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Senate Passes Booker Amendments Calling for Stronger Support for Teachers and Vulnerable Students

July 15, 2015
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Amendments support educators serving on the front lines of education, eliminate harsh preschool disciplinary policies

Passage comes on heels of yesterday’s Senate passage of Booker amendment to expand support for foster children and homeless youth

 

Washington–U.S. Sen. Cory A. Booker D-N.J., celebrated the passage today of two amendments he sponsored to strengthen support for our nation’s educators and eliminate the use of harsh disciplinary practices on preschool students. The amendments were approved as part of a larger amendment to the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) being debated by the US Senate this week.

 

“We cannot succeed as a nation in an increasingly global, competitive economy if we leave genius on the sidelines,” Sen. Booker said. “My amendments invest in our dedicated teachers and extend support and compassion to our most vulnerable students, especially our preschool students.  This legislative body has an obligation to pass an education bill that provides support, access, and opportunity to equip the next generation for greatness and empower those serving on the front lines preparing them to lead.”

 

The approval of Booker’s amendments today comes on the heels of the Senate’s 56-40 vote in favor of Booker’s bipartisan amendment (#2169) to support homeless and foster youth by providing essential information for teachers, policy makers and community groups.   

 

All three of Booker’s amendments will now be included in the Every Child Achieves Act, legislation that reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

 

Below are more detailed summaries of Booker’s two amendments passed today:

 

Booker Amendment Strengthening Working Conditions for Teachers

A teacher’s workplace conditions have a huge impact on their lives as well as their students. This legislation strives to support teachers by empowering school districts to conduct an assessment identifying opportunities to provide teachers with additional support for their long-term professional development and improve the sustainability of their working conditions.

 

Booker Amendment Protecting Prekindergarten Students from Harsh Disciplinary Policies

 

Children enrolled in high quality prekindergarten are much more likely to be prepared for elementary school and, further down the line, much more likely to graduate high school and become productive members of society. Unfortunately, this springboard is greatly diminished when 3 and 4 year olds are expelled or suspended from school. Booker’s amendment ensures that states support early childhood education programs that maintain disciplinary policies that do not include the expulsion or suspension of preschool students.

 

Below is a more detailed summary of Booker’s amendment passed yesterday:

 

Booker Amendment Supporting Foster Children and Homeless Youth

 

 

Foster and homeless students are less likely to achieve academic proficiency, more likely to change schools during the academic year and more likely to drop out of high school and not graduate.  This bill supports homeless and foster youth, ensuring educators and the public are aware of how foster and homeless children and youth are performing on critical elements compared to their peers; providing essential information for educators, policy makers and the public in improving educational outcomes for these students and adding reporting for graduation rates to the state and school district report cards.