
country and every Member of the Congress.
  By the way, I have mentioned these facts in the past. PolitiFact, 
which seems to check every statement I make, checked it out, and they 
said these facts are basically accurate.
  Here is what the Economic Policy Institute found. From April of 2014 
to March of 2015, the average real unemployment rate for young White 
high school graduates between the ages of 17 and 20 was 33.8 percent. 
High school graduates, high school dropouts, White, 17 to 20--33.8 
percent. The jobless figures for Hispanic kids in the same age group 
was 36.1 percent. And incredibly, the average real unemployment rate 
for African-American high school graduates was 51.3 percent. High 
school graduates or dropouts between the ages of 17 and 20, African 
American, over 50 percent unemployed or underemployed.
  Today in America, over 5.5 million young people have either dropped 
out of high school or have graduated high school and do not have jobs. 
It is no great secret--not to any parent, not to any Member of the 
Senate--that when kids are not in school, when kids have no jobs, that 
is when kids get into trouble, when they get into drugs, when they get 
into self-destructive activity.
  The result of kids not being in school and kids not having jobs is 
that tragically, today, we in this country have more people in jail 
than any other country on Earth, including China--a Communist 
authoritarian country with a population four times our size. We have 
more people in jail than China does. Incredibly, over 3 percent of our 
country's population is under some form of correctional control.
  According to the NAACP, from 1980 to 2012, the number of people 
incarcerated in America quadrupled--quadrupled--from roughly 500,000 to 
2.2 million people.
  A January 2014 study published in the journal Crime & Delinquency 
found that almost half of Black males in the United States are arrested 
by the age of 23. That is an unbelievable statistic and a tragic 
statistic. If this current trend continues, one in four Black males 
born today can expect to spend time in prison during his lifetime. What 
a tragedy this is. We cannot ignore it. We have to deal with this 
reality.
  But this crisis is not just a destruction of human life and of 
potential, it is also very costly to the taxpayers of our country. In 
America, we now spend nearly $200 billion on public safety, including 
$70 billion on correctional facilities each and every year.
  It is beyond comprehension that we as a nation have not focused 
attention on the fact that millions of young people are unable to find 
work and begin their careers in a productive economy. That is what 
young people want to do. They want to get out, they want to get a job, 
they want to earn some money, they want to become independent from 
their parents, and they want to begin a career ladder, but for millions 
of these young people, that is not taking place today.
  Let me be as clear as I can be. It makes a lot more sense for us to 
invest in jobs and education rather than in more and more incarceration 
and more and more jails. The time is long overdue for us to start 
investing in our young people, to help them get the jobs they need, to 
help them get the education they need.
  This is not only saving human life; it is saving dollars. It is a 
very expensive proposition to put people into jail. Many people who go 
to jail come out of jail and go back to jail. They don't get jobs, and 
they don't pay taxes. Their lives are destroyed. Their families' lives 
are destroyed. It is high time we understood that. We have to invest in 
jobs, and we have to invest in education--not more jails, not more 
incarceration.
  I have offered an amendment that will be voted upon, either today or 
tomorrow, that is pretty simple and pretty straight forward. It says to 
us that now is the time to keep kids out of jail, to get them jobs, and 
to get them an education. This amendment would simply provide $5.5 
billion in immediate funding to States and cities throughout the 
country to create 1 million jobs for young Americans between the ages 
of 16 and 24. This amendment would also provide job opportunities for 
hundreds of thousands of young adults.
  Frankly, this amendment doesn't go far enough, but it is an important 
start in trying to save the lives of countless numbers of young people 
who, if we do not address their needs, are going to end up in jail or 
with destroyed lives.
  Specifically, under this amendment the U.S. Department of Labor would 
provide $4 billion in grants to States and local governments to provide 
summer and year-round employment opportunities for economically 
disadvantaged youth, with direct links to academic and occupational 
learning. This

[[Page S5113]]

amendment would also make sure that young Americans have access to 
transportation and childcare services they may need in order to 
participate in job opportunities all over this country. This amendment 
would also provide $1.5 billion in competitive grants to local areas to 
provide work-based job training to low- and moderate-income youth and 
disadvantaged young adults.
  I hope very much we can have bipartisan support for this amendment, 
because what we are talking about is not just saving countless numbers 
of lives and not just saving taxpayers a substantial sum of money. It 
is much more cost effective to invest in kids so they have productive 
lives rather than seeing them go into jail and into jail and into jail 
and see their families being destroyed. It is high time we addressed 
this issue. This amendment is an important first step. I look forward 
to seeing bipartisan support for it.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. CASEY. I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                      Nuclear Agreement With Iran

  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, yesterday President Obama announced a deal 
with Iran, one that will send billions of dollars to a regime with a 
long history of violently opposing the United States and its allies.
  I come to the floor to express again my deep skepticism about how the 
Obama administration has approached these talks and my great concerns 
about what has been revealed about the deal so far--recognizing that we 
should all, perhaps, reserve our judgment for the process that will 
unfold over the next couple of months, by which we will actually be 
able to read the text of the deal and then to show to the American 
people what it contains and express our concerns publicly and debate 
those. That is going to unfold over the next couple of months.
  But I think we can all agree that bringing Iran to the negotiating 
table and securing an agreement that prohibits 100 percent of their 
ability to gain the capacity to create a nuclear weapon would be a 
tremendous legacy for any President to accomplish.
  Preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power would have been a 
legacy item for President Obama or any President. But these 
negotiations have been particularly concerning because, in spite of the 
fact that the Iranian regime has given us no reason to trust it, the 
President has been operating under the assumption that any deal is 
better than no deal.
  I am afraid the President has demonstrated the old adage that if you 
want a deal bad enough, that is exactly what you are going to get--a 
bad deal.
  In so doing, the President has abandoned longstanding U.S. policy. 
Our policy has always been to prevent Iran from getting nuclear 
weapons. Instead, the administration has said: Well, it is OK. We will 
allow you a plan forward, and--in the words of Prime Minister 
Netanyahu--pave the way toward your acquisition of nuclear weapons.
  This is an outcome that is irresponsible, unacceptable, and 
exceedingly dangerous.
  I found it interesting that during his announcement the President 
said U.S. engagement in Iran was built upon ``mutual interests and 
mutual respect.'' The theocratic Iranian regime is a government that 
just last week encouraged its citizens to shout slogans often heard on 
the streets of Tehran. ``Death to America,'' they say. ``Death to 
Israel.'' I don't see how the President can consider such actions a 
sign of ``mutual respect.'' It is just the opposite.
  But I should be fair to the President. He is of course not the only 
person who supports this deal. We hear that Russia's President Vladimir 
Putin has endorsed it. So has Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, who 
called the agreement a ``major turning point.'' Our enemies think this 
is a great deal, and they strongly support it.
  But I hope the administration is aware that the optimism they have 
surrounding Iran and this deal is not universal. Our staunchest ally in 
the Middle East, the nation of Israel, has stated its clear opposition 
yesterday.
  President Netanyahu, as he did in a joint session of Congress just a 
few short months ago, said in crystal clear language that this 
agreement represents a ``historic mistake'' for the world. That is 
likely because the Iranian regime has regularly--even throughout the 
ongoing negotiations--called for the destruction of Israel.
  So while our enemies such as Bashar al-Assad of Syria called the deal 
a major turning point, our greatest ally called it a ``historic 
mistake.'' That should give all of us pause. What other warning signs 
do we need? Can a deal that is wholeheartedly endorsed by our 
adversaries and simultaneously disdained by one of our closest allies 
possibly be in the best interest of the United States of America? I am 
interested in hearing the answer to that question during the course of 
our review and debates because that is the question we will have the 
chance to answer for ourselves at the end of this next 60-day period of 
time.

  Although I have seen several headlines talking about Republican 
opposition to the agreement, I would like to point out that there are a 
number of Democratic colleagues who have been quick to voice their 
concerns as well. This should not, and I pray will not, become a 
partisan disagreement. What we ought to be doing, in the best interest 
of the United States of America and our national security and those of 
our allies, is getting to the bottom of this agreement, raising 
concerns, and asking questions. Perhaps the President would like for 
this to become a partisan debate because then he wins, and in so doing 
America and our allies lose.
  Yesterday, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations 
Committee said that ``there is no trust when it comes to Iran.'' That 
statement was made by the distinguished Senator from Maryland, Mr. 
Cardin. Similarly, another Democratic colleague, the senior Senator 
from New Jersey and former chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, 
said that ``the deal doesn't end Iran's nuclear program,'' but instead 
it ``preserves it.''
  This deal cements many of the longstanding concerns that I and many 
of my colleagues have had. Instead of ridding the world of an Iranian 
nuclear weapon once and for all, this simply kicks the deal down the 
road--when, by the way, President Obama will no longer be in office--
but it completely preserves the nuclear infrastructure required to 
create a nuclear weapon in as little as 1 year. We can't afford to sit 
back, cross our fingers, and wait for the regime to resurrect its 
nuclear program after their main obligations under the deal have 
expired.
  Let me just be clear. The American people are not so desperate to cut 
this deal with the Iranian regime, and I think they will be even less 
supportive than they have been so far once the details of this deal 
gets vetted.
  I wholeheartedly reject the suggestion the President has made on 
numerous occasions that there are two alternatives: There is this deal 
or there is war. That is ridiculous. That is a false choice. What it 
should be is a choice between this deal and something better--something 
that actually denies Iran nuclear weapons and doesn't unleash billions 
of dollars for them to fight their proxy war against the United States 
and our allies.
  Again, the No. 1 state sponsor of international terrorism is Iran, 
and we are going to unleash the sanctions on the oil that they will now 
be able to sell in global markets and reap windfall profits perhaps, 
along with released funds that have been sequestered in American banks 
and other institutions, so they can now prop up their economy and again 
pay for the war they are fighting against Israel and the United States 
and other allies.
  The bipartisan sanctions regime that Congress has put in place over 
decades should not and cannot be undone through an Executive agreement 
between President Obama and the head of the world's leader in state-
sponsored terrorism. As elected representatives of the American people, 
we, all of us, in addition to the President, are committed to securing 
a good deal for the people who sent us here, and that means making sure 
Iran will never have the ability to build a nuclear

[[Page S5114]]

weapon, protecting our interests and our allies against a threatening 
regional power and, first and foremost, ensuring that the American 
people are safer tomorrow than they were yesterday.
  Now that the White House has submitted the first 109 pages of this 
deal to Congress, we are in the process of reviewing it, but there is 
more to come--classified annexes and all. I look forward to reading 
this agreement word-for-word, understanding it better, and asking many 
of the similar-type questions which I posed here today, which need good 
and solid and reliability answers. We can't base this on a policy of 
hope or even trust in the rogue regime in Tehran. We need answers to 
these questions and, even more importantly, so do the American people.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                           Amendment No. 2241

  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, our Nation has always held the ideal of 
providing education for all, but a half century ago we put that ideal 
into action with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act or ESEA. 
That law aimed to close education gaps between rich and poor, Black and 
White, kids from rural areas, and kids from big cities.
  Today, we are debating an amendment to strengthen accountability in 
our bill to reauthorize ESEA to do even more by making sure schools are 
delivering on the promise of quality and equality to every student in 
America.
  Across the country, too many schools today have failed too many of 
our children for too long, and that has to change. Now our bipartisan 
bill removes the unrealistic goals and one-size-fits-all mandates of No 
Child Left Behind. But we can still have strong accountability without 
going back to those requirements.
  Senator Murphy's amendment, which we will be voting on shortly, will 
shine a light on the persistent inequality and achievement gap that 
still exists and do something about it, and it would ensure that we 
make sure children from low-income backgrounds, the kids of color, the 
students who are still learning English, and students with disabilities 
have access to a high-quality education.
  Under his amendment, States would identify the bottom 5 percent of 
schools, States would identify the high schools that are failing to 
graduate one-third or more of their students, and States would identify 
schools that have failed to help subgroups of students make progress.
  Now, of course, accountability is about more than just identifying 
the schools and districts that need help. We have to make sure those 
schools get the resources they need. The Every Child Achieves Act 
allows districts to design interventions tailored to the individual 
needs of low-performing schools. This amendment doesn't change that, 
but this amendment would give parents, teachers, and communities 
important measures to hold schools accountable for delivering a quality 
education to every child.
  I will also note that in our bipartisan bill, we have done a lot to 
help the adults in this school get the support they need from 
professional development to easing the burden on school administrators. 
I was very proud to work on all of those provisions. But this amendment 
isn't about the adults. It is about the children in our schools. So I 
urge my colleagues to vote yes on the Murphy amendment so we can do 
even more to make sure all of our students learn, no matter where they 
live or how they learn or how much money their parents make.
  Let's fix No Child Left Behind. Let's continue to improve this bill 
by strengthening accountability, and let's reaffirm our Nation's 
commitment to providing a quality education to every student in 
America.
  I thank the Presiding Officer, and I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Ms. HIRONO. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Ms. HIRONO. Mr. President, I rise to discuss the Every Child Achieves 
Act, S. 1177, which replaces the education law better known as No Child 
Left Behind. I wish to thank the HELP Committee Chairman Alexander and 
ranking member Patty Murray for their hard work on today's bipartisan 
compromise bill.
  Today's Every Child Achieves Act isn't perfect, but it makes good 
progress. For years, I have heard from Hawaii's teachers, parents, and 
administrators that No Child Left Behind, or NCLB, is broken. It is 
time to leave NCLB behind.
  I have been working to fix this broken law, first as a member of the 
House of Representatives' Education and Labor Committee in 2007 and now 
as a Senator. I also began to work on education reform when I was 
Lieutenant Governor of the State of Hawaii.
  I will start with one of the biggest problems with NCLB, which is the 
testing requirements. I heard from teachers in Hawaii loud and clear 
that NCLB brought us too much testing. Teachers and students in some 
schools spent so much time on testing and test prep that they didn't 
have enough time for teaching and learning.
  Today's bill includes Senator Baldwin's SMART Act legislation, which 
I cosponsored, to cut redundant State and local tests, and it also 
includes Senator Bennet's amendment that sets a cap on the percent of 
time spent on testing.
  I also strongly support the early education parts of this program as 
negotiated by Senator Murray, herself a former preschool teacher. I 
urge my colleagues to expand on this work by also supporting the Strong 
Start for America's Children amendment led by Senators Casey, Murray, 
myself, and others.
  The Strong Start amendment would invest significant resources in 
high-quality preschool grant programs, which would serve some 16,000 
Hawaii children in my State alone. It would expand early Head Start 
childcare partnerships, such as Hawaii's Parents And Children Together 
and Kama'aina Kids, and would strengthen the Maternal, Infant, and 
Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, supporting programs like the 
Hawaii Home Visiting Network.
  Quality early education helps kids enter kindergarten ready to learn, 
a recipe for success in school and in life. Studies show that by age 3, 
there is a 30-million word gap, basically a 2-to-1 gap, between low-
income children and their wealthier peers with regard to their language 
skills. Quality early education can help close this gap early. Kids 
then are more likely to succeed in school, avoid crime or teen 
pregnancy, graduate from high school and college, earn more income, pay 
more taxes, and need fewer public services. Why?
  First, they have the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in a 
changing economy. Business and financial leaders in Hawaii--Hawaii's 
Business Roundtable executive director Gary Kai is a huge supporter of 
quality early education, and former Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke 
also agrees that early childhood education is a key investment in U.S. 
competitiveness.
  Second, military leaders have also stressed the importance of quality 
early education as a national security issue. The Department of Defense 
has estimated that 75 percent of Americans age 17 to 24 are ineligible 
for military service due to poor education, physical unfitness or 
criminal records. Hundreds of retired admirals and generals know that 
quality early learning can reverse this trend.
  Third, early education investments make financial sense for 
taxpayers. A study by the University of Hawaii and Good Beginnings 
Alliance estimated a return of more than $4 for every $1 invested in 
early education. National studies are even higher. Some show a return 
as high as $17 for every $1 invested in quality early education. That 
depends, of course, on the quality of the program and particularly if 
we target the highest need students.
  Finally, parents themselves are demanding quality, affordable 
preschool for their children. In April of this year, I visited Kauai 
Community College

[[Page S5115]]

whose Early Childhood Development Center reopened after a few years of 
renovations.
  This center trains early childhood educators while providing high-
quality early learning services to children of faculty, staff, and the 
community. Their lead teacher and coordinator, Gina Medrano, said, ``So 
far, no one has cried since we opened. They only cry when it is time to 
go home.'' That is evidence of how important early education is to our 
kids themselves.
  Currently, the KCC Center can only serve 20 children. There are wait-
lists for this program and for quality early learning programs in 
Kauai, all across Hawaii, and nationwide. We can and should do much 
better.
  The Strong Start for America's children amendment would help make 
early learning the national priority it deserves to be. The amendment 
would provide quality preschool to over 3 million children nationwide. 
I urge my colleagues to vote yes on this amendment when it comes to the 
floor.
  So many of us recognize that education is a continuum which starts 
early and continues throughout life; therefore, coordination of effort 
is important. So I am pleased that this bill before us includes 
provisions to foster coordination between existing early childhood 
programs and their local elementary school. In 2011, Senator Casey and 
I introduced the Continuum of Learning Act, and today's bill on the 
floor includes many pieces from that legislation.
  On balance, the Every Child Achieves Act before us means good 
progress for our keiki--our children--and I hope we can continue moving 
forward and pass the bill before us in a bipartisan way.
  Our country is at its best when all students have access to high-
quality education from birth to college and career. Improving our 
education system through evidence-based reforms will help every child 
achieve so that our next generation can compete and lead in the 21st-
century global economy.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Perdue). The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, on behalf of Senator Murray from 
Washington and myself, I ask unanimous consent that at 3:15 p.m. today, 
the Senate vote on the following amendments in the order listed: Markey 
amendment No. 2176, 60-vote threshold; Heitkamp amendment No. 2171, 60-
vote threshold; Kirk amendment No. 2161, 60-vote threshold; and Murphy 
amendment No. 2241, 60-vote threshold.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.


                      Amendment No. 2144 Withdrawn

  Mr. ALEXANDER. I further ask unanimous consent that the Wicker 
amendment No. 2144 be withdrawn.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, amendment No. 2144 is 
withdrawn.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                           Amendment No. 2176

  Mr. MARKEY. I ask unanimous consent to speak for up to 2 minutes on 
my amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. President, my amendment is very simple. It would 
create a competitive grant program to support the development and 
improvement of educational materials and teacher training on climate 
change science and solutions.
  The scientific evidence of climate change is longstanding and wide-
ranging. The National Academy of Sciences and numerous science 
professional organizations all recognize the reality of climate change 
and the influence of human activities upon it. The children of our 
country deserve the best scientific education they can get on this 
topic. They are the future leaders of our country and the world. They 
must be equipped for this generational challenge.
  This is without question one of the overarching issues of our 21st 
century. We must ensure that we provide the best science training 
available for this next generation--the green generation. They are 
going to have to confront this problem. They should have the best 
scientific evidence available.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Thank you, Mr. President.
  Mr. President, we will have a vote on the Markey amendment. I would 
urge a ``no'' vote for the following reasons: If you love Washington 
getting involved in Common Core, you will love this amendment, because 
it gets the Federal Government involved in creating a curriculum for 
climate change in your local high schools and other schools.
  Based upon what we know about the U.S. Department of Education, as 
soon as we authorize this, it will begin to write regulations defining 
what we mean by climate change, and we would have to change textbooks 
in 100,000 public schools every time we have a Presidential election. 
Just imagine what the curriculum on climate change would be if we 
shifted from President Obama to President Cruz and then back to 
President Sanders and then to President Trump. There would be a lot of 
wasted paper, writing and rewriting textbooks.
  The Every Child Achieves Act prohibits officials of the Federal 
Government from getting involved with the instructional material in 
classrooms. If we want to have better climate science, the appeal 
should not be to a national school board that gets Washington involved 
in climate change. It should be to the local school board or the State 
school board. I say that as a Republican who believes that climate 
change is a problem and that human activity is a major contributor to 
that problem. But I do not want the Federal Government involved in 
local high school and elementary school curricula for climate science 
or anything else.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts.
  Mr. MARKEY. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the 
Senator from Texas (Mr. Cruz) and the Senator from South Carolina (Mr. 
Graham).
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Florida (Mr. Nelson) is 
necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 44, nays 53, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 238 Leg.]

                                YEAS--44

     Ayotte
     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Boxer
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Donnelly
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Heinrich
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Kirk
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Peters
     Reed
     Reid
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Udall
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--53

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Coats
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heitkamp
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Lankford
     Lee
     Manchin
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Sullivan
     Tester
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Vitter
     Wicker

                             NOT VOTING--3

     Cruz
     Graham
     Nelson
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order requiring 60 votes 
for the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is rejected.


                           Amendment No. 2171

  Under the previous order, there will now be 2 minutes of debate 
equally divided prior to a vote in relation to Heitkamp amendment No. 
2171.

[[Page S5116]]

  The Senator from North Dakota.
  Ms. HEITKAMP. Mr. President, I rise to urge my colleagues to support 
my amendment. As you have been talking to your school districts and as 
you have been talking to the school personnel, if they don't mention 
the challenges they have dealing with children in their schools who 
need services beyond education services, who come unready to learn 
because of behavior and mental health problems, we have a program that 
has existed for a number of years. I understand it has been 
underutilized. But if there has ever been a time, as we talk about the 
behavior and mental health challenges that we have in our communities 
and in our schools, and if there has ever been a challenge for a grant 
program that develops best practices, it is today.
  I urge my colleagues to support this amendment and integrate these 
behavior and mental health programs into the schools and into the 
education system so that we can better address the concerns, so that we 
can, in fact, begin to challenge our society to deal with these issues 
at the school level. Schools should not be in this alone. We need to 
integrate the behavioral health and mental health systems into our 
schools.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, I urge a ``no'' vote. Of course, we 
should help and care about the mental health of children, but the 
Federal Government already funds at least 16 programs related to mental 
health.
  A new program isn't needed, and the Department of Education is not 
the best suited agency to administer it. It ought to be in the 
Department of Health and Human Services.
  It is unnecessary. The district may use funds already under the 
education bill and other health programs for this purpose.
  One of the problems we have as a Congress is we have a good idea and 
we appropriate and create a new program without realizing there are 
already 16 other programs there. We should stop that and focus our 
efforts on existing programs and giving States more flexibility to use 
that money.
  I urge a ``no'' vote.
  Ms. HEITKAMP. Mr. President, do I have any time remaining?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. All time has expired.
  The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  Mr. DURBIN. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the 
Senator from Texas (Mr. Cruz) and the Senator from South Carolina (Mr. 
Graham).
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Florida (Mr. Nelson) is 
necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Gardner). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 58, nays 39, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 239 Leg.]

                                YEAS--58

     Ayotte
     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Boxer
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Cassidy
     Collins
     Coons
     Daines
     Donnelly
     Durbin
     Ernst
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Heller
     Hirono
     Hoeven
     Kaine
     King
     Kirk
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Peters
     Portman
     Reed
     Reid
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Sullivan
     Tester
     Thune
     Udall
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--39

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Coats
     Cochran
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Enzi
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Lankford
     Lee
     McCain
     McConnell
     Paul
     Perdue
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Vitter
     Wicker

                             NOT VOTING--3

     Cruz
     Graham
     Nelson
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order requiring 60 votes 
for the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is rejected.


                           Amendment No. 2161

  Under the previous order, there will be 2 minutes of debate equally 
divided prior to a vote in relation to Kirk amendment No. 2161.
  The Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. REED. Mr. President, I urge all my colleagues to vote yes on the 
Kirk-Reed-Baldwin-Brown amendment.
  Essentially, in this legislation--and I commend the chairman and the 
ranking member for all the work they have done--they have established 
lofty goals, but without adequate resources, all of our students cannot 
succeed. This amendment encourages the States to develop and report on 
measures of access to critical education resources; identify 
disparities in districts' access to those resources; develop plans with 
school districts to address these disparities; and include the 
Opportunity Dashboard of Core Resources on the State report card.
  Again, it is a very simple concept. Lofty goals without adequate 
resources will not give opportunities to American students. We hope 
this will help provide equitable access to critical resources.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, I urge a ``no'' vote. This bipartisan 
bill on the floor is about reversing the trend toward a national school 
board. This amendment is about making the national school board bigger 
and more powerful. It would result in the Federal Government deciding 
for States which educational resources are critical. That would have 
the Federal Government deciding about licensing teachers, teachers' 
salaries, library books, wellness programs, school facilities, and it 
would produce new lawsuits.
  We need to go in the other direction. We need to keep the 
measurements of how children are doing but restore to States and local 
school boards the responsibility for making these decisions.
  I urge a ``no'' vote.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question occurs on agreeing to amendment 
No. 2161.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the 
Senator from Texas (Mr. Cruz) and the Senator from South Carolina (Mr. 
Graham).
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Connecticut (Mr. 
Blumenthal) and the Senator from Florida (Mr. Nelson) are necessarily 
absent.
  I further announce that, if present and voting, the Senator from 
Connecticut (Mr. Blumenthal) would have voted ``yea.''
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 46, nays 50, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 240 Leg.]

                                YEAS--46

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Booker
     Boxer
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Donnelly
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Hatch
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Heller
     Hirono
     Kaine
     Kirk
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murkowski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Peters
     Portman
     Reed
     Reid
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Udall
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--50

     Alexander
     Ayotte
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Coats
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Grassley
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     King
     Lankford
     Lee
     Manchin
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Paul
     Perdue
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Sullivan
     Tester
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Vitter
     Wicker

[[Page S5117]]



                             NOT VOTING--4

     Blumenthal
     Cruz
     Graham
       
     Nelson
       
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order requiring 60 votes 
for the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is rejected.


                           Amendment No. 2241

  Under the previous order, there is 2 minutes of debate equally 
divided prior to a vote on Murphy amendment No. 2241.
  The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, arguably the only good thing that the 
existing education law did was expose these unconscionable gaps in this 
country between the performance of minority kids and nonminority kids, 
between disabled kids and nondisabled kids.
  Frankly, this body is at its best when it says that, no matter your 
race, geography, disability or income, you deserve access to a quality 
education. If we can't guarantee that, then the question is this: What 
good is a Federal education law in the first place?
  So this amendment learns from the mistakes of No Child Left Behind, 
and it simply says two things. States have to identify when they have 
these unjustifiable yawning gaps between the performance of disabled 
kids or minority kids and the rest of the school, and then they have to 
come up with a plan through a community conversation as to how to fix 
that--period, stop. Identify your problem, your achievements.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, let me quickly say that this vote will 
be the last vote.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. MURPHY. All this amendment says is that just simply on a State by 
State basis, identify your achievement gap and then come up with a plan 
to fix it--no Federal intervention, no Federal prescription of how you 
fix the problem.
  It is a big, big problem in this country that has a very simple 
solution in this amendment, and it deserves our support.
  I yield back.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, yesterday the Senator from Montana, Mr. 
Tester, came on the floor and said he supported this bill because it 
got rid of adequate yearly progress. This is adequate yearly progress 
through the back door. Instead of fixing No Child Left Behind, it keeps 
the worst parts of it and restores those kinds of parts with new 
mandates.
  If you don't believe me, here is a letter dated yesterday from the 
National Educational Association on behalf of its 3 million members:

       After 13 years of witnessing firsthand the negative 
     consequences [of] No Child Left Behind's one-size-fits-all 
     approach to accountability . . . our members strongly oppose 
     more of the same. . . . we believe the Murphy amendment would 
     continue the narrow and punitive focus of NCLB.
       Our members are deeply concerned the amendment would mark 
     an entire school for intervention if a single subgroup misses 
     goals for two consecutive years--precisely the approach that 
     misidentified schools under the Adequate Yearly Progress 
     (AYP) provision of [No Child Left Behind].

  We are reversing the trend toward a national school board, not 
establishing more of a school board. Governors, teachers, school board 
members, and superintendents agree with that.
  I urge a ``no'' vote.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  Mrs. MURRAY. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the 
Senator from Texas (Mr. Cruz) and the Senator from South Carolina (Mr. 
Graham).
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Florida (Mr. Nelson) is 
necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Perdue). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 43, nays 54, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 241 Leg.]

                                YEAS--43

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Boxer
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Donnelly
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Peters
     Portman
     Reed
     Reid
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Stabenow
     Udall
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--54

     Alexander
     Ayotte
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Coats
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     King
     Kirk
     Lankford
     Lee
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Perdue
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Sessions
     Shaheen
     Shelby
     Sullivan
     Tester
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Vitter
     Wicker

                             NOT VOTING--3

     Cruz
     Graham
     Nelson
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order requiring 60 votes 
for the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is rejected.
  The Senator from Ohio.


                    Amendment No. 2247, as Modified

  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. President, I rise to speak regarding the Burr 
amendment, which has been offered to the underlying education bill. 
This is an amendment that I understand has been modified recently, but 
it still has some of the flaws it has had all along; that is, it tells 
States that if they invest in their kids, they are penalized, which I 
think is the wrong message. I hope this amendment can be defeated on 
that basis alone.
  It also happens to be bad for some States because, for instance, in 
my home State of Ohio, we would lose an estimated $70 million because 
we do invest in our children who are poor, who are vulnerable. 
Therefore, because of formula changes, we get less money in Ohio.
  I hope States that are affected one way or another, though, will look 
at this from a policy perspective and understand that certainly in this 
Federal K-12 education bill, we ought not to be telling the States, 
such as my home State of Ohio, that because they invest more in their 
kids, somehow they are penalized.
  I know the Burr amendment was changed to reach a different level 
before this formula change would occur. I think it is $17 billion; 
right now it is $14.4 billion. This means that this change will not 
occur for a few years, as I understand it, but the same problem 
remains.
  We hope this authorization will last through that period and we will 
not be back revisiting this on the floor of the Senate. Therefore, I 
urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle--and I know there is 
opposition on both sides of the aisle to this amendment--to stand tall 
and to say let's not tell the States that if they invest in kids who 
come from some of the lowest income school jurisdictions in our 
country, that somehow they are going to be penalized under a new 
formula.
  This amendment is a mistake because it fails to take into account 
that the cost of education in different parts of the country differs, 
and again it penalizes States that invest more in education.
  I urge my colleagues to vote no on the Burr amendment.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak for 3 
minutes as in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                      Remembering Dr. Elson Floyd

  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, every once in a while you meet an 
individual who thinks bigger than themselves, rises above challenges 
with grace, is driven by a passion to better the world

[[Page S5118]]

around them and, most importantly, is a truly wonderful human being. I 
have come across many advocates and community leaders in my career, but 
Dr. Elson Floyd was exceptional. He was a giant in Washington State's 
higher education community. He inspired countless students and teachers 
and many across the State as Washington State University's president. I 
can only imagine what else he would have accomplished had his life not 
been cut painfully short.
  For 8 years, I have had the privilege to work with Dr. Floyd in his 
role as the beloved president of my alma mater, Washington State 
University. He was one of our Nation's most successful advocates for 
affordable and accessible higher education. I always admired his 
dedication to his students, his passion for education, and his desire 
to make a great university even better.
  The last time I spoke with Dr. Floyd a few months ago, he spoke of 
the bright future of Washington State University and the innovative 
steps the institution was taking to provide high-quality education to 
its students.
  As we look back now on the life and legacy of Dr. Elson Floyd, we 
will remember how he led WSU through a trying economic recession by 
tirelessly advocating for investments in higher education as a path to 
the middle class and how he doubled the enrollment of students of 
color. We will remember how he skillfully convinced our State 
legislature to allow the university to begin building the State's 
second medical school at Washington State University-Spokane. And, most 
importantly, we will remember how, through a warm handshake to visiting 
alumni or a comforting hug to a student, he always had a way of making 
those around him feel welcome.
  I hope to honor Dr. Floyd's memory by striving every day to better 
our higher education system with the enthusiasm and the warmth he 
emanated as a tireless advocate for Washington State students.
  There is so much we can all learn from his work, and I know his 
legacy will continue to live on in Washington State and across the 
higher education community.
  Thank you, Mr. President.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Lee). The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that I be 
recognized for such time as I shall consume.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. INHOFE. I ask unanimous consent that following my remarks, the 
junior Senator from Oklahoma, Mr. Lankford, be recognized.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                               DRIVE Act

  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, right now probably the most significant 
thing we will be facing as soon as we get through with the education 
bill that Senator Lamar Alexander has done such a great job on is the 
transportation reauthorization bill. I found out the House just passed 
a few minutes ago a 5-month extension to the highway reauthorization 
bill.
  I would suggest to the people who may think there is some type of 
adversarial relationship between our bill in the Senate and the House 
bill that there isn't. We are working together and we both want to 
accomplish a long-term bill, and I anticipate that we will actually 
have passed in the next few days a long-term--maybe a 6-year--highway 
reauthorization bill, at which time we will go to conference with the 
House and it will be business as usual. I want to make sure, in case 
there is a fire looming out there, that we put it out early.
  Passing the long-term transportation bill has been my top priority 
since I returned as chairman of the Environment and Public Works 
Committee. Ironically, the ranking member of that committee, Senator 
Boxer of California, feels just as strongly that it is her top priority 
also. So I consider this to be the second most significant bill of the 
year, the first one being of course the Defense reauthorization, which 
we have already addressed here. But we felt strongly enough about this 
being a top priority that we had our first full committee hearing on 
the need to reauthorize what at that time was MAP-21. We had Anthony 
Foxx, the Secretary of Transportation, as well as a lot of government 
leaders so they could share the importance of an ongoing Federal and 
State partnership in building and maintaining a modern surface 
infrastructure system.
  Since that hearing, my committee has put forward a bold bipartisan 
solution called the DRIVE Act that will put our Nation on the path to 
having a world-class transportation system. I have often said there is 
no such thing as a Republican or a Democratic road or bridge. This is 
something that is bipartisan. By the way, I have to say when the DRIVE 
Act passed through my committee, it passed unanimously--every Democrat 
and every Republican voted for the bill.
  The Transcontinental Railroad, I am proud to say, the Republicans 
have historically been leading the way in transportation going all the 
way back to the Lincoln days. We passed the Transcontinental Railroad. 
The Panama Canal was done by Teddy Roosevelt.
  Of course, the Interstate Highway System was done by Eisenhower. 
Eisenhower said the transportation system is a dynamic element in the 
very name we bear, United States. Without it, we would be a mere 
alliance of many separate parts. What he also said--let's remember that 
Eisenhower was a President. He was a star. He was concerned, and he 
started the first highway bill by addressing the problems of defense. 
The fact is that if you don't have a highway system within the United 
States, you can't adequately supply the necessary means to fight and 
win wars. So that was the very first motivation for it. In laying out 
the full interstate system, Eisenhower envisioned it to be the physical 
backbone of the economy, fueling the growth of our GDP, our cities, and 
the competitiveness of our exports.
  Now, this vision and certainty maximized the economic and mobility 
benefits of the system. Businesses and individuals knew that if they 
could locate somewhere on a future interstate system, they would be 
connected not just with the Nation but with the world.
  I am afraid this legacy system, which was built with a 50-year design 
life, is now more than 50 years old. So we are out of warranty now, and 
we need to address that. That is the sense of urgency that we have. We 
are in serious danger of eroding a half century of investments without 
proper maintenance, modernization, and reconstruction. We are on 
borrowed time with a system that is in full need of restoration.
  Our national interstate system currently has a maintenance backlog of 
$185 billion. Now that national interstate system is actually 47,000 
miles in length, and just to bring back the system to the original 1956 
design, it would be that expensive.
  Maintaining Eisenhower's vision of economic opportunity and strength 
in defense requires a continued partnership between the Federal 
Government and the States, which is the hallmark of the DRIVE Act. Yet 
due to 33 short-term passages since 2005, the highway construction now 
consists of maintenance patchwork.
  This is what happened. We had a transportation reauthorization bill 
that was a 5-year bill. This was in 2005. I am very familiar with it. I 
was the author of the bill at that time. In 2005, we passed this long-
term bill. Since that time, we have been unable to pass a long-term 
reauthorization bill. So we have been operating on extensions--short-
term extensions.
  It is interesting that we are now looking at something that has both 
a liberal and a conservative perspective. The conservative position is 
a long-term bill because the only alternative is short-term extensions. 
Short-term extensions--I don't think anyone has ever challenged this--
costs about 30 percent more because you can't get big projects, which 
we are talking about in a minute. So we are now to the point where we 
are going to be able to do something with a long-term bill.
  Passing a long-term bill is crucial in many aspects of day-to-day 
life in America. More than 250 million vehicles and 18 billion tons 
valued at $17 trillion in goods traverse across the country every year. 
Yet every day 2,000 miles of our highways slow below the posted speed 
limits because of the stop-and-go conditions of overcongestion.
  The National Highway System--this is kind of interesting. Not many 
people

[[Page S5119]]

are aware of this. Our whole National Highway System is 5.5 percent of 
the total Nation's roads, but it carries 55 percent of all vehicles 
traveling and 97 percent of the truck-borne freight. So 5.5 percent of 
the Nation's roads account for the transportation of 97 percent of the 
freight crossing this country. This type of congestion has a huge 
negative impact on our businesses throughout America.
  Congress just passed a 2-month extension, and we now have a 
responsibility to pass a long-term solution. As I mentioned, they did 
pass something over in the House that we are in agreement that will get 
them to conference with us, and I think most of them are going to be--
from the ones I talked to over there--very excited about the fact that 
we are going to have funding for a 6-year bill.
  The highway trust fund needs $15 billion a year to maintain current 
spending. What we are saying there is, if you take proceeds of the gas 
tax that is out there in order to do what we are currently doing, it 
takes an additional $15 billion each year just to do that, but we need 
to do more than just maintain the system. We need to improve it for the 
future of America's growing economy. Fortunately, my committee just 
passed this bill unanimously with what we call the DRIVE Act.
  The DRIVE Act will put America back on the map as the best place to 
do business. The DRIVE Act has several key components to position 
America's transportation system to support our growing economy.
  First of all, it prioritizes funding for core transportation formula 
programs to provide States and local governments with strong Federal 
partners. In other words, the States have needs. They articulate those 
needs to the Federal Government. The Federal Government goes in and 
makes sure that is going to be a reality. Let's keep in mind, there are 
some States--suggesting Wyoming as an example--it would take three 
times as much money actually to take care of the roads in Wyoming than 
could be produced by the sparse population of that State. So that is 
one of the major initial reasons for the program.
  Secondly, it prioritizes the interstate system, the National Highway 
System, and the bridges at risk system. Well, as I said, the interstate 
system is 47,000 miles, but the National Highway System is 220,000 
miles, which does encompass the 47,000 miles of the interstate system.
  Thirdly, it creates a new multibillion-dollar-per-year freight 
program to help the States deliver projects that promote the safe, 
efficient, and reliable transportation of consumer goods and products 
across the United States.
  The fourth thing is--and this is something a lot of people are not 
aware of--a lot of people think that we in Washington have this 
infinite wisdom that we know what is best for the States. We don't 
believe that. We believe the States should set their own priorities. In 
my State of Oklahoma, I don't even get involved in what projects are 
going to be there. We have a State system, where the State does 
evaluate, and certainly they know more about our needs in Oklahoma than 
the Federal Government does. Don't you agree? That is right. Well, that 
is where we are on that. We let the States determine what projects we 
are going to be doing.
  The fifth thing is to provide greater efficiency in the project 
delivery process through reforms that put DOT in the driver's seat 
during the NEPA process by requiring other agents to bring in their 
issues. Here is what happens. We have a lot of good rules in the NEPA 
Program, in the environmental programs, but there are some things where 
we feel that should not slow down the construction of roads, highways, 
and bridges, both new bridges and repairs. To do that, we have to write 
that into the law, so that streamlines the system. If you have nothing 
but short-term extensions, that doesn't happen. They don't get 
streamlined.
  Let me compliment my partner in this, the ranking member Senator 
Boxer from California. It is interesting. I am among one of the most 
conservative Members of the U.S. Senate. She is a very proud liberal. 
Yet we both agree on what our priorities should be, and that makes this 
process more important. She has been willing to do things she didn't 
really want to do because it does short-circuit some of the NEPA 
requirements, and as a general rule she would not want to do that. But 
this has been a give-and-take, and that is why we have a bill that 
passed our committee unanimously.
  The sixth or seventh thing is eliminating duplicative reviews and 
expanding categorical exclusions. To give an example of that, we have 
bridge projects that are given special considerations with new 
exemptions from section 4(f), the historic property reviews. Now, to be 
a historic property, it has to be over 50 years old. For them to 
continue to be able to do it, it takes these exemptions from what other 
historic things have to go through because we are in the business of 
building bridges.
  Secondly, we have the Migratory Bird Treaty Act on the books, and it 
allows us to go ahead and start working on projects even though 
swallows nests--I know it sounds kind of insignificant, but it is not, 
because swallows go in there, and while they are not protected or 
listed as an endangered species, they still are protected by the 
Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and they have caused us to stop construction 
on many of the bridges around the country.
  This is kind of a brief overview of the bill. As the DRIVE Act 
progresses on the floor, I intend to address the significance of each 
program in a lot more detail. Most importantly, the DRIVE Act sets up 
funding levels for the next 6 years. This is at the very best what the 
Federal Government should provide so States and local officials in the 
construction industry can gear up for large projects--the $500 million 
to $2 billion projects. These are things you can't do with extensions, 
but you can do with a bill such as the bill we have successfully 
passed.
  We have thousands of projects around the Nation that are currently in 
jeopardy, and construction will come to a halt unless this legislation 
becomes a reality.
  As shown in this picture I have in the Chamber, this is the Brent 
Spence Bridge. This goes from Kentucky to Ohio. Right now it is in dire 
need. One can see actually the problems with this antiquated bridge. 
There are chunks of it dropping off into the river below and it has 
become very dangerous.
  We saw not long ago in another adjoining State what can happen if a 
bridge goes down. Here in DC we had the Memorial Bridge. It is 
literally crumbling. You can go right down and you can see the pieces 
of the bridge dropping into the Potomac River. It was built in 1932. It 
has only received patchwork ever since that time. It is estimated that 
nearly $250 million will be required to keep the bridge operational. 
That is not a new bridge. That is to make that into an operational 
bridge.
  You recognize this. You drive by it, many of you, every day. But you 
don't see--you have to get down there and you can see concrete dropping 
into the Potomac. We have many more like this. What else do we have 
here? The Mobile River Bridge. This is in Alabama. This is what it will 
look like later. That is not a current picture. This is what it is 
right now.
  These are the types of projects that we can do now which we could not 
do with just extensions, as we have been doing since 2009. I believe 
more than just a small part of the economic success enjoyed by the 
United States over the past 50 years has been the interstate system 
started by President Eisenhower. But today we literally sit in a 
situation where we would have to do something to carry this forward.
  That is why Senator Boxer and I are bringing the DRIVE Act to the 
Senate floor. It will ensure that States have the tools and certainty 
to make the necessary new investments to rebuild Eisenhower's vision, 
fight growing congestion and maintain the mobility of goods and 
services across our country. So we are going to have this up. I think 
this will be on the floor, probably the next thing after we finish with 
the education bill.
  Again, no one can argue that this is the second most significant bill 
that we address each year. We have not addressed this one in the right 
way since 2005. So it is very significant. We are looking forward it 
to. Anyway, we are going to be coming forth with this, I'm going to be 
coming to the floor and

[[Page S5120]]

talking about it in a lot more detail. We have got to get the roads and 
the bridges taken care of. We intend to do it. The product to do that 
is the DRIVE Act.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. LANKFORD. Mr. President, in the 1960s the Johnson administration 
led Congress to start allotting a small amount of money--of Federal 
funding from the Federal taxpayers to target schools and reach out to 
the poorest of the poor in America and try to help beat back poverty. 
Five decades later, we have an education policy in America that reaches 
out to every single school district in America--millions of kids--that 
continues to fail them, to fail their parents, and that still has not 
solved the poverty issue.
  What we have is an ever-increasing Federal bureaucracy that has 
reached well beyond what it was designed for in the 1960s and, I would 
assure you, reaches well beyond what it was originally designed for--
something that would help the poorest of the poor or take care of kids 
on military bases and those on Indian tribal lands.
  No Child Left Behind passed in 2001, authorizing education policy 
that was even more expansive. The goal was good--make sure that every 
child in America has the opportunity for success, that every teacher 
has teaching qualifications, and that every school has accountability. 
It was approved through 2008, and it still continues today.
  Math, reading, and science are now measured in adequate yearly 
progress for each school, and it has become the slow-rolling disaster. 
The problem was the source and the goal. Parents, local districts, and 
States should set education policy--I would think that is something we 
should agree on--not a massive, centralized, controlled bureaucracy--
the bureaucracy that is here, made up of a lot of nice folks who do 
care about kids; it is just that most of the folks who are here in this 
bureaucracy dealing with education have never been to Oklahoma, and the 
folks in Oklahoma don't know their names and don't know why they are 
managing their district.
  The goal should be progress for each student, not each school, but 
the annual yearly progress demanded by No Child Left Behind really 
managed the progress of the school, not the child. I can assure you 
that the parents at home are not trying to figure out if the school is 
better; they are trying to figure out if their child is better in a 
particular subject.
  Annual yearly progress and the Federal mandates have put my State in 
the untenable position of playing ``Mother, may I'' with the Federal 
Government and asking for a waiver every single year and having the 
national education board determine what our schools in Oklahoma can and 
cannot do. That has to change.
  We want our students in Oklahoma to be college- and career-ready. We 
want accountability to the parents and the community. We want less 
burden on the educators who give their lives and their time to the task 
of helping parents and their children. We want that. As surprising as 
it may be to some in Washington, DC, we actually do care about our 
kids. We want the best for them. So we ask a simple thing. Allow 
Oklahomans to manage education for Oklahomans and just take this 
assumption: We do love our kids. We are going to work hard to make sure 
they are taken well care of.
  My mom was an educator for decades. She started teaching elementary 
school and then went into a library and was an elementary school 
librarian and then a high school librarian and then moved into the 
black hole of education that is the administration building downtown, 
where she worked in a burnt-out position in school administration for a 
district for years. She is passionate about kids. She passed that on to 
me.
  I started out my first year in college as a business major. I 
thoroughly enjoyed it for probably a week and then shifted the next 
year to secondary education--the thing that I fought against because my 
mom was in education, so surely I should not do the same thing, but I 
loved being with students. I spent 22 years of my life serving students 
after college. It is a passion in my family. There are multiple 
educators in my family, both at the college level and in the schools. 
We believe in education.
  I will never forget the student teaching time that I had in college, 
interacting with those kids for the first time, stepping out of a 
college setting of being the student to now suddenly being the student 
teacher and having a classroom and understanding for the first time 
that it is my responsibility to help those parents educate their 
children; that I am not now the parent for this child--this child has a 
parent, and that parent has the responsibility to be able to raise 
their child well, but I have a responsibility to come alongside that 
parent and help. Allow us to have that.
  This is what I want. I want greater flexibility for States. I want 
greater authority and responsibility to be placed on parents in 
education. The people in Oklahoma want the freedom to be able to make 
decisions about their own children, their own families. That is why I 
voted for the A PLUS Act. I tried to add that as an amendment to this 
bill. Steve Daines from Montana and I and multiple others supported the 
ability for States to have even more control if they choose to, to have 
both the responsibility and the authority for all areas of all parts of 
education. We did not win that amendment, but it was a blanket ``We 
want everything to go back to the States if they choose to have it.'' 
We will continue to have that fight in the days ahead.
  Lamar Alexander brought out an amendment that would have been great 
to have. It allowed parents to choose their school regardless of 
whether it is public or private.
  Education union leaders had kittens about that, saying: The public 
schools are getting better, and so we don't want to take funds away 
from those public schools; we want to keep all of the funds in the 
public schools.
  The parents are saying: I understand that school is going to get 
better someday, but my child is there right now.
  Certain leaders in schools will say: We cannot have Federal funds 
moved to follow the child.
  I would say: Would you allow the parent to help that child have the 
one shot they are going to get to get an education and allow them to 
choose where they want to go?
  That is why I am also a supporter of things such as the DC 
opportunity scholarships that will allow children in Washington, DC, to 
be able to choose the school they attend. The President has fought 
adamantly against that. So have the education unions. Quite frankly, 
the parents here in DC want to have the option to send their child 
anywhere they choose to send them.
  I would like to see more reductions in duplication of education 
programs. There is real reduction in that in this particular bill, but 
I would like to see even more. We have education programs in the 
Departments of Defense and Ag and Health and Human Services and 
multiple other places scattered around the bureaucracy. We need to be 
able to shrink all of those different programs and to be able to make 
sure that we are not feeding the bureaucracy but that we are actually 
helping kids.

  I would actually like to see more in this bill dealing with options 
for those who are homeless. This bill helps us get a better count and 
better insight on the educational quality and the graduation rate for 
homeless and foster children. But I would like to have greater 
flexibility built into this bill, which I did not get. I would like the 
parents and the people in the local district to be able to have better 
decisionmaking capability.
  What did I get? There are some things we won in this bill. There are 
no common core mandates. I can assure you, in my State of Oklahoma, 
most every person in my State stands and cheers when they find out one 
thing: that there are no common core mandates in this. There are no 
Federal tests at all. States--my State in particular--will have 
absolute control over standardized testing and the results of those 
tests and how they apply the information gained from those tests. The 
leaders in my State will manage that, control that, and make sure that 
is accurate for us.
  There are no Federal education standards. There is no Federal 
curriculum. There are reductions in some of the education programs. I 
am glad to

[[Page S5121]]

see that, although, as I have already mentioned, I would like to see 
more of that.
  It breaks down some of the funding silos. Do you realize right now 
that if there is money available in one silo dealing with kitchens, for 
instance, and nutrition for school, they may allot Federal dollars and 
say, ``You can have those Federal dollars if you want to buy a new 
oven.'' But if a district says, ``We don't need more money for ovens; 
we need money for special education,'' the Federal Government currently 
says, ``No, you can't do that. You have to buy a new oven.'' That is 
dumb. Why don't we allow the districts to make that decision? This bill 
begins to break down some of those funding silos, and it gives them the 
opportunity to be able to make decisions on that.
  What I would like to see and what I did get was more local control of 
education, dramatically increased local control, in fact, local 
authority and additional local responsibility. That is the way it 
should be. Inhofe and I even had a bill on local school board 
flexibility. We got good downpayment on that bill. There is more to go 
on that. We need to get a chance to see additional things, but those 
are things we were able to win.
  Can I tell you the one big thing we really won? It is that my State, 
after this bill passes--if we can get this bill done, my State will no 
longer have to crawl back to Washington, DC, every year and beg for a 
waiver in education to maintain the education funding--which, by the 
way, came out of our State. Literally, the Federal taxpayers pay in 
with their tax dollars, and the State of Oklahoma has to come crawling 
to Washington, DC, saying: Can I please have those dollars back to our 
State? Right now, we have to do that every year.
  My State actually lost Federal control because we chose not to do 
common core. The Department of Education said: If you don't do this, 
then you are going to lose your funding. For months we lost control of 
that funding, but that was our choice because we were setting our own 
standards. We have now won that waiver back. In fact, just a few weeks 
ago, that waiver was renewed again.
  I am already sick to death of our State having to come beg for the 
Federal dollars that we put into the system and to get permission from 
someone in DC. This bill finally fixes that. Does it go as far as I 
want to go? No. I have been pretty clear about that. But it is the 
first step taking in our long journey towards taking us back in the 
direction where we need to be--our schools, our parents making 
decisions for our kids.
  Again, I remind you, Oklahoma parents do love their kids, and 
Oklahoma legislators are doing a great job of trying to turn some 
things around in a very hard situation. Let's give them the ability to 
be able to do that. I encourage this body to pass this education bill, 
and let's get going again towards educating our students and doing the 
right thing.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak for 
up to 20 minutes as in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                             Climate Change

