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Sewell Explains Why She Opposes the Student Success Act

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D) from Selma voted against the Student Success Act, H.R. 5 because she believes that the bill contained “extreme policies that would prevent students from succeeding. Rep. Sewell said that if H.R. 5 is passed it would lead to greater education disparity.

Representative Sewell said, “I voted against passage of H.R. 5 because it undermines our ability to ensure all students are given equal opportunities to reach their full potential. Instead of working towards a bipartisan solution to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), this partisan bill includes extreme policies that would prevent America’s students from succeeding. This bill keeps education funding at sequestration levels, removes accountability provisions, weakens requirement standards, and eliminates and weakens protections for disadvantaged students.”

Rep. Sewell continued, “As the daughter of two longtime educators, I know that education is the great equalizer. This bill will not level the playing field but rather promote greater education disparity. H.R. 5 shifts funds away from vulnerable schools like many across the 7th Congressional District. This bill is not what students in my district, or any district in this nation, need to achieve the American Dream.”

Congresswoman Sewell did acknowledge that the ESEA must be reauthorized and that, “No Child Left Behind is long due for reform.” Sewell said, “I support the Democratic substitute bill which includes key tenets of accountability, provides intervention and support to all students who need it and assures that students with disabilities are given the same chance to succeed as their peers.”

Rep. Sewell concluded, “I urge my colleagues to put aside partisan bickering. Let’s work together to reauthorize the ESEA. Our failure to act means we are failing our nation’s students and limiting our ability to compete globally.”

Most of the Alabama Congressional delegation were enthusiastic supporters of the Student Success Act.

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Congresswoman Terri Sewell represents Alabama’s Seventh Congressional District. Rep. Sewell is the only Black women ever elected to Congress from Alabama and is the only Democrat in the state currently holding any office higher than state legislator.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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