STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senate Democratic Leader David Schapira released the following statement regarding the U.S. Department of Education's granting Arizona a waiver from complying with aspects of No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which was the 2001 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), was President George W. Bush's signature piece of education reform legislation that made drastic and detrimental changes to ESEA. The fact that more than half the states have requested, and been granted, waivers is indicative of the many flaws within NCLB.
By not correctly identifying the "federal red tape" as requirements imposed by Bush's NCLB, Governor Brewer is trying to hide that fact and put the blame on the Obama administration.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is issuing waivers from NCLB requirements because Congress has failed to act on reform of the NCLB language and reauthorization of ESEA. The Obama Administration has repeatedly called for Congress to reauthorize ESEA and continues to do so.
"While it is laughable for Governor Brewer to claim to know what is best for Arizona schools given that she and her Republican supermajority have slashed school funding by more than $2 billion, I am pleased our teachers and students will not be burdened with the unrealistic requirements of Bush's No Child Left Behind legacy," said Sen. Schapira.
"I offer thanks and appreciation to President Obama and Secretary Duncan for granting these waivers and doing the right thing for the millions of school children in our country. I also call on Congress to do their job and quickly pass bipartisan legislation reforming and reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to ensure a bright future for our children and our nation."