As Congress will consider the ESEA reauthorization and discuss what to do with the testing mandate here is something to consider – the U.S. Department of Education just threatened to pull $140 million from Oregon if a parental opt-out bill passes.
The Oregonian reports:
Oregon schools stand to lose $140 million a year or more in federal funding if state lawmakers vote to enable parents to opt out of standardized testing more easily, a top U.S. education official is warning.
Legislation headed for Oregon Senate approval as soon as Wednesday could trigger serious sanctions that include the loss of federal funding, Assistant U.S. Secretary of Education Deborah Delisle said in a May 27 email and letter to Oregon schools chief Rob Saxton.
The House overwhelmingly approved House Bill 2655 in April. Backers want schools to inform Oregon parents twice a year of their rights to exempt children from state reading and math tests for any reason. Supporters also want schools where a lot of students go untested to be protected from the normal consequence of having the school’s performance rating downgraded a notch or two.
This is clearly an abuse of federal power and when the U.S. Department of Education attempt to coerce a state to vote down a bill that strengthens parental rights then Congress needs to provide a stern rebuke by removing that power.