H.R. 5, Student Success Act

H.R. 5

Student Success Act

Rep. John Kline

February 25, 2015 (114th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact

Floor Situation

On Wednesday, February 25, 2015, the House will begin consideration of H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, under a rule. H.R. 5 was introduced February 3, 2015 by House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman, John Kline (R-MN).  H.R. 5 was marked up on February 11, 2015 by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and ordered to be reported, as amended, by a vote of 21-16.[1]  The bill was also referred to the House Committee on Financial Services, which discharged the bill on February 20, 2015.

[1] See House Report 114-24, at 194.

Bill Summary

H.R. 5 reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) for each of the fiscal years 2016-2021 at the FY 2015 funding levels. Title I funding is held at the FY 2012 level to ensure priorities are met.  The total amount of spending authorized for all ESEA programs is less than Title I funding authorized for FY 2007, the last authorization year for No Child Left Behind.

The bill eliminates more than 65 existing programs authorized in current law. It further directs the Secretary of Education to: (1) identify those full time employee positions associated with elimination or consolidation and (2) reduce the Department of Education workforce by a corresponding amount.  The bill collapses funding from most of those programs into one funding stream – the Local Academic Flexible Grant – to provide states and school districts with more flexibility with federal funds. The program also requires that 10 percent of the funds be reserved to support private sector initiatives to improve student achievement.  H.R. 5 removes the maintenance of effort requirement and allows states and communities to set their own funding levels.  The bill maintains separate funding for migrant education, neglected and delinquent students, English Language Acquisition programs, and rural education, but restructures these funding sources into Title I. Separate funding is also maintained for Indian Education, Alaska Native Education, and Native Hawaiian Education.

H.R. 5 repeals the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) requirement and the federally-prescribed school improvement and turnaround intervention programs. Under the legislation, states would create their own academic standards, assessments, and accountability mechanisms to measure school performance.  The bill repeals the Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) requirement and directs states and school districts to implement state and locally driven teacher evaluation systems. The bill consolidates most of the teacher quality programs authorized in current law into one Teacher and School Leader Flexible Grant program.  Furthermore, the bill removes the definition for “core academic subjects” in order to clarify that federal funds can be used to support all academic subjects.

H.R. 5 gives states the option of allowing Title I funds to follow low-income students to the traditional public or charter school of the parent’s choice, in order to ensure that low-income students receive their fair share of federal dollars.  The bill further reauthorizes the Charter School Program and supports expansion and replication of high quality charter schools to provide additional choices to parents.  H.R. 5 continues the Magnet School and Parent Information Resource Center programs.  The bill also strengthens the five existing programs within the Impact Aid Program, including making those provisions that were included in the FY 2013 NDAA permanent.  These programs are set to expire in early 2018.  The bill moves Impact Aid Programs from Title VIII to Title IV.

H.R. 5 maintains and protects state and local autonomy by: (1) prohibiting the Secretary from imposing conditions, including conditions involving Common Core and other state standards and assessments; (2) preventing the Secretary from creating additional burdens on states and school districts through the regulatory process; (3) prohibiting  the Secretary from demanding changes to state standards and coercing states to enter into partnership with other states; and (4) outlining specific procedures the Secretary must follow when issuing federal regulations and conducting the peer review process.

H.R. 5 also requires the Institute of Education Sciences to contract with an economist with expertise in workforce and government efficiency to produce an annual report on the reductions in the federal role resulting from the passage of H.R. 5.   Consequently, IES would be directed to recommend to the House and Senate Budget and Appropriations Committees commensurate reductions in federal spending.

Finally, the bill reauthorizes the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, the primary law that provides funding to states and school districts to educate homeless children and youth.  The bill strengthens the process for identifying homeless children and youth and provides better collaboration and information-sharing among federal and state agencies for services.

Similar legislation passed in the 113th Congress by a vote of 221-207. (See Roll Call #374)


The original Elementary and Secondary Education Act was enacted and signed into law in 1965.  Originally authorized through 1970, the ESEA had been routinely reauthorized from 1965 until the early 2000s.  The most recent authorization came in 2002, when Congress reauthorized ESEA through the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB).  ESEA provides federal funding to elementary and secondary schools, primarily to supplement state and local funding for disadvantaged students.  ESEA has not been reauthorized since NCLB expired in 2007.  Congressional inaction has allowed the Administration to impose its own view of education reform on the nation free from Congressional oversight. First, with Race to the Top, originally funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and then through waivers of ESEA law, the Administration has used grant funds and some regulatory flexibility to coerce states into adopting the Common Core and various other policies preferred by the Administration.

