News Releases

Murray Introduces Bill to Help High School Students Graduate

Apr 27 2005

PASS Act invests in the basics today, strengthens our communities and economy into the future

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today reintroduced her Pathways for All Students to Succeed Act. The PASS Act, which Murray first introduced two years ago, will help to increase graduation rates by providing critical resources including literacy and math coaches, additional academic and career counselors, and grants to fund innovative reform in high schools across the country.

“The success of our high schools has very real consequences for our communities, our workforce and our economy,” Senator Murray said. “For too many students, graduation and college seem out of reach. My PASS Act provides the tools our schools need to reach these students earlier and put them on a track to graduate.”

Murray’s PASS Act will help America’s teenagers graduate from high school, go on to college, and enter the working world with the skills they need to succeed.

  • Title I of the PASS Act will help schools hire literacy and math coaches to strengthen essential reading and writing skills.
  • Title II will provide grants for high-quality academic counselors to ensure each student has an individualized plan and access to services to prepare for college and a good job.

  • Title III targets resources to those high schools that need the most help, so they can implement research-based strategies for success.
  • Title IV provides grants to schools for data collection including the accurate calculation of disaggregated graduation rates.

Murray wrote the PASS Act based on proven research and practice on improving student achievement in the high school years. The Act empowers schools to provide the best possible support for students and teachers, and provides direct, targeted assistance to the students most in need of help.

Murray’s legislation has been endorsed by over thirty major education associations and advocacy groups nationwide including the National Education Association, the National PTA, the College Board, the Alliance for Excellent Education, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the American School Counselors Association.

“The PASS Act will provide the kinds of supports to students and their schools that are needed if all of America’s children are to graduate from high school prepared to be productive members of 21st century society,” said Bob Wise, former congressman, Governor of West Virginia and the current President of the Alliance for Excellent Education.

“The PASS Act, if enacted, will directly benefit the six million American students who are most at-risk of dropping out of high school or graduating without a meaningful diploma,” Wise said.

Passage of the PASS Act will demonstrate action at the national level that is desperately needed to help transform high schools across America – making them true centers of learning from which our country’s older children will emerge with the skills and advanced knowledge needed for college and rewarding careers.

“Our high school students deserve comprehensive reform that targets vulnerable students and helps them reach graduation. The PASS Act uses the methods that we know work to help our kids succeed,” Murray said. “We know what our kids need to succeed: reading and math skills, access to academic counseling, and targeted funding and resources necessary to help turn around low-performing schools. If we don’t invest in these basics today, our communities, workforce and economy will bear the burden in the future.”

Senators Richard Durbin (IL), Hillary Clinton (NY) and Ted Kennedy (MA) are cosponsors of the PASS Act.

Read a Summary of Senator Murray’s PASS Act