The Senate on Wednesday voted to repeal a key Obama-era regulation governing teacher training and evaluation.
Senators voted 59-40 in favor of rescinding regulations issued by the Department of Education in October. The House voted last month to overturn the rules and the bill now goes to the White House for President Donald Trump’s signature.
The regulations stipulated that federally funded teacher preparation programs must be evaluated based on the academic outcomes of those teachers’ students.
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Republican senators opposed the rules, saying they represented federal overreach and that such matters should be left for states to deal with.
Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said the 600-page regulations were overly bureaucratic, complicated and costly.
Senators were using an expedited process established through the Congressional Review Act, which lets Congress invalidate certain regulations with a simple majority vote in both chambers.
Some groups criticized the move.
Kate Walsh, President of the National Council on Teacher Quality said that while the regulations were imperfect, they provided tools to collect and report information on teacher training and outcomes.
“By overturning these regulations, Congress would tell our nation’s teacher preparation programs that they will not be held accountable for how well they educate aspiring teachers,” Walsh said. “Nor will applicants be able to discover which programs provide the best preparation for teaching.”