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House Republicans Pushing New Education Bill

Wednesday, 17 Jul 2013 12:39 PM

By Lisa Barron

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GOP House leaders are pushing for a new education law to replace No Child Left Behind and roll back the federal performance standards that have been in place for the past decade.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Rep. John Kline of Virginia, chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee, along with other members of the panel, visited the Two Rivers Public Charter School in Northeast Washington Tuesday to tout the bill, known as the Student Success Act, reports Politico.

Federal now law sets conditions and requirements for every public school receiving federal funds to educate poor students and those with special needs.

Under the House bill, written by Kline, states could set their own academic standards, decide whether schools are meeting them, and decide what to do about underperforming schools.

The legislation was passed by the committee last month and could face a vote on the House floor as early as this week.

But Senate Democrats passed their own education bill in the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that would maintain much of the federal oversight.

Cantor also promoted an amendment on Tuesday that would create a public-school voucher system that would allow students to transfer to other public or charter schools using federal aid.

"If parents have choice, kids have opportunity," Cantor said at a news conference at Two Rivers. "I believe strongly in our public schools and the role they play in the future of this country."

Critics of the House bill argue that it would weaken the accountability of schools serving low-income, minority, and special-education students.

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