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Federal Legislation
February 23, 2015

H.R. 5—Student Success Act

Summary:
H.R. 5 reauthorizes and changes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Status:
Passed House (7.8/2015)

Sponsor:
Rep. John Kline

Bill Summary and Status H.R. 5

HSLDA’s Position:
Neutral

The bill exempts homeschools and private schools that do not receive federal funds from any federal control.

Background:
HSLDA is neutral on H.R. 5. We believe that the federal government has no constitutional role in education policy. Until the federal government recognizes this, including shutting down the U.S. Department of Education, federal education dictates will continue to lead to centralized education policy, ultimately weakening local and parental control over education. Unfortunately, H.R. 5 continues to have the federal government setting policy for public schools.

However, H.R. 5 contains several provisions relevant to homeschoolers, outlined below.

H.R. 5 retains Section 9506 of NCLB (20 U.S.C. § 7886) as Section 6506. This language ensures that nothing in the Student Success Act will apply to homeschools or private schools that do not receive federal funds, thus protecting these private educational programs from any federal regulation or control. This is of the utmost importance to homeschoolers across the nation. This provision has helped to protect homeschools from being forced to follow the Common Core, federal testing mandates, and other federal programs that have been pushed on public schools. In addition, this section prohibits state or local school districts from trying to force homeschools to be like public schools. HSLDA has successfully used this section in the past to defeat attempts by local school districts to regulate homeschooling under the mistaken belief that the federal government requires them to do so.

H.R. 5 also retains Section 9531 of NCLB (20 U.S.C. § 7911) as Section 6526. This language protects the privacy and safety of children by ensuring that nothing in the act will authorize the development of a nationwide database of personally identifiable information on individuals involved in studies or other collections of data established by the act.

H.R. 5 also retains Section 9530 of NCLB (20 U.S.C. § 7910) as Section 6524. This language prohibits the federal government from creating any program of national testing or certification for teachers.

Finally, H.R. 5 strengthens the existing prohibitions on federal funding and control over a state or school district’s curriculum, educational standards, and educational testing and assessments (sections 6521, 6522, and 6523). HSLDA is very concerned about the federal government’s use of federal funds to pressure the states into adopting the Common Core State Standards Initiative and other educational initiatives, and we believe that Sections 6521, 6522, and 6523 of the Student Success Act will put a stop to the federal government’s attempts to coerce and incentivize states into adopting the Common Core, Common Core–aligned assessments, and other educational initiatives.

 Other Resources

Background on H.R. 5 from Chairman Kline.

The Strong Homeschool Provision Added to HR5.

Politico: “House Republicans Put off No Child Left Behind Vote”