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ESEA in the House
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- Subject: ESEA in the House
- From: Monty Neill <email@example.com>
- Date: Tue, 03 Jan 2012 09:53:52 -0500
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According to this, the House Ed Comm will introduce two Republican-only
bills in early Feb, on on teacher "effectiveness," the other on
accountability. But this writer thinks it unlikely a bill will pass this
CQ TODAY ONLINE NEWS -- EDUCATION
Dec. 26, 2011 -- 11:21 a.m.
*Kline Aims for Broad --- but Not Necessarily Bipartisan --- 'No Child'
By Lauren Smith, CQ Staff
The top Republican on the House education committee plans to change his
approach to rewriting the federal education law known as No Child Left
Behind by moving forward without panel Democrats and by putting aside
his piecemeal legislative strategy.
Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline
<http://www.cq.com/person/3421> of Minnesota said earlier this week that
the two sides had stopped making progress together on overhauling the
law (PL 107-110 <http://www.cq.com/law/107/110>) as part of a
reauthorization and that continuing the talks would only stall the
"We were continuing to be mired, and I think it's important to move
legislation forward," he said in an interview. "We've indicated that
while we'd certainly like to keep talking, that we're going to move
forward with this thing and produce language whether or not they're
Rep. George Miller <http://www.cq.com/person/34> of California, the top
Democrat on the committee, slammed Kline last week for abandoning
bipartisan negotiations on overhauling the law. Miller argued that
Kline's decision would prevent the law from being rewritten in the 112th
Kline argued it would be better to offer partisan legislation than no
legislation at all.
"George Miller <http://www.cq.com/person/34> and I have come very close
on a number of occasions to agreeing, but there have been some
provisions that they continue to push that we can't support and vice
versa," Kline said. "So we can continue to do this in January, February,
March and April and not bring anything up. But we thought it would be
better to go ahead and produce language."
The panel's output has not been particularly bipartisan to this point.
Kline has been taking a piecemeal approach to overhauling the law, and
the committee has passed three bills that would expand charters schools
(HR 2218 <http://www.cq.com/bill/112/HR2218>), consolidate more than
half of the program under the Education Department (HR 1891
<http://www.cq.com/bill/112/HR1891>), and give states and school
districts 100 percent flexibility in how they use federal dollars (HR
Only the charter school bill garnered bipartisan support and passed the
full House. The other two were approved by the committee on party-line
votes and have yet to be taken up on the House floor.
According to Kline, the committee will introduce two additional pieces
of legislation in early February that would revamp the current
accountability system and address teacher effectiveness, the two most
divisive provisions in No Child Left Behind. In writing those bills,
Kline plans to include language from the three committee-approved bills.
He did not offer specifics, but he said his aim is to overhaul the law
in a more comprehensive way.
"You'll see a more comprehensive look at this when we bring up the next
bill," he said, adding that it would be structurally similar to the
868-page bipartisan draft bill approved by the Senate Health, Education,
Labor and Pensions Committee in October. "Some of the earlier language
will be folded in, and it will look a whole lot more comprehensive
A spokesman for Miller called on Kline to resume negotiations to write a
"At the end of the day, if Chairman Kline would like to attempt to draft
a comprehensive, bipartisan bill, we are happy to talk," spokesman Aaron
Albright said. "However, we haven't heard from the majority since they
notified us that they were working on a partisan bill."
*New Due Date: 2013*
Although a more comprehensive bill would be structurally easier to
conference with the Senate's bill than piecemeal legislation, it does
not mean the outcome will be bipartisan.
And if it isn't bipartisan, education policy experts said, it's not
likely to reach the president's desk.
"That's not going to be signed into law," said Joel Packer, an education
lobbyist for the Raben Group, a liberal lobbying and public affairs
firm. "It could potentially even be one more factor as to why the Senate
never takes up the [Senate] bill. If they don't see a likely path
forward, that's one more reason why leader Harry Reid
<http://www.cq.com/person/337> may not bring up the Senate bill at all."
Two months have passed since the Senate panel approved its bill, but the
measure has not been officially reported out of committee with a number.
The hold up is not typical, especially for major pieces of legislation.
Harkin and ranking Republican Michael B. Enzi
<http://www.cq.com/person/541> of Wyoming probably are having trouble
drumming up support for a bill that walks such a fine line between
Democratic and Republican priorities. Without a clear path forward in
the House, committee leaders may not want it brought to the floor at all.
If that happens, renewed efforts to negotiate a reauthorization would
not likely begin until January 2013, with a class of new members --- and
potentially a new president --- whose priorities may not include
rewriting the law or tackling education issues at all.
"There was an expectation that this was low-hanging fruit because
education is typically a place where Congress can find common ground,"
said Jennifer Cohen, education policy expert at the New America
Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank. "But this dashes all those hopes
to me. We won't see No Child reauthorized before the presidential election."
Source: *CQ Today Online News*
//Round-the-clock coverage of news from Capitol Hill.////
© 2011 CQ Roll Call All Rights Reserved.
Monty Neill, Ed.D.; Executive Director, FairTest; P.O. Box 300204,
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-477-9792; http://www.fairtest.org; Donate
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