Sen. Lankford co-sponsors local education bill

Sen. James Lankford

Sen. James Lankford

WASHINGTON, DC— Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today co-sponsored the “Local Leadership in Education Act,” a bill that would protect states and local school districts from increased federal intrusion. This is Lankford’s first legislation co-sponsorship as a United States Senator.

It is time for a major re-write of No Child Left Behind and the return of state innovation in education.

“Ever-expanding national education mandates are a prime example of a Washington-knows-best philosophy that does more harm than good in local communities across America,” said Lankford. “Testing is an appropriate measurement of academic evaluation, but its standards should be controlled by each state, not the federal government.

JamesLankfordSwearing“The eyes of the nation are on Oklahoma since our state rejected the Common Core national standard in 2014. Now, Oklahoma state leaders, teachers, parents and administrators must develop and implement the best education policies for our children. The Local Leadership in Education Act takes a first step to ensure Oklahoma continues to have the authority to develop standards that work best for our children,” Lankford said.

Specifically, the Local Leadership in Education Act would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to prohibit the federal government from:

  • Mandating, directing, or controlling academic standards or curriculum;
  • Incentivizing the adoption of any specific standards;
  • Conditioning the availability of financial support on adoption of any specific instructional content, standards, curriculum etc. or administration of tests to students; and
  • Requiring states to test students annually.

The author of this legislation is Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), and other co-sponsors include: Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY).

In the U.S. House last year, Lankford co-sponsored H.Res.476, which denounced the Federal Common Core State Mandate and allowed each state to voluntarily participate with other states as they chose.