Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth says reauthorizing the expired No Child Left Behind Act should be a priority of the incoming Congress.
But the law as it stands now would likely undergo significant reforms that follow what some states like Kentucky have already begun implementing.
Yarmuth was recently appointed to the House Education and Workforce Committee, a position he held during his first years in office.
No Child Left Behind technically expired in 2007, but it remains in effect until the law changes. Yarmuth says the reauthorization would require great compromise that hasn’t been successful in the past, but he says any new law would likely align with standards found in Kentucky’s new accountability system.
“I don’t think a bill that would pass the House or the Senate would in any way try to turn back the clock to the more stringent, arbitrary standards we had in the original No Child Left Behind. So I think Kentucky’s efforts would not be undermined in whatever we do,” he said.
Yarmuth says he also expects the committee to extend the Workforce Investment Act, which established and provides funds to KentuckianaWorks and other local bodies overseeing job placement and training programs.
Federal funding has decreased over the years and local government and private enterprise have stepped up to fill in some monetary gaps.
While he expresses some concern, Yarmuth also says the bill has been extended each year since it expired in 2003.
“It’s going to be a fight to even extend it but we’ve been able to keep it alive this long, and through a republican congress. So I suspect that in the final analysis we’ll be able to preserve it. But it’s not going to be easy,” he said.