As reported by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on ed.gov, seven more states, Puerto Rico, and the Bureau of Indian Education have requested waivers of the requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), in exchange for state-developed plans to prepare all students for college and career, focus aid on the neediest students, and support effective teaching and leadership. This brings the total to 44 states that have now requested or been approved for waivers to implement next-generation education reforms that go far beyond NCLB’s prescriptions. Other states are still eligible to apply.
“This is truly a nationwide movement, and the message from coast to coast is clear – America can’t wait any longer for real education reform,” said ED Secretary Arne Duncan. “My hope is that Congress will come together to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, but we know states need flexibility now.”
ED states that federal education law has been due for congressional reauthorization since 2007. In the face of congressional inaction, President Obama announced in September of 2011 that the Obama Administration would grant waivers from NCLB to qualified states. The first requests for waivers were granted in February of 2012.
The 33 states (plus the District of Columbia) that have been approved for waivers from NCLB include: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
The 11 states (plus the Bureau of Indian Education and Puerto Rico) with outstanding requests for waivers include Alabama, Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota, West Virginia.
The 6 states that have not yet requested a waiver include: Montana, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont (request withdrawn), and Wyoming.
Source: ED.gov, 9/10/12, By Staff
[Editor's Note: In September 2012, Legal Clips summarized an Associated Press article in the Tyler Morning Telegraph, which reported that Texas is considering applying for a waiver to avoid some accountability standards imposed by NCLB, even though state officials expressed concern about the possible strings attached to such a reprieve.]