Bennet Statement on Ed Department's Decision to Provide Regulatory Relief from NCLB

Washington, DC – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, today released the following statement supporting the U.S. Department of Education’s common-sense decision to accept applications for waivers to exempt states from particularly problematic regulations in No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

“If a rally were held today to keep No Child Left Behind the same, nobody would show up. Chairman Harkin and Ranking Member Enzi are working hard to produce a bipartisan bill to improve our system of public schools through reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), and they have my full support in that effort.

“Yet states and districts across the country are looking for relief and flexibility right now. By acting to cut red tape, the Secretary is removing bureaucratic barriers to innovation and reform that are taking away from the quality of kids’ education. Many of these No Child Left Behind regulations are not serving their intended purpose, and I support this effort to improve them.”

“Right now, children living in poverty face a 9 in 100 chance of graduating from a four-year college – a clear sign that our system of public schools is failing too many students. These children and their parents aren’t concerned with where a fix comes from; they just want the problem solved.”

Bennet is part of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee’s negotiating team crafting reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).