Sen. Rand Paul wants to derail No Child Left Behind overhaul to prove fed. govt. doesn’t work

Posted on: October 19th, 2011 by Mikhail Zinshteyn No Comments

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is expected to combat what he regards is an example of government overreach by flooding the mark up session of the country’s main education law with amendments on Wednesday.

During a blogger’s conference hosted by Heritage Foundation he said:

“Our Republican platform with Ronald Reagan was against the Department of Education. Now, at the very least, if we could just be against No Child Left Behind, which is not the entire Department of Education but actually doubled the size of the Department of Education, doubled the number of workers and increased federal control of education — all things that conservatives are ostensibly against.”

The Obama administration has repeatedly made efforts to roll back No Child Left Behind, granting states waivers to opt out of the more punitive aspects of the law. Meanwhile, the bill, slated to be marked up on Wednesday and written by Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Mike Enzi (R-Wy.), is eschewing much of the accountability measures in play today under No Child Left Behind.

The lack of tools on hand to hold schools responsible for the performance of minority students has been a point of contention for several major organizations.

Rand Paul continued, even comparing the proposed Early and Secondary Education Act to “Obamacare:”

Topping out at over 860 pages, Paul expressed frustration that the bill is being pushed through too quickly and many will likely not read it.

“We will make a stink out of the fact that nobody is going to read it. We haven’t had one hearing on [reauthorizing] No Child Left Behind. They said, ‘Oh, we had them in previous years.’ Well, I wasn’t here in previous years and I’ve got a vote on it. I would have liked the teachers to come in, the superintendents, the principals,” Paul said, noting that teachers are largely against the act.

Paul compared the reauthorization to Obamacare, explaining that there have been similarities in the way the bill is being pushed through and the fact that a majority of states are attempting to get out of the requirements.

Sens. Harkin and Enzi have been assembling a new national education policy for ten months. Sen. Paul’s outreach to teachers also seems out of step, as the Kentucky legislator has excoriated the role of labor groups.

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