Hartselle City Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul “Vic” Wilson will be the only school district superintendent in the country with a seat at the table to talk with a Congressional subcommittee about the importance of local control under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
Wilson is set to testify in front of the U.S. House Education and Workforce Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, chaired by U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN) Wednesday, beginning at 9 a.m. Central Standard Time. He is one of four people chosen to speak to the Subcommittee.
According to a media advisory issued by the Committee, Wednesday’s hearing, broadcast live, will provide members of the Subcommittee the opportunity to learn about state and local leaders’ priorities for implementing ESSA, and “discuss ways to ensure the law restores state and local control over K-12 education.”
After dealing with the snow in Hartselle earlier in the day and ultimately making the decision to dismiss school early, Wilson was on his way to the Birmingham airport this afternoon when we spoke by phone late Tuesday afternoon.
The American Association of School Administrators first reached out to Florence Superintendent Dr. Janet Womack to testify, but Womack had a conflict, so she recommended Wilson for the task.
This will be Wilson’s first time to testify in front of any Congressional committee, and he admitted he wasn’t sure what to expect, but his message is simple: schools can serve students better when given the flexibility and local control to do so.
The U.S. Department of Education has a role in education, strengthening and supporting state and local efforts, without being overly regulatory, Wilson said.
Committee members will be asking questions, but given the overwhelming bipartisan support for ESSA, which largely returns control to states and local school officials, Wilson will likely face a friendly crowd.
— Ed & Workforce Cmte (@EdWorkforce) February 10, 2016