Sunday, December 18, 2011

House Republicans Take On NCLB

This from Politics K-12:

A partisan ESEA bill in the House would be a big deal, because it would dim the chances that reauthorization would get done before the end of President Barack Obama's first term.

For one thing, further Senate action may depend on the House. U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, the chairman of the Senate education committee, which passed its own version of the ESEA renewal earlier this year with some Republican support, has said he won't seek to advance the bill until the House approves a bipartisan product.

In fact, here's what Harkin had to say about the House's inclination to do a GOP bill:
Given that the HELP Committee was able to come to bipartisan agreement on a strong bill to reauthorize ESEA, I sincerely hope Chairman Kline will reconsider his decision to not pursue a bipartisan bill. There is widespread agreement that No Child Left Behind needs to be fixed for the sake of our nation's children, and I hope we will not abandon the longstanding tradition of bipartisanship when it comes to the education of our kids. Without a bipartisan bill coming out of the House, I believe it would be difficult to find a path forward that will draw the support we need from both sides of the aisle to be able to send a final bill to the President that advances education for America's students.

For another thing, at least until after the election, the finished ESEA product will need to get through the Republican House, the Democratic Senate, and be signed by President Obama to become law.

If Congress can't get its act together, the administration's waivers will become the main vehicle for fixing the controversial law. And the waivers themselves have faced a lot of pushback on Capitol Hill...

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