Commonwealth of Kentucky
Senate Majority Republican Leadership
For Immediate Release
Contact: John Cox
FRANKFORT, Ky. (September 7, 2016) – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), chairman of the U.S. Senate’s education committee and primary author of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), will join the Interim Joint Committee on Education in Frankfort on Monday, September 12, to discuss the new education law and outline the opportunities and implications for Kentucky’s General Assembly to realign education policy in the state. The meeting is slated to begin at 10 a.m. EDT and Sen. Alexander is expected to give his presentation at approximately 11 a.m. local time.
“Senator Alexander has been a leader on education reform as Governor of Tennessee, as U.S. Education Secretary, and as a United States Senator,” said Senator Mike Wilson (R-Bowling Green), who will chair the September 12 Education meeting. “Through Senator Alexander’s intellect and persuasive nature, he attracted support from the National Education Association in his efforts to reduce Federal overreach in our schools. We share a similar view that individual states should be the ones determining the best academic standards, state assessments, and accountability as well as teaching methods for their students.”
Alexander’s testimony will cover the provisions of a new federal law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaces the controversial No Child Left Behind Act.
“We are excited to welcome this high-profile guest to Frankfort to lead a discussion that is long overdue,” Senate President Robert Stivers (R-Manchester) said. “I admire Senator Alexander for his commitment to strengthening education across the United States, and I appreciate him for taking the time to address this committee.”
In 2016, the nation’s governors created the James Madison Award to recognize members of Congress who support federalism and the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing states’ rights. The governors named Sen. Lamar Alexander as the first-ever recipient of the award for his work to fix No Child Left Behind. The new education law Alexander worked to pass was signed by the president in December 2015. The Wall Street Journal called it “the largest devolution of federal power to the states in a quarter century.”
In 2013, the National Conference of State Legislatures gave Sen. Alexander and three other senators its “Restoring the Balance” Award for protecting states’ rights, the first time in 10 years the organization gave this award to U.S. senators.
Alexander, a seventh-generation Tennessean born and raised in Maryville, was twice elected governor of Tennessee. He has always believed that in most cases the best decisions are made by those closest to the people.
Today, Alexander chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, where he is working on legislation to bring safe drugs and medical devices to doctors’ offices and patients’ medicine cabinets more quickly.
Alexander is also chairman of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, where he works to boost funding for basic energy research and invest in our inland waterways and harbors.
Alexander was first elected to the Senate in 2002 and has been reelected twice. His Republican colleagues elected him three times to be chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.
He has previously served as president of the University of Tennessee and as U.S. Secretary of Education under George H.W. Bush.
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