WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-led House education committee approved a partisan bill Wednesday to update the No Child Left Behind education law, maintaining annual testing requirements but stripping the federal government of much of its influence in local schools.
The bill, similar to one passed by the House in 2013 without one Democrat voting in support, was protested by Democrats. They said it would lead to the federal government abandoning its responsibility to ensure poor, minority, non-English-speaking and disabled children receive a quality education.
“Unfortunately, our Republican colleagues have dismissed every plea for cooperation, and are pushing a bill that would take American public education in the wrong direction,” said Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., the ranking Democrat of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
The bill is expected to go before the House for a vote in late February.
In the Senate, there appears to be more of a bipartisan effort to fix the law. Late last week, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., the chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and the committee’s senior Democrat, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., issued a statement saying they were working together on a proposal. Alexander has said he wants to get a bill to the full Senate by March 1.