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Congress Reaches Tentative Deal To Replace No Child Left Behind

 


The Washington Post (11/14, Layton) reports Congressional negotiators have tentatively reached a compromise agreement to replace No Child Left Behind, “by shifting authority for K-12 schools to states and freeing them from many federal demands and restrictions in place for 13 years.” According to the Post, sources suggested “the deal largely follows the contours” of a bipartisan Senate-passed measure and “plucked a few ideas” from a House-passed bill in a bid to bridge “differences between Republicans, who want to dramatically reduce the federal role in education, and Democrats and the Obama administration, who insist that the federal government make sure at a basic level that states are educating all children, including those who have been historically under-served.” The Post explains the proposal would also “significantly reduce the authority of the US Department of Education.”

In an earlier article about the deal, the Washington Post (11/13, Layton) reported that Education Secretary Arne Duncan gave “qualified support” to the deal, quoting him saying, “It is good news for our nation’s schools that Congress is taking the next step forward toward a serious bipartisan plan to revamp the outdated No Child Left Behind law.”

Alyson Klein writes at the Education Week (11/16) “Politics K-12” blog that the “framework” for rewriting ESEA was announced Friday by the leaders of the chambers’ education committees, and that the bill could go into conference negotiations in the coming days. Klein reports that Duncan “had kind words for the lawmakers who negotiated the agreement,” quoting him saying, “It is good news for our nation’s schools that Congress is taking the next step forward toward a serious bipartisan plan to revamp the outdated No Child Left Behind law. America’s students deserve a bill that increases educational opportunity for all and lives up to the civil rights legacy of the original Elementary and Secondary Education Act. We are encouraged that Congressional negotiators appear to be moving toward a framework that accomplishes those goals.”

Politico (11/16) reports in its “Morning Education” blog that conferees will be named next week. The plan “keeps Congress on track to pass a rewrite of the law before the end of the year, if things move smoothly.”

US News & World Report (11/13, Camera) reports that the announcement seems to refute suggestions that the departures of Education Secretary Arne Duncan and former House Speaker John Boehner might derail progress toward reauthorizing ESEA. The piece notes that despite the apparent breakthrough and desires on both sides of the aisle to reauthorize the law, the political climate remains a significant obstacle. The St. Paul (MN) Pioneer Press (11/16, Magan) and the Knoxville (TN) News Sentinel (11/16, Collins) also cover this story.

 

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