As a father, I understand the importance for all parents in South Dakota to know that educators have the tools they need to ensure that children can reach their full potential.
The 114th Congress will have the opportunity to enact changes that will refine and strengthen our public education system through the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The current iteration, known as No Child Left Behind, has been up for reauthorization since September of 2007. While programs like No Child Left Behind sought to bring greater accountability to our schools and increased resources for students, parents, teachers, and administrators, there are a number of reforms to the law that should be made.
I believe that any changes made to federal education policy need to reflect the unique needs and challenges rural areas face. South Dakota has over 125,000 students spread across more than 77,000 square miles. The school districts across our state face very different challenges than what many other states face, and it will be important for Congress to address the unique needs of rural areas as we work toward improving public education.
I will continue to support education proposals that give schools the necessary resources and flexibility while keeping them accountable to taxpayers, parents, and students.