House ESEA Collapse

Alyson Klein has a good write-up laying out the dynamics that brought down the Elementary and Secondary Act/No Child Left Behind reauthorization bill in the House on Friday. Here’s the basic math on the political log jam: First, House conservatives realized this bill really didn’t do what they want and in actually added to their angst over other pending bills unrelated to education, in particular the Department of Homeland Security funding bill. Meanwhile, any education bill that the House Republican caucus will support – a majority of that caucus, they’re unlikely to run an ESEA bill through absent that – is unlikely to be able to get through the Senate and even less likely to be signed by President Obama. Likewise, any bill that is a genuine bipartisan effort in the Senate is unlikely to appease House conservatives. Best hope at this point: Getting two vehicles of some kind to conference and then hoping it can get done and slipped through. Prognosis: More Department of Education waiver action, which is of course, ironically, the approach conservatives claim to hate.

One Reply to “House ESEA Collapse”

  1. Think about it this way –
    House Conservatives, many Republicans, and quite a few Democrats, see an opportunity to reverse decades of runaway education spending only resulting in stagnation, or worse yet, decline in outcomes. US students CONTINUE to descend on internationally administered tests DESPITE the many billions spent *supposedly* to reverse the slide. This is akin to foolishly & wastefully designing an apparatus to continuously inflate a damaged tire so the car doesn’t have to stop for emergency replacement of the proven defective tire.

    Sometimes it has to get worse before it will get better –
    Whether continuation of waivers is that continued worsening can be debated. What can’t be debated is there is no more time or patience for boundless education spending without broad agreement on appropriate objectives & timelines, and within the real-world context of “other pending bills unrelated to education”. To adjoin that seems a cynical play to tar & feather House members who might disagree with the author’s stance. Like it or not, there is only so much money available to fund ALL government appropriations, unless more is magically created, resulting in highly inflationary externalities.

    We’re approaching the end of the line in unaccountable spending & an increasing number of people have spoken at the ballot box & continue to do so via their elected representatives. Get used to it!

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