Labrador, Simpson back reversal of NCLB

Idaho’s two House members joined 219 other Republicans Friday, voting for a bill to reverse components of the No Child Left Behind education law.

Supporters of H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, say it will return educational control to states and school districts. The change represents “a complete U-turn, policy-wise, from the existing federal school accountability law,” says Alyson Klein of Education Week.

Friday’s bill passed 221-207, on nearly a party-line vote. Twelve Republicans broke ranks to vote against the bill, and no Democrats supported it.

“I am proud to support this legislation that will restore federalist principles by eliminating the one-size-fits-all federal mandates established by No Child Left Behind,” 1st Congressional District Rep. Raul Labrador said Friday. “By granting states and local school districts autonomy when it comes to using federal resources, this bill will encourage innovation in our schools and greater achievement among our students.”

Labrador also touted a component of the bill designed to limit the Education Department’s power to influence states to implement Common Core. Labrador has not said whether he supports or opposes Common Core — or the Idaho Core Standards that will go into effect this fall.

Second Congressional District Rep. Mike Simpson also voted for the bill. “I have long believed that NCLB needs more flexibility for local school districts and less assumption of federal wisdom. I am pleased that the bill we passed today assumes more authority for local school boards and less wisdom on the part of federal bureaucrats.”

It’s the first time since No Child Left Behind — passed by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush in 2002 — that either house has passed sweeping education legislation, according to the Washington Post.

The bill’s prospects in the Democratic Senate are uncertain, and President Obama has threatened a veto.

“In the short term, the legislation could do nothing more than lay down a GOP marker on education,” writes Peter Kasperowicz of The Hill.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

Get EdNews in your inbox

Weekly round up every Friday