Dueling bills are being introduced in the Senate to revise the decade-old and much maligned No Child Left Behind education law.
After failing to agree on single bill, Republicans and Democrats are introducing rival plans to reform the way the federal government works with states and local school systems.
“We were trying last year — we tried this year — to see if we could come up with a compromise bill, a bill that enough Republicans and Democrats could agree on, that we could move on together from the beginning,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the top Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.
“But in the end we just couldn’t do it because there’s just a big difference of opinion between the Democratic senators and the Republican senators about the federal role in local schools.”
Efforts to update No Child Left Behind failed in the last Congress, and the law has gone unauthorized for the last six years.
Alexander conceded that the failure to reach a compromise did not bode well for passage of legislation but said he hoped that the Republican-majority House would approve a bill that he found favorable.