07.08.15

Peters Introduces Amendments to No Child Left Behind Reform

Amendments Would Help Support Financial Literacy Education, Dual and Concurrent Enrollment

 

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today announced he has introduced two amendments to the Every Child Achieves Act, the bipartisan bill to reform the No Child Left Behind law and reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). These measures would support funding for financial literacy programming and make college more affordable by supporting high school students taking college courses. The Every Child Achieves Act is being debated on the Senate floor this week.

Peters’ first amendment includes financial literacy programming as an allowable use for this Title I Parent and Family Engagement funding, which supports programs that encourage parents and families to participate in school programs. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation conducted a survey in 2014 that found “millennials display low levels of financial literacy, engage in problematic financial behaviors and express concerns about their debt.” Peters, who spent 22 years working as an investment advisor helping families save for their retirement and their children’s college education, recently sent a letter urging Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) leaders to include this measure in the bill.

“Financial literacy education is essential to helping children and families make well-informed and effective financial choices – whether it’s paying for college, managing a household budget or planning for retirement,” said Senator Peters. “My amendment will help equip more parents and students with the practical financial information and skills they need to make smart decisions, join the middle class and succeed in the long-term.”

Peters also joined U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) in introducing an amendment to allow Title I funds to be used to support concurrent and dual enrollment programs at eligible schools, enabling high school students to simultaneously receive college-credit from courses taught by college approved teachers in secondary education. It also allows school districts to use fifth-year program partnerships to allow students to participate in concurrent enrollment in the year after their senior year.

“With the cost of higher education continuing to grow, helping students get a head start on completing college courses helps them save money and get ahead,” said Peters. “This amendment will make the dream of higher education more accessible for students in Michigan and across the country.”

Another Peters-backed provision included in the Every Child Achieves Act would address the lack of data on dual status youth – young people who come into contact with both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Peters sent a letter in June urging Senate HELP Committee leaders to include this measure in the bill. The measure requires states to develop and submit plans for identifying dual status youth and improving intervention services that can reduce school suspensions, expulsions and referrals to law enforcement. The measure also makes providing targeted, evidence-based services for these at-risk children an allowable use of funding.

“A growing body of research has shown that dual status youth experience poor educational performance, higher recidivism rates, higher detention rates, disruptive living arrangements and substantial behavioral health needs,” Peters wrote. “Many at-risk children lack stable home lives and are frequently funneled through the school to prison pipeline. We have a responsibility to ensure our nation’s most vulnerable children grow up to lead successful lives.”

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