  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, as folks around here know by now, I 
come to the floor once a week to say as clearly as I can that it is 
time to wake up to the mounting hazard of climate change. Today is the 
106th consecutive time.
  Why do I do it? Why do I care so much? Because I know the harm we are 
causing through carbon pollution spells trouble for my home State of 
Rhode Island. I see it already. We are the Ocean State.
  Here is a recent headline from the Washington Post: ``Human impact on 
the oceans is growing--and climate change is the biggest culprit.''
  But I don't have to read the Washington Post to know that. With the 
changes from carbon pollution, our Rhode Island fishermen see strange 
catches coming up in their nets. Our homeowners and business owners 
along the coast see rising sea levels, worsening erosion, and extreme 
weather. It is no longer rare for extreme weather to claw people's 
homes into the sea. Sandy took several.
  Rhode Islanders get all of this. But unless and until the men and 
women in this Chamber decide to heed the warnings of all of our best 
scientists--not to mention America's insurance companies, faith 
leaders, our military leaders, virtually every big American company not 
associated with the fossil fuel industry, and, of course, the American 
public--Rhode Island and all States will continue to risk even worse 
effects.
  For the fossil fuel industry, we are the best Congress money can buy. 
For everyone else, we are a disaster.
  Last year I went to New Hampshire to talk with people about the 
changes they see there. I met climate scientist Dr. Cameron Wake of the 
University of New Hampshire. He showed me a detailed analysis on 
climate change in New Hampshire--what scientists have already measured 
and what projections indicate the future may hold. We had a good talk 
and after my visit he ran for me a similar analysis of climate change 
in Rhode Island.
  This is what he found. This chart shows measurements of the average 
annual maximum temperature for three weather-monitoring stations in 
Rhode Island. Block Island is in blue, Kingston is in red, and 
Providence is in orange. It measures the highest daily temperature for 
each day, averaged over the whole year from 1895 to 2012. Let me remind 
everyone that these are measurements. This is not theory. These are 
measurements. This is climate change on the march in Rhode Island. What 
does it show? Warming. The trend is indisputable.
  Dr. Wake's analysis shows that the average annual maximum temperature 
has increased at a rate of 3.6 Fahrenheit per century in Block Island, 
2.8 degrees per century in Kingston, and 3.1 degrees per century in 
Providence.
  Dr. Wake then looked to the future of Rhode Island. This chart shows 
the same thing we were looking at on the last chart--the average annual 
maximum temperature. But while that one just looks backward, this one 
looks forward. It shows two scenarios: business as usual in red or 
reduced carbon emissions in blue. It shows us, in effect, the 
difference that cutting back on carbon pollution could make for future 
generations of Rhode Islanders.
  If we do nothing to curb our carbon pollution here, the annual 
average goes up toward 68 degrees, some years close to 70 degrees 
Fahrenheit by year's end.
  Remember the last chart, which ended around here in 2010? The 
historical record there ended at around 60 degrees. Carry on this flood 
of carbon pollution and here is where you end, around 8 degrees warmer 
on average.
  Between 1980 and 2010, the average annual maximum temperature of 
Washington, DC, was 68 degrees. That is the 8-degree difference. The 
difference that this flood of carbon pollution portends is Providence 
feeling like steamy, sweltering, Washington, DC. But if we take action 
to dial back our pollution, the warming is about half as much and less 
severe.
  This is not the only measure of what carbon pollution will bring to 
Rhode Island. Winter temperatures going up mean fewer snow-covered 
days. Extreme precipitation will likely increase, and as the average 
annual maximum temperature increases, there will also be more very hot 
days in the summer.
  This chart shows the increase in the number of days with a maximum 
temperature above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Hot days such as that are 
common here in sweltering Washington, but historically Rhode Island 
might see maybe three 90-degree days a year. People come from all over 
to our cool, beautiful shores to swim in our cool, beautiful Atlantic.
  This chart shows that even in the best case, Rhode Island can expect 
to see 18 such sweltering 90-degree days per year and, in the worst 
case, that number could rise to over 50 90-degree days every year, with 
the mercury soaring over 95 degrees Fahrenheit for 16 of those days.
  Well, if you want to sit inside watching TV, cranking up your air 
conditioner, that may be fine, but Rhode Islanders like to go outside. 
We enjoy the beach, and we enjoy the bay. We are not looking forward to 
what these temperature consequences mean for our health.

[[Page S5122]]

  Earlier this year, the Rhode Island Department of Health produced an 
in-depth report on heat and health in Rhode Island, concluding this: 
``The destabilizing effects of climate change on our environment are 
among the most significant potential health threats faced by 
individuals and Rhode Island communities today.''
  That is the official word of the Rhode Island Health Department. So 
don't expect me to ignore this issue here because it is uncomfortable 
for someone. Rising temperatures and extreme heat cause serious human 
health effects, such as dehydration, heat exhaustion. Hospitalizations 
result and even death. The department of health projected that the 
calculated temperature increases in Rhode Island will result in almost 
400 additional emergency room visits in the year 2022 alone and nearly 
1,400 more in 2084.
  Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health just published a 
study showing that death rates among seniors in New England increased 
when summer temperatures rose significantly. The risk, they believe, 
comes not only from the hotter temperatures but also from variability 
in temperatures as climate change makes the weather weirder and more 
unpredictable.
  There is a documentary series, ``Years of Living Dangerously,'' which 
looked at how this works, as has the Rhode Island Department of Health, 
working with Brown University. Both found that a pronounced increase in 
emergency room visits and deaths as temperatures rise was statistically 
related to heat.
  In many cases, it was not specifically indicated in the chart as 
related to heat. This suggests that heat-related deaths and illness may 
be underdiagnosed if you just look at medical charts. So this is a 
significant health issue that we face.
  Then there are the storms. Climate change will increase the frequency 
and intensity of extreme weather events in Rhode Island, such as 
Hurricane Sandy, to the tune of $2 billion to $6 billion in Rhode 
Island, according to one report. In a State of 1 million people, that 
is a lot of damage. The heavy rains that brought on our floods in 2010 
will become more frequent as well.
  This is what our health director wrote: ``In Rhode Island, where our 
economy, culture, and identity are all so closely tied to the ocean and 
to Narragansett Bay, the effects of climate change will be particularly 
acute.'' Again, that is the official word of our health department.
  Climate change threatens our water systems as temperatures increase 
and as we see more intense rain events. Stormwater and sewer overflows 
can contaminate Rhode Island coastal waters. Warmer waters can foster 
bacterial growth that can be harmful. Swimming in or consuming polluted 
water obviously can cause illness.
  Then there is vibrio. The world-renowned shellfish of Narragansett 
Bay are becoming susceptible to a group of marine bacteria known as 
vibrio. If vibrio gets into seafood, it can be very unpleasant. 
Symptoms can be especially severe in people with compromised immune 
systems. Rhode Island health officials now have to work with the 
State's shellfish industry, with the University of Rhode Island, and 
others to monitor water quality and shellfish growing and harvesting 
conditions to protect this important resource.
  These are just a few of the health threats laid out in the report. 
The department of health is just one of many agencies and organizations 
in our State that have had to put climate action and clean energy at 
the heart of their work as we in Congress pretend this problem does not 
exist.
  Dozens of the most dedicated and innovative minds in our State 
recently came to Washington for my sixth annual Rhode Island Energy and 
Environmental Leaders Day. Our attendees represent some of the best 
work being done in Rhode Island to stave off the devastating effects of 
climate change.
  Janet Coit, our director of environmental management chairs the 
Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council, created by our Governor 
to coordinate State agencies to address threats from climate change, 
threats to the State's environment, the State's economy, and the 
State's people.
  The council was established by the Resilient Rhode Island Act, passed 
by our general assembly in 2014. That law also set specific greenhouse 
gas reduction targets and incorporates consideration of climate change 
effects into the powers and duties of all State agencies. The bill's 
author, Representative Art Handy, also came down and joined us for the 
Rhode Island Energy and Environmental Leaders Day, along with his 
colleague Representative Carlos Tobon, a member of the Rhode Island 
House Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources.
  Dennis Nixon was there. He heads Rhode Island Sea Grant at the 
University of Rhode Island School of Oceanography. Sea Grant works with 
the Rhode Island government agencies and coastal communities to support 
climate resiliency and to protect vibrant waterfronts.
  Marion Gold, our commissioner of the office of energy resources, was 
there. She has advanced incentives for large and small renewable energy 
development in our State, and she has helped Rhode Island become the 
third most energy-efficient State in the Nation.
  Recently, we saw this report: ``Study shows Northeast states benefit 
from carbon cap program.'' We are a part of RGGI. Marion Gold helps 
supervise that. It has created jobs, it has saved money. It is proving 
that solving the carbon pollution problem is not actually a burden on 
the economy. It is a boost to the economy.
  One of the special breakout sessions at the Energy and Environmental 
Leaders Day focused on corporate sustainability efforts to spur 
innovation, save money, and reduce emissions.
  Representatives from Microsoft, Mars--the company--FedEx, and 
Schneider Electric shared their sustainability success stories. For 
these companies, efforts to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon 
emissions are more than good intentions; they are good business.
  Another breakout session looked at faith perspectives on 
environmental stewardship. Rev. Anita Schell of Rhode Island Interfaith 
Power & Light came. She works with local faith-based institutions to 
raise awareness about climate change and about safeguarding the poor of 
the world, who are least responsible for and most vulnerable to climate 
change. As Pope Francis gives his voice to this moral calling, these 
faith perspectives were especially welcome.
  Dozens of other smart, hard-working Rhode Islanders attended--too 
many to mention them all. But I am always proud of the important work 
going on in Rhode Island to combat climate change. It is my inspiration 
to continue fighting for responsible action in Washington.
  As our senior Senator Jack Reed told the group, ``Rhode Island is one 
of the leaders in the country in smart policies . . . and it's is the 
result of the culmination of lots of individual activities.''
  Rhode Island gets it, and we are pulling together in one direction. 
Our homes, our shores, and our way of life are at stake. We need every 
State in the Nation to join us to take this issue seriously, and we 
need every Senator to pay attention. It is truly time to wake up.
  I ask my colleagues here today, if this were you, if something this 
threatening were happening to your State, would you really expect me to 
stand down because it was uncomfortable for big powerful industries and 
big aggressive donors? You would not. You would go to war to protect 
Utah and to protect Iowa from a threat such as this.
  So forgive me if I am impatient, but this is serious in our Ocean 
State. If your department of health projected these kinds of threats 
for your home State people, you would be up in arms. So forgive me for 
being a little bit up in arms.
  I will close with this. Look at this picture. Do you know what that 
is? That is a picture of Pluto. That is a picture of the dwarf planet 
Pluto. Do you know how we got that? We got that off of NASA's New 
Horizons spacecraft. It made it to Pluto after crossing the solar 
system for 9\1/2\ years. It traveled 3 billion miles from Earth and 
came within 8,000 miles of the surface of Pluto. It was traveling at 
more than 31,000 miles per hour, and it took 3 minutes to cross the 
face of Pluto, where it took innumerable images and samples for our 
scientists.
  Let me quote one of the lead scientists, whose name is Bowman, who

[[Page S5123]]

managed 1 hour of sleep in her office Monday night. She said:

       I have to pinch myself. Look what we accomplished. It's 
     truly amazing humankind can go out and explore these worlds, 
     and see Pluto revealed just before our eyes. It's just 
     fantastic.

  And it really is. These are American scientists who are able to run 
an American craft 3 billion miles to cross within 8,000 miles of Pluto 
traveling 31,000 miles an hour. When those scientists from NASA tell us 
that climate change is real, what do we have to say to them? We say 
that they are part of a hoax.
  Really? Is that going to be the position of Members in this body--
that the people driving a rover around on the surface of Mars and the 
people who flew this New Horizons craft by Pluto don't know what they 
are talking about when they say that climate change is real?
  We have people trying to unfund their satellites so that we don't 
have the information to prove what is happening on climate change. Is 
that responsible with respect to NASA?
  A day of reckoning is going to come on this, and we had better start 
getting this right.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Perdue). The Senator from Iowa.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, in 1965, Congress passed the original 
Elementary and Secondary Education Act as part of President Lyndon 
Johnson's War on Poverty. The centerpiece of that law, then as now, is 
title I funding provided as a block grant to local school districts to 
serve children in poverty.

  The assumption in 1965 was that simply providing an infusion of 
Federal cash to schools with more disadvantaged children would correct 
educational inequities compared to more affluent schools. As it turned 
out, simply providing more money didn't result in improved educational 
outcomes for disadvantaged children.
  So every time this law came back up for reauthorization, Congress 
added more stipulations on the use of the funds and additional programs 
that well-meaning Members of Congress hoped would help students.
  Meanwhile, Congress kept raising the level of funding. Over time, 
there began to be a bipartisan realization that all this funding and 
all these programs were not resulting in improved student achievement, 
so something needed to change.
  In this context, President Bush proposed what became the No Child 
Left Behind Act. His original proposal promised to fundamentally change 
the old Washington-knows-best approach to improving teaching and 
learning.
  The theory was that we would cut the Federal strings that tied the 
hands of local administrators and teachers, allowing them to focus on 
teaching kids. In return, the law would require greater accountability 
in terms of student achievement outcomes.
  However, the final compromise that passed Congress included a very 
detailed one-size-fits-all assessment and accountability system, but 
not the degree of local freedom that many had hoped for.
  In retrospect, I think most people believe the focus on achievement 
for all students was positive. But like with many Federal laws, how it 
worked in practice didn't live up to the good intentions.
  The reality is that the new federally mandated accountability system 
included required interventions that were cooked up in Washington and 
designed for big city failing school districts. These were not a good 
fit for communities in Iowa and many other States. Moreover, they set a 
new precedent for Federal intervention into how local schools are run.
  Secretary Duncan took this a step further through the Race to the Top 
program and his abuse of the Federal waiver authority by adding 
conditions found nowhere in law. He used these tools to coerce States 
into adopting his preferred policies. These included new, even more 
heavy-handed mandates regarding reorganizing local schools, specific 
methods for schools to evaluate their teachers, and most infamously, 
pushing States to adopt the common core standards.
  I believe these actions go well beyond any authority Congress gave 
the Secretary of Education, and I told him so in a letter when he 
denied Iowa's waiver. This should be a warning to Congress that if you 
give an inch, Federal officials might just take a mile.
  The high-stakes system in No Child Left Behind also created negative 
incentives for schools to focus on getting passing test scores rather 
than meeting the individual learning needs of each student.
  For instance, I have had a concern for a long time in how Federal 
education policy affects gifted and talented students. The exclusive 
focus on bringing struggling students up to some minimum level means 
that we are setting our sights on mediocrity.
  Left out of this equation are gifted students, including those from 
disadvantaged backgrounds, who have enormous potential but need to be 
challenged to reach that potential.
  At the end of the day, the goal of making sure all students are 
receiving a quality education is a good one, but the record of 
Washington's intervention in this issue has not been a success. It is 
time for Congress to take a step back and have a little humility. We 
don't know what's best for every child in every school. We can't design 
a single national education system that can meet the individual needs 
of children we will never meet.
  Our Founding Fathers designed a federal system of government for a 
reason. The principle of federalism is that decisions should be made at 
the level of government as close as practicable to the people those 
decisions impact.
  When it comes to education, no one has a greater stake in educational 
decisions, or knows better what is right for a specific child, then 
that child's parents. As a result, parents should have maximum control 
over their child's education. When governments make decisions that 
impact education, it should be at a level of government as close as 
possible to the parents and children who are affected.
  The Every Child Achieves Act is a step in that direction. It 
eliminates the very specific mandates on States requiring that they 
evaluate schools based on test scores and apply federally designed 
interventions. States will be free to design their own assessment and 
accountability systems.
  The bill retains the requirement that States test annually in grades 
3-8, which I understand was necessary to get a bipartisan agreement. 
However, States will have wide discretion in how they design their 
assessments. And, the elimination of the federally mandated school 
interventions that raise the stakes on the test results will reduce 
teaching to the test.
  This bill also consolidates Federal funding in a way that provides 
more latitude to local school districts to better meet their individual 
needs, although less so than in the House- passed bill. By contrast, 
the Obama administration's blueprint for reauthorizing the Elementary 
and Secondary Education Act called for replacing the current set of 
Federal mandates with a new set of Federal mandates. What the President 
proposes would include even more intrusive, mandatory Federal 
interventions for certain schools.
  It also proposed a series of new Federal competitive grants with 
broad purposes, which puts smaller rural schools at a disadvantage and 
gives the Secretary of Education an inappropriate degree of control 
over which schools get funding for which purposes. Moreover, the 
President's blueprint proposes tying Federal education funds to the 
adoption of State content standards that are ``college and career 
ready,'' which is code for common core.
  In short, the Obama blueprint would have essentially ratified this 
administration's heavy-handed intrusions into how and what students are 
taught and enabled further Federal overreach.
  The Every Child Achieves Act represents a rejection of that approach 
and an admission that the model of Federal control of local schools has 
not worked. As a result, President Obama has said he cannot support the 
bill as it stands unless it adds back more power for the Secretary. 
That position flies in the face of what I hear from Iowa educators and 
parents.
  In fact, this bill quite intentionally tightens up some of the 
language in current law to prevent future overreach by the Secretary of 
Education. For instance, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act has 
always required States to develop a State plan to show how it will 
comply with the law in order to get Federal funding.

[[Page S5124]]

  Under current law, the Secretary of Education is charged with 
approving the plan unless it does not meet the requirements of the law. 
That should be sufficient to tell the Secretary that he must approve a 
plan so long as it complies with the law.
  However, given the current Secretary's track record, the language in 
this bill is more explicit. It requires the Secretary to deem a State 
plan approved within 90 days of its submission unless he can provide a 
detailed description of the specific requirements in law that the State 
did not comply with. It then lists three pages of explicit limitations 
on the Secretary's authority describing what he cannot consider in 
evaluating a State plan. That is then followed by a rule reemphasizing 
that the Secretary cannot require anything at all from States beyond 
what is in the law.
  This bill also voids any conditions attached to waivers already 
granted by the Secretary of Education and prohibits the attaching of 
any new ones in the future.
  I am also glad that this bill includes very comprehensive language I 
worked on with Senator Roberts to explicitly shut off all the avenues 
this administration has used to coerce States to adopt the common core 
standards. This will free States to adopt whatever content standards 
they choose based on the input from their citizens without Federal 
coercion or fear of Federal repercussions.
  Too often, Congress passes vague laws that delegate excessive 
discretion to Federal agencies to fill in the blanks. This bill is an 
improvement over the standard practice. It makes congressional intent 
more clear and fills in many gaps to ensure that the Department 
implements the law as intended rather than based on the whims of the 
Secretary.
  Some bipartisan compromise is necessary for any bill to pass the 
Senate, and like any compromise, most people can find some things they 
don't like in this bill. Some Senators feel this bill goes too far in 
reducing the Federal role in education and some Senators feel it 
doesn't go far enough. I am one of those Senators who would prefer to 
see a maximum degree of State and local control and I voted for 
amendments to that effect.
  However, the Every Child Achieves Act is a step in the direction of 
reducing Federal control on local schools so teachers can teach and 
parents know who to hold accountable for decisions that affect their 
children. Given the current mess with an unworkable law on the books, 
many States ceding control over major policies to Washington in return 
for a waiver, and an unprecedented degree of Federal intervention into 
what happens in neighborhood schools, it is overdue for Congress to 
act. Local schools can do more when Washington does less. Let's give 
them that chance.
  I yield the floor.

                          ____________________