Titles in the Current ESEA:

The crux of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is Title I, which authorizes funding to public schools in order to educate low-income students.[2]  Title I is intended to provide schools with the resources they need to strengthen educational programs and improve academic achievement.[3]

NCLB required states that receive Title I funding to administer yearly state-wide assessments in reading and math, and assessments once every three years in science.  Schools were held accountable for making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) based mostly on the percentage of students testing as “proficient” on the annual reading and math assessments.  Title I schools who repeatedly failed to meet AYP standards were subject to a series of federally-prescribed school improvement interventions.   NCLB also required that all teachers teaching “core academic subjects” be “highly qualified”.[4]  This means that they must hold at least a bachelor’s degree, a teaching certification, and have demonstrated subject-area knowledge in the subject they teach.

Title II is primarily concerned with preparing, training, and recruiting quality teachers.  Funds are used to set up programs that fulfill this goal.[5]  Title III addresses the allocation of funds toward providing language instruction for those with limited proficiency as well as for immigrant students.  Title IV addresses funding for school safety, and how states can receive federal funding to implement programs that address safety.  It also provides opportunities for communities to establish or expand activities in community learning centers to improve opportunities for “academic enrichment”.[6]

Title V is established as the innovations component of ESEA.  Title V is intended to support local education reform efforts, provide funding to agencies that implement positive reform programs, to support programs promoting the start-up of public charter schools, and to develop programs to improve student, school and teacher performance.[7]  Title VI funds state development of academic assessments and includes the Rural Education Initiative, which provides funding to rural school districts to help meet the unique needs of rural communities.[8]  Title VII provides grants for Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native education.

Title VIII of ESEA addresses the Impact Aid Program.  Impact Aid is established to assist local school districts that have lost property tax revenue due to the presence of tax-exempt Federal property within their school boundaries.  In 2003, $1.19 billion was allocated to school districts whose tax base was affected this way.  Schools are able to use most impact aid funds in any manner they choose in accordance with their local or state requirements.[9]

[2] Note: ESEA establishes a low-income threshold for Title I schools at 35 percent. See: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/107-110.pdf (115 Stat. 1470)
[3] http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=158
[4] http://edworkforce.house.gov/uploadedfiles/short_bill_summary_-_student_success_act.pdf
[5] http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/index.html
[6] http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/pg55.html#sec4201.
[7] http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/pg57.html.
[8] http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/pg93.html.[9] http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oese/impactaid/whatisia.html.


CBO estimates that H.R. 5 would authorize the appropriation of $23.3 billion in 2014 and $116.5 billion over the 2016-2020 period. Implementing the bill would have discretionary costs of $87.7 billion over the 2016-2020 period, assuming appropriation of the estimated amounts.  Enacting the bill would have no effect on direct spending or revenues.


1)         Reps. Kennedy (D-MA), McGovern (D-MA), Moulton (D-MA), Capuano (D-MA), Neal (D-MA), Keating (D-MA), Lynch (D-MA), and Wilson (D-FL) Amendment #67Amendment authorizes the STEM Gateways grant program as an allowable use of flexible funding received by state educational agencies. States could award grants to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and qualified partner organizations to support the success of women, minorities, and low-income students in rigorous STEM academics.

2)         Rep. Grothman (R-WI) Amendment #128Amendment shortens authorization from 2021 to 2018.

3)         Rep. Meeks (D-NY) Amendment #73Amendment requires the annual, statewide assessments to measure student growth and require that student growth be a component of achievement within the accountability system established by a given state.           

4)         Rep. Lawrence (D-MI) Amendment #44Amendment requires that the Secretary of Education disapprove of any state plan that fails to, in consultation with state and local education agencies to demonstrate that there is a separate reporting of academic assessments for foster youth.

5)         Rep. Goodlatte (R-VA) Amendment #74Amendment provides flexibility to localities by providing states with the authority to allow local educational agencies to administer their own, locally designed academic assessment system, in place of the state-designed academic system. The same requirements as laid out by this Act for state-designed academic assessments would also apply to any locally designed academic assessment. 

6)         Rep. Castro (D-TX) Amendment #43Amendment appoints a neutral Ombudsman within the Department of Education to ensure K-12 textbooks are held to high academic standards.

7)         Reps. Langevin (D-RI) and Thompson (R-PA) Amendment #5Amendment requires states applying for funds under title I to show how they would use the funds to provide apprenticeships that offer academic credit, and how they would use the funds to provide comprehensive career counseling to the students. 

