After nearly four decades in Congress, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, chairman of the education panel, begins his farewells and lauds the committee's soon-to-be next chairman, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.

The Child Care and Development Block grant program, which hasn't been updated since 1996, helps low-income families pay for child care.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan would like to see annual state assessments remain