Kennedy’s Illness Raises Doubts for NCLB
Senator had hoped to push ahead on renewal, but most look to 2009.
It was never going to be easy to reauthorize the No Child Left Behind Act, which has come under fire from the left to the right of American politics.
But now that Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., a key author of the law and the chairman of the Senate education committee, has been diagnosed with a form of brain cancer, prospects for the federal education law’s reauthorization have become even murkier. Sen. Kennedy, who helped shepherd the law through Congress in 2001 with broad bipartisan support, is considered a master legislator, particularly when it comes to helping reach a consensus across the political spectrum.
“He’s a giant force in the Senate,” said Jack Jennings, the president of the Center on Education Policy, a Washington-based research and advocacy organization. “He really gets things moving and senators key off him. ... Without Kennedy [as a full participant], things get set...
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