8)         Rep. Barletta (R-PA) Amendment #52Amendment states that if school districts use Title I money for after school, before school, or summer school activities, would require them to describe those activities in their local plans. 

9)         Reps. Quigley (D-IL), McKinley (R-WV), and Serrano (D-NY) Amendment #96Amendment restores the paraprofessional qualifications that are in place under current law, which helped stop school districts from hiring paraprofessionals with little experience in education and no professional training.  Since all districts are in compliance, and have been since 2006, this amendment would present no new burden

10)      Rep. Fudge (D-OH) Amendment #20Amendment ensures continued state investment in educating students by requiring states to demonstrate that the level of state and local funding remains constant from year to year. 

11)      Rep. DeSaulnier (D-CA) Amendment #101Amendment requires Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to develop agreements with Head Start and other agencies to carry out early childhood education activities.

12)      Reps. Davis (R-IL) and Joyce (R-OH) Amendment #119Amendment gives certainty to local and state entitles that currently collective bargaining agreements must remain in place. A clause currently exists within Title I of the existing Elementary and Secondary Education Act to ensure that nothing in federal law can be construed to upending a state or local’s collective bargaining law, memorandum of understanding and other agreements. This amendment does not expand any collective bargaining rights that have been in current law and the provision has been in existence for twenty years.

13)      Reps. Moore (D-WI), Davis (D-IL), and Wilson (D-FL) Amendment #40Amendment delays implementation of new Title II formula until the Secretary of Education determines that the implementation will not reduce funding for schools serving high percentages of students in poverty.

14)      Rep. McKinley (R-WV) Amendment #98Amendment establishes a state-led definition of “workforce critical subjects”, and requires states to provide an explanation of the subjects they identify as “workforce critical.”

15)      Reps. Delaney (D-MD), Young (R-IL), and Polis (D-CO) Amendment #63Amendment makes Pay For Success initiatives an allowable use of funds for states and Local Educational Agencies to improve outcomes and save money by training and supporting teachers.

16)      Rep. Jeffries (D-NY) Amendment #88Amendment ensures that teachers, parents and other educational professionals receive education on the harms of copyright piracy in order to further educate students to that end.

17)      Rep. Clark (D-MA) Amendment #25Amendment clarifies that early childhood education-focused professional development is an acceptable use of funds.

18)      Rep. Cohen (D-TN) Amendment #75Amendment allows for Title II funds to be used for restorative justice and conflict resolution training.

19)      Reps. Duffy (R-WI) and Wilson (D-FL) Amendment #56Amendment requires school districts to be transparent in providing information to parents at the beginning of the school year on mandated assessments the student will have to take during the school year and any school district policy on assessment participation.

20)      Reps. Messer (R-IN) and Polis (D-CO) Amendment #124Amendment expresses the sense of Congress that charter schools are a critical part of our education system in this Nation and that Congress must support opening more quality charter schools to help students succeed in their future.

21)      Reps. Polis (D-CO) and Rokita (R-IN) Amendment #124Amendment encourages collaboration and sharing of best practices between charter schools and local education agencies.

22)      Rep. Kelly (D-IL) Amendment #35Amendment requires Statewide Family Engagement Centers to conduct training programs in the community to improve adult literacy, including financial literacy.

23)      Reps. Bonamici (D-OR) and Costello (R-PA) Amendment #104Amendment allows state educational agencies and eligible entities to use Local Academic Flexible Grant funds to audit and streamline assessment systems, eliminates unnecessary assessments, and improves the use of assessments.

24)      Rep. Polis (D-CO) Amendment #117Amendment allows grants to be used for the creation and distribution of open access textbooks and open educational resources.

25)      Rep. Jackson Lee (D-TX) Amendment #93Amendment supports accountability-based programs and activities that are designed to enhance school safety, which may include research-based bullying prevention, cyberbullying prevention, disruption of recruitment activity by groups or individuals involved in violent extremism, and gang prevention programs as well as intervention programs regarding bullying.

26)      Rep. Wilson (D-FL) Amendment #110Amendment provides for Intensive Care Reading Labs and for specialization of school staffing for the purposes of basic skills in language arts, mathematics, and science in grades 1-3 as allowable uses in block grant funding.

27)      Rep. Courtney (D-CT) Amendment #12Amendment amends 20 USC 7703 to increase weight of non-connected children residing in public-private venture (PPV) housing located on military property for the purposes of Impact Aid basic support payment calculations.

28)      Reps. Nolan (D-MN), McCollum (D-MN), Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), Lujan (D-NM), and Ruiz (D-CA) Amendment #78Amendment amends the current stated policy of the United States with respect to the education of Indian children to ensure that Indian children do not attend school in buildings that are dilapidated or deteriorating, as part of the unique and continuing trust relationship with, and responsibility to, the Indian people.

29)      Reps. David (D-CA), Dold (R-IL), and Polis (D-CO) Amendment #3Amendment clarifies the definition of ‘school leader’ such that it explicitly refers to a school principal as opposed to an off-site administrator.

30)      Rep. Zeldin (R-NY) Amendment #111Amendment allows a state to withdraw from the Common Core Standards or any other specific standards.

31)      Rep. Hurd (R-TX) Amendment #114Amendment expresses the sense of Congress that students’ personally identifiable information is important to protect as applied to current law and this act.

32)      Rep. Grayson (D-FL) Amendment #8Amendment requires the Secretary of Education to conduct an assessment of the impact of school start times on student health, well-being, and performance.

33)      Rep. Wilson (D-FL) Amendment #50Amendment provides for school dropout prevention and reentry and provides grants to raise academic achievement levels for all students.

34)      Reps. Castro (D-TX) and Stivers (R-OH) Amendment #71Amendment improves college and career readiness for homeless youth by requiring the state to include in the state plan a description of how such youth would receive assistance from counselors to advise, prepare, and improve college readiness.

35)      Rep. Carson (D-IN) Amendment #54Amendment advances assessments of student achievement and instructional practices, effective teacher preparation and continuing professional development, education administration, and international comparisons. The amendment supports development of a national research strategy to ensure that students, particularly at risk students, have effective teachers and are being prepared for the future.

36)      Rep. Collins (R-GA) Amendment #120Amendment improves accountability and ensures proper oversight of taxpayer funds authorized by this legislation.

37)      Rep. Dold (R-IL) Amendment #64Amendment ensures that federal education dollars go toward their intended use for student benefit in the classroom by clarifying that funds received under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act shall not be diverted by the states to fill prior unfunded liability shortfalls in teacher pension programs. When a state receives funds under ESEA and distributes those funds to Local Education Agencies (LEAs), this amendment prohibits the state from requiring LEAs to make a contribution to a pension program that is in excess of the “normal cost” of that teacher’s participation in the pension program.

38)      Rep. Flores (R-TX) Amendment #121Amendment reaffirms students, teachers and schools administrators’ right to exercise religion. In addition, it is the sense of Congress that schools examine their policies to ensure students and teachers are fully able to participate in activities on school grounds related to their religious freedom.

39)      Rep. Brownley (D-CA) Amendment #106Amendment creates a grant program for states to create or expand biliteracy seal programs to recognize student proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in both English and a second language for graduating high school seniors.

40)      Rep. Loebsack (D-IA) Amendment #52Amendment supports the expansion of the use of digital learning through competitive grants to partnerships to implement and evaluate the results of technology-based learning practices, strategies, tools, or programs at rural schools

41)      Rep. Meng (D-NY) Amendment #24Amendment authorizes- but does not appropriate funds – for the Secretary of Education to provide grants for: early-childhood education scholarships, professional development and licensing credentials, or increased compensation for educators who have attained specific qualifications. Requires each state that desires a grant to include a description of its comprehensive early childhood professional development system in its application, and grant recipients must maintain their fiscal effort for the activities supported by the grant funds for a fiscal year at levels equal to or greater than their fiscal effort for such activities during the preceding fiscal year.

42)      Rep. Schrader (D-OR) and Polis (D-CO) Amendment #51Amendment establishes a pilot program to award competitive grants to local education agencies to support career and technical education programs that were impacted or eliminated due to recent economic events

43)      Rep. Thompson (D-MS) Amendment #2Amendment requires that The Student Success Act shall not go into effect until the Secretary of Education determines that its enactment will not reduce the college and career readiness of racial or ethnic minority students, students with disabilities, English learners, and low-income students and provides written notification to Congress on such determination.

44)      Rep.  Scott (D-VA) Amendment #23Amendment this amendment repeals H.R 5 and replaces the bill text with a substitute amendment that provides robust funding levels, replaces the outdated, rigid mandates of No Child Left Behind, and maintains civil rights and equity protections that ensure all students graduate from high school college- and career-ready.

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.