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Sen. Kaine Visits Fredericksburg to Praise Passage of Every Student Succeeds Act

By Susan Larson. Photo by Ted Schubel, news director WFVA 1230 AM. Used with permission

Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) visited Head Start and Virginia Preschool Initiative students and staff at Fredericksburg’s Original Walker-Grant on December 15, 2015.

Kaine came to praise final passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA, which will replace No Child Left Behind, is headed to President Obama to be signed into law.

The provisions authored by Kaine that were included in the bill are:
Early childhood education
Authorizes the Preschool Development Grant program which will provide competitive grants to support states to improve and expand access to high-quality early childhood programs. The program will be administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services jointly with the U.S. Department of Education. Kaine introduced the Providing Resources Early for Kids (PRE-K) Act in January 2015 to create a similar federal-state partnership to improve state preschool programs and expand current programs to serve more children in need. Kaine has been a long-time champion of access to quality early learning programs. As Governor, he expanded the Virginia Preschool Initiative by increasing Pre-K enrollment by 40 percent in the Commonwealth.

Teaching safe relationship behavior
Instruction and training on safe relationship behavior among students is included as an allowable use of funds under the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants in Title IV. Kaine introduced the Teach Safe Relationships Act in February of 2015 following a discussion with University of Virginia student advocates who recommended improved K-12 education as one method to prevent campus sexual assault.

Career counseling
Includes career and guidance counseling programs as well as training on local workforce needs and various options for postsecondary and career pathways as an allowable use of funds under the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants in Title IV. Kaine introduced the Career Ready Act in February 2015 with Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) that would help ensure students are ready for postsecondary education and the workforce by encouraging states to implement career guidance programs in schools and keep track of career readiness factors implemented in school districts.

CTE integration and professional development
Adds a new allowable use of funds to Title II of ESSA to allow states to develop strategies for integrating academic and career and technical education content and supporting professional development for CTE teachers.

Adding CTE as a core academic subject
Includes career and technical education in the definition of a ‘well-rounded education’ along with traditional academic subjects like math and English.

Career readiness indicators
Encourages states to use more career readiness indicators in their accountability system and state report cards, so states will have the opportunity to recognize schools that are successfully preparing students for postsecondary education and the workforce through tools like technical skills and college credits. These provisions build on Kaine’s Career Ready Act.

CTE teachers
Allows Title II professional development funds to be used for career and technical educators to help improve the quality of CTE courses.

More
Spotsylvania Schools Receive $100,000 Literacy Grant

Local Students Turn Lunchtime Trash into Cash for Their School

The Dr. Yum Project Receives $30K to Combat Obesity

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