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ESSA. Congress. State chiefs. School spending. Elections. Education Week reporters keep watch on education policy and politics in the nation’s capital and in the states.

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Rep. John Kline Takes Top GOP Slot On House Ed Committee

By Alyson Klein — June 17, 2009 1 min read

Rep. John Kline of Minnesota is the new top Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee.

Kline wasn’t in Congress back in 2001, when lawmakers approved the No Child Left Behind Act, so it’s unclear whether he would have supported the legislation.

But, unlike Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon of California, who held the ranking member position until he became the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, Kline is a co-sponsor of this bill, put forth by Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan. Commonly called the A-plus Act, the legislation would allow states to “opt-out” of NCLB’s accountability requirements. That could be a sign Kline will be more conservative than his predecessor.

From a quick glance at congressional records, it looks like Kline hasn’t introduced any education bills yet this year. He seems like more of a labor guy.

On his Web site Kline says he has “been a strong advocate for greater flexibility and local control in education, and increased federal funding for special needs and low-income students. He has authored legislation to increase the availability of federal education funding at the local level, for which he was honored with the “Star of Education” Award by the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium.

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