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Opt-Out Bill Stalls in Arizona Senate

The Arizona Senate has put up a roadblock to the proposal to opt out of NCLB. Last week, the Senate K-12 education committee essentially tabled an opt-out of NCLB bill in a tie vote. The bill's House sponsor hopes the committee will pass the proposal when absent committee members attend the next committee meeting, according to this brief in the current issue of Education Week.

But, as I've written before, it's unlikely that any state is going to leave NCLB. Even if one chamber in a legislature agrees to leave NCLB behind, that doesn't guarantee the other will go along, as we've seen in Arizona. Then the plan must get the governor's approval—that looks unlikely in Minnesota, according to this news report. In Virginia, the governor signed an anti-NCLB bill. But the legislation is structured so that the state board of education gets the final say. If the board ignores the bill, the state sticks with NCLB. I hear that's almost certainly going to be the outcome there.

In the end, these opt-out bills appear to be ways for state politicians to take a stand against NCLB without needing to make the difficult budget decisions to replace the money the state would lose if their state actually left the program.

Other NCLB-related articles in the April 9, 2008, issue of Education Week:
States to Face Uniform Rules on Grad Data with blog items here and here.
Dropout Campaigns Envisioned for States, 50 Key City Districts
Ed. Dept. Report Show Increase in Tutoring, Choice Under NCLB with blog items here and here
New Chief Brings State Lessons to Title I Office

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