Reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act

The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act celebrated its sixth anniversary on January 8, 2008, four months beyond the date on which it was due for reauthorization. NCLB is the most recent reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which has guided federal education policy since its first passage in 1965. The sweeping legislation, passed with bipartisan support, has become a galvanizing political issue. It is appropriate and necessary that state legislators are a part of the debate on reauthorizing the Act. Education is the single largest budget item for almost all states, and there are few other pieces of federal legislation that have had such an impact on state educational expenditures and policy as NCLB. Over the past several years, the Education Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference has held a number of discussions on the Act and its implications for state policy. From these reflections on the Act and its impacts on states it is possible to draw some conclusions for guiding the reauthorization and continued implementation of NCLB.

 

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Reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act