The House of Representatives on Friday passed a Republican-backed revision of the No Child Left Behind Act that would greatly reduce federal oversight of public education and give states and school districts authority once again over how to measure student achievement and fix failing schools.
The measure also would give local officials more control over how they use federal education dollars.
The bill passed 221-207, with 12 Republicans and all Democrats opposed. It’s a reauthorization of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the law that emphasizes equal access to education and provides federal funds to help disadvantaged students.
Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., the author of the legislation, said his Student Success Act would increase state and local control over education.
“What states and school districts have been asking for is more flexibility and less federal mandates,” Kline said.
The bill still faces obstacles to becoming law. Differences would have to be worked out with a Senate version. A version that passed with majority-Democrats’ support in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee would give more flexibility to but wouldn’t reverse the federal accountability requirements of the 2002 No Child Left Behind law, as the House version does.
The House bill would end the federally required accountability system, known as “annual yearly progress,” and let states and districts figure out their own accountability measurements. It also would do away with federally required interventions in poorly performing schools.