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Sen. Manchin secures amendments to strengthen education reauthorization bill

Charleston Daily Mail photo from The Associated Press  U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin
Charleston Daily Mail photo from The Associated Press
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin

WASHINGTON, D.C. — With a goal of ensuring all children have access to a high-quality, well-rounded education that allows them to achieve and compete in the 21st century global economy, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va, on July 9, successfully added four amendments to the Every Child Achieves Act.

The ECAA legislation will overhaul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Manchin’s amendments focus specifically on promoting volunteerism and community service, protecting children from predators, making sure governors have input in state education plans and promoting full community schools and comprehensive student services.

“Our country’s economic well-being depends on the quality of the education our children are receiving in the classroom, and we must make improvements that will ensure all students receive an education that prepares them for college and their career,” Manchin said. “These four provisions undoubtedly strengthen this piece of legislation, and they focus on priorities that will benefit children and families across West Virginia and our entire country.”Manchin has introduced two additional amendments to the ECAA that may be considered by the Senate next week. They focus on addressing substance abuse in the home and enabling schools serving high concentrations of low-income students to work with community partners to provide health, nutrition, and other social services in a cost-effective manner.Below is the list of Manchin’s amendments that passed July 9:Manchin-Shaheen: This amendment promotes student volunteerism and community service as part of a well-rounded education. Specifically, it adds “programs that promote volunteerism and community service” to the list programs and activities that an local education agency is authorized to provide under Title IV for the purpose of providing students with a well-rounded education alongside music, the arts, and computer science.Manchin-Toomey: This amendment requires that if a school receives federal funds, it must perform background checks on all employees and contractors who have unsupervised access to children. It also bans “passing the trash”-the practice of a school helping a known child molester obtains a job at another school and move on to other victims.Manchin-Heller: This amendment requires governors of states to be consulted during the development of a state education plan to improve education and workforce readiness. It also includes a 30-day “shot clock” for a state’s governor to approve the plan before it is submitted to the Secretary of Education.

Manchin-Brown-Capito: This amendment allows local education agencies or schools to use Title IV resources to designate a site resource coordinator to provide a variety of services, such as establishing partnerships within the community to provide resources and support for schools, ensuring all service and community partners are aligned with the academic expectations of a community school in order to improve student success and strengthening relationships between schools and communities. A site resource coordinator works with school-based staff to identify and coordinate needs and enriching learning opportunities for students and their families in order to ensure that young people have access to all possible resources and opportunities to succeed.

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