Senate Prioritization of Every Child Achieves Act is a Win for Kids

Media Contact: Brendan Daly (202.794.1580)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 16, 2015) – Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) today applauded the U.S. Senate for prioritizing early childhood education in the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015, a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

“With the addition of several key early childhood education amendments, the Every Child Achieves Act improves and expands early learning programs. It contains a competitive grant program for states that want to improve early childhood education quality and access,” said Mark Shriver, president of Save the Children Action Network. “And it includes a new funding model – called Pay for Success – that only pays for programs that work. States and early educators decide what strategies are most effective to meet a set of early learning goals. Taxpayers then only pay for the program if those goals are met.”

Shriver said the bill “is a win for kids, a win for states and a win for taxpayers.”

The legislation, which the Senate approved by an overwhelming 81-17 vote, includes an expansion of early learning programs that are essential for the success of children across the United States. It contains a competitive grant program for states that want to improve early childhood education quality and access. Additionally, it focuses resources on kids who need the most help.

A bipartisan amendment approved today and included in the final bill was introduced by Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Finance Committee Member Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) that uses a Pay for Success program to fund education investments and helps save taxpayers money. The amendment would allow states and local communities to utilize innovative public-private partnerships for early childhood education and offers a new system for a smarter and more effective use of tax dollars.

Save the Children Action Network endorsed the pay for success amendment, and through its grassroots network across the country generated thousands of emails to Senate offices urging its inclusion in the bill.

The House passed a different version of the bill last week and now the two bodies will hold a legislative conference to combine the bills, with the goal of each approving one bill to be sent to President Obama for his signature into law.

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Save the Children Action Network is the political voice for kids. We believe that every child deserves the best start in life. That’s why we’re building bipartisan will and voter support to make sure every child in the U.S. has access to high-quality early learning and that no mother or child around the globe dies from a preventable disease or illness. By investing in kids and holding leaders accountable, we are helping kids from birth to age five survive and thrive.