Wednesday, March 12, 2014
By Jim Abrams / The Associated Press
(Continued from page 1)
Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, smiles as he walks to the floor of the House of Representatives as the Republican majority passed legislation to replace the No Child Left Behind law, in Washington on Friday.
The Associated Press
Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, the chairman of his chamber's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the author of the Senate bill, said the country needs a new education law that ensures access to comprehensive education, effective teachers and world-class standards. "Unfortunately the House bill," he said, "falls short on all these counts."
The White House, in its veto threat, said the bill "would not support our international economic competitiveness, would virtually eliminate accountability for the growth and achievement of historically underserved populations (and) would fail to support meaningful improvement and reforms at the nation's lowest-performing schools."
The Republican bill would eliminate more than 70 existing elementary and secondary education programs, replacing them with block grant money that states and school districts could use as they think best.
It would also bar the education secretary from imposing conditions on states in exchange for waivers of federal law and encouraging states to implement national achievement standards known as the common core. The expansion of high-quality charter schools would be encouraged, and parents would be given more choices in picking schools that meet their needs.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., won support of an amendment that would give parents greater choice in deciding where their children go to school by stating that federal money should follow students who change schools.
But the House rejected, on a 233-193 vote, a proposal by Rep. George Miller of California, the top Democrat on the Education Committee, to substitute a Democratic alternative for the bill. Miller's legislation would provide more education funding, maintain accountability protections for students and preserve funds set aside for disabled student groups.