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A Key Republican Sees Odds Dipping for NCLB Renewal

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House members aren’t making progress on their pledge to reauthorize the No Child Left Behind Act this year, according to a leading Republican lawmaker.

“We’re in a climate where it doesn’t look very favorable to get the reauthorization done,” Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., told a meeting of the Education Industry Association last week.

Rep. McKeon, who is the senior Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee, said he hasn’t met with Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the committee’s chairman, to discuss the NCLB law since October.

In that meeting, Rep. McKeon said, the two still hadn’t agreed on more than a dozen significant issues, such as the measures to be used for school accountability and how students qualify for tutoring under the law.

Rep. Miller said earlier this year that he would work to get the NCLB law reauthorized this spring. ("Key Democrats Join President in Seeking to Revive NCLB Renewal," Feb. 6, 2008.)

But the House education committee hasn’t taken any public action toward meeting that goal.

Senate aides are working to draft a NCLB bill for the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee to consider this month.

Even if the Senate were to pass a bill, Rep. McKeon said, he doubts the House would be able to follow.


Get the most recent news on NCLB reauthorization from NCLB: ACT II, written by Education Week staffer David Hoff.

With Democrats in control of Congress but divided about the extent of changes needed in the NCLB law, Mr. McKeon said in an interview that any NCLB bill would need Republican support. But so far, he said, Rep. Miller hasn’t shown he is willing to compromise with his Republican counterpart or that party’s leaders.

“It looks like we’re waiting for a new president and a new Congress” to reauthorize the law, Rep. McKeon said on Feb. 27 to EIA members, who represent businesses that provide tutoring under the NCLB law and other education services.

See Also
For more stories on this topic see No Child Left Behind and our Federal news page.

Vol. 27, Issue 26, Page 19

Published in Print: March 5, 2008, as A Key Republican Sees Odds Dipping for NCLB Renewal
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