William F. “Bill” Goodling, a former teacher, principal, and superintendent who became one of the most influential members of Congress on education policy during his 13 terms in the House of Representatives, died Sept. 17 at his York, Pa., home.
After spending more than 20 years as the ranking Republican on the House education committee, he became its chairman when the GOP took control of the House in 1994.
Under Goodling’s leadership, Congress enacted sweeping reauthorizations of major education laws such as the Higher Education Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. But he was dismayed that lawmakers failed to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act despite years of effort.
Goodling fought for more special education funding and led successful efforts to block a new national testing program proposed by President Bill Clinton in 1997. He also fought back proposals to enact private school vouchers and to scrap the federal Department of Education.
He retired from Congress in early 2001; later that year, lawmakers passed the No Child Left Behind Act, incorporating many measures championed by Goodling.
A version of this article appeared in the October 04, 2017 edition of Education Week as Obituary