After months of intense behind the scenes work in Congress, it looks like things are finally coming to a head with the reauthorization of the Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA). As you may have read in past posts, school libraries fared extremely well in S.1177, the Every Child Achieves Act, but not so well in H.R.5, the House’s Student Success Act. As discussed on September 1st, the House and Senate had work to do to meld their two, quite different bills.
This week the House and Senate appointed conferees to do just that. The resulting “Conference Committee” began meeting yesterday to hammer out the final version of a unified bill (called a “Conference Report”) that both chambers of Congress must then consider in an up or down vote, no amendments permitted. We are expecting that final Conference Report to be officially “filed” on November 30th and for the House to vote on it just two days later, on December 2nd, with a Senate vote to follow close behind.
As soon as we get a look at the language in the Conference Report, we will be sending out an alert asking you to contact your Representative in the House, so please stay tuned.
This is a momentous time for libraries (especially school libraries) and education policy and – whether we are supporting or opposing the ESEA Conference Report – we will need you to contact your Congressperson right away.