The White House has issued a statement that President Barack Obama will veto Republican efforts to revise the education law No Child Left Behind, calling it “a significant step backwards,” the AP reports.
According to the White House, the bill “abdicates the historic federal role in elementary and secondary education of ensuring the educational progress of all of America’s students, including students from low-income families, students with disabilities, English learners, and students of color.”
The Republican Stand
Republicans attempted to modify the bill on the grounds that it would “restore local control in schools and stop top-down education mandates.”
The bill, dubbed the “Student Success Act,” was approved by the congressional committee and will be possibly voted on this week. There may be potential vetoing on Friday, the day the bill is expected to be presented. The possibility is supported by Republicans having gained control of both houses.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio commented on the measure, calling it “a good conservative bill that empowers America and does not empower the bureaucracy here in Washington.”
Education Committee Chairman John Kline, R-Minn acknowledged that education is a “great equalizer” in US only if the schools succeed. He further added that the local communities will be provided with greater flexibility over how “federal dollars are used to educate America’s kids.”
Boehner reiterated a similar view during a news conference on Wednesday, calling education “the civil right of the 21st century.”
George W. Bush Initiative
President George W. Bush tried to bridge the gap among underprivileged students with their financially capable counterparts by signing the bipartisan law in 2002. The law was conditioned for schools to show growth, or else face consequences.
No Child Left Behind stressed the importance of requiring all grade-level students to be able to read and do math by 2014. Obama’s administration has provided room for giving waivers to schools regarding some of the strictest requirements, subject to certain conditions including the use of college and career-ready standards like Common Core.