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Contact CSG Media Relations
The Council of State Governments
(859) 244-8246
Feb. 6, 2012


State and Local Governance Coalition Push for Long-Term Fix and Reauthorization of ESEA

WASHINGTON, D.C..—Five state and local government groups today urged Congress to reform the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and enact legislation that would reframe the federal-state-local partnership before the next school year begins.

State and local leaders have been working together to find new and innovative ways to deliver services to their citizens, including ways to ensure every student receives a world-class public education and is ready to compete in a global economy.

As state and local government leaders responsible for funding, setting policy and overseeing the nation’s public education system, the leaders of these organizations are united in their call for Congress to fix and reform ESEA and to adhere to the State and Local Governance Coalition Statement of Principles to:

· Provide Greater Flexibility to State and Local Leaders;
· Increase Flexibility in Federal Funding;
· Recognize State and Local Budget Challenges;
· Streamline Federal Red Tape and Compliance Requirements; and
· Streamline the Waiver Process

“Governors, along with state and local leaders, are working together to find innovative approaches to ensure every student is college and career ready,” said National Governors Association Executive Director Dan Crippen. “Now, we need the federal government to be a partner in our efforts to build a world-class public education system, and we hope these core principles will guide future discussions.”

“State and local officials take their role in educating America’s children very seriously,” said National Conference of State Legislatures Executive Director William Pound. “By statute and constitution, our system of K-12 education is overwhelmingly a state responsibility. We hope Congress will take note of our commitment and reauthorize ESEA in a way that enhances state efforts to raise the academic achievement of all students.”

“In order to achieve excellence in education, and restore America’s global competitiveness, states recognize that our educational systems must be reinvigorated and transformed so all students have access to the best education possible,” The Council of State Governments' Executive Director/CEO, David Adkins, explained. “Reauthorization of ESEA must focus on college- and career-readiness at all levels, while offering state and local leaders the ultimate flexibility in creating innovative solutions to strengthen tomorrow’s workforce. Our future prosperity depends on it.”

“All counties, regardless of their fiscal responsibility for education, are interested in an effective educational system because it is good for our children and our economy,” said National Association of Counties Executive Director Larry E. Naake.

“It is important to local school districts that Congress reauthorizes ESEA now and replaces the current accountability system that neither accurately nor fairly reflects the performance of students, schools or school districts," said National School Boards Association Executive Director Anne L. Bryant. “Local school districts must be free of federal mandates that unnecessarily or counterproductively hinder them from achieving their goals of increasing student achievement. It is essential that local school districts have greater authority and flexibility to develop, design and implement educational strategies to address the unique challenges facing our local communities.”

Jodi Omear, NGA, 202-624-5346
John Kuhl, NSCL, 202-624-3557
Kelley Arnold, CSG, 859-244-8258
Jim Philipps, NACo, 202-942-4220
Amanda Straub, NLC, 202-626-3015
Elena Temple-Webb, U.S. Conference of Mayors, 202-861-6719
Michele Frisby, ICMA, 202 962 3658


The Council of State Governments is our nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships.