posted on Huffington Post by Joy Resmovits, Education Reporter
It’s back to school for Congress.
Today, Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), chair of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, held his first organizational meeting with the 113th Congress’s iteration of his committee. In his opening remarks, Kline said reauthorizing No Child Left Behind will remain a “top priority.” NCLB, the sweeping law that governs public K-12 education, expired in 2007.
As we’ve previously reported, it will be hard for Kline to push a bill to the floor that is similar enough to the Senate’s approach that it can be conferenced, and eventually signed into law. And besides, the White House is unlikely to get involved — the Education Department is in the process of implementing the waivers most states have signed up for in an attempt to ditch the huge George W. Bush law.
However, in an era of hyper-partisanship, it seems that both parties within this committee have some common ground: the desire to both renew the law and end the waivers. “It is our shared responsibility to craft thoughtful policies that will enhance state and local control, encourage innovation and flexibility, and end the administration’s convoluted waivers scheme, which Ranking Member [Rep. George] Miller (D-Calif.) fittingly dubbed a ‘patchwork of state systems and temporary relief.,'” Kline said, according to prepared remarks.
Kline also alluded to a possible conversation of President Barack Obama’s gun control recommendations, but didn’t call it that. “I also expect we will have a robust conversation in the coming weeks about ways to better protect our children in the wake of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut,” he said.
Kline continued: “In previous Congresses, we have applauded the committee’s ability to disagree without being disagreeable. While we managed to do so again in the last Congress, it’s time we focused less on polite disagreements and more on forging commonsense agreements.”…more
To see Kline’s full remarks, click on the headline above.