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CCSSO to Congress, Obama: Write a Bipartisan NCLB Bill

By Alyson Klein — January 05, 2012 1 min read
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With Republicans on the House education committee poised to release a GOP-only bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Council of Chief State School Officers is calling on education leaders in the House to come together to pass bipartisan legislation.

“We hope that Congress and the administration will not miss the chance to focus on fundamental areas of agreement and work together,” the chiefs wrote today to President Obama, House and Senate leaders, and lawmakers focused on K-12 policy.

The administration’s plan to offer states wiggle room from key parts of the NCLB law is helpful, but it’s not a substitute for an honest-to-goodness reauthorization, CCSSO writes. The group thinks the bill passed out of the Senate education committee last fall represents a starting point for “good faith floor debate” in the Senate.

So why this letter now?

CCSSO doesn’t say this, but folks are worried that a partisan process in either chamber could all but scuttle reauthorization until after the presidential election. Congress is divided right now, so if CCSSO (and others) want a bill sooner rather than later, it’ll have to be a bipartisan product in the end.

Check out the full letter here.