|Senate HELP Committee Announces NCLB Plans|
Staff on the Senate HELP Committee met with education stakeholders on Wednesday afternoon to discuss Committee plans to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (now known as the No Child Left Behind Act). According to staff representing both Chairman Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Ranking Member Mike Enzi (R-WY), the goal is to move a bill out of Committee in May of 2007. Once that goal is achieved, the Committee will work with the Senate leadership to place the bill on the calendar and schedule a floor debate.
It was noted that also on the Committee agenda for the year are reauthorizations of the Head Start Act, the Higher Education Act and the Workforce Investment Act. It is an ambitious schedule that, according to Committee staff, will require the support of the stakeholders present. In order to take all recommendations to amend NCLB into account, interested groups are asked to submit proposals to the Committee by March 30th. These proposals should be in the form of legislative language, accompanied by written justifications for the changes and sent to: Kelly_hastings@help.senate.gov and Nora_crowley@help.senate.gov
In order to prepare for the development of a reauthorization proposal in April, the Committee will continue their briefing, roundtable and hearing schedule. A joint hearing with the House Education and Labor Committee, examining successful strategies for school improvement, will be held on March 13th in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Future hearings in the Senate will cover the topics of secondary school reform; adequate yearly progress and accountability; parent and community engagement; English Language Learners and NCLB; and Special Education students and NCLB. Other briefings/roundtables/hearings may be added to the schedule, either in Washington or around the country, at the request of Senators on the Committee.