CQ TODAY ONLINE NEWS – EDUCATION
House Chairman Sees Action on ‘No Child’ Rewrite in May
By Lauren Smith, CQ Staff
The House Education and the Workforce panel will be ready to write an overhaul of federal education law as early as next month, its chairman said Thursday.
“This is our first of many opportunities to consider specific reforms to help fix what is broken in current law,” said John Kline, R-Minn., during his panel’s first hearing to discuss specific changes in the elementary and secondary education law (PL 107-110) known as No Child Left Behind. “We have a growing consensus in this committee that NCLB is failing in many ways and needs to be corrected and we need to move forward on legislation.”
Kline called current education programs a “bureaucratic maze” and said a top priority in rewriting the law will be to remove obstacles that prevent school systems from using funds the way they consider most effective. Increasing flexibility for states and school districts, while also creating a new accountability system to hold states and schools districts responsible for student achievement, should be a pillar of the new law, he said.
Kline underscored the importance of obtaining up-to-date data to guide decision-making at the state and district levels.
The committee’s top Democrat, George Miller of California, largely agreed that there is growing consensus among committee members that will allow legislation to move. “This hearing signals that a majority on this committee is ready to move forward in a meaningful way on the reauthorization,” he said.
The federal role in education, Miller said, should be to set high standards while providing local school districts the flexibility to reach those goals.
Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, has set a goal of having a bill on the floor in that chamber by late spring. Bipartisan negotiations are continuing.
Source: CQ Today Online News