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Harkin, Enzi Announce Bipartisan Support for Moving Forward with Education Reform Bill

WASHINGTON – Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Mike Enzi (R-WY), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today announced an agreement to move forward with bipartisan legislation to overhaul the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

“This opportunity is the result of more than two years of hearings, debate, and negotiations,” said Senator Harkin.  “Through this bipartisan effort, we have produced legislation that represents an important step forward for our children, our schools, and our nation.  Our bill will equip students with the skills and knowledge they need for success in college and careers.  It will support teaching and learning rather than labeling and sanctioning, focus federal attention onturning around low-performing schools and closing achievement gaps, improve resource equity, and give states and schools the flexibility to innovate. This compromise demonstrates that Congressional Democrats and Republicans can overcome partisan differences in the interest of progress, and I look forward to support from my Committee colleagues on both sides of the aisle as we build on this foundation.”

“I'm pleased that this bill is going through the committee process. Recently legislation reauthorizing programs related to food safety and Autism research and support both went through this process.  Because of input from both sides, each bill was approved by Congress and signed by the President,” said Senator Enzi. “More than a year ago, members on both sides of the aisle agreed on the nine biggest problems with No Child Left Behind that needed to be fixed - and we set out to find solutions. As a result our bill reduces the federal footprint in our nation’s schools, it also continues the transparency that is critical to parents regarding student performance.  The measure will also eliminate many duplicative and wasteful programs while providing states with more flexibility when it comes to addressing their unique education needs. This is not a perfect bill, nor does it solve every education issue.  But it will make a huge, positive difference to our nation’s young people.”

The HELP Committee will begin consideration of the bill on Wednesday at 10:00 A.M.  The full text of the Manger’s Amendment filed today is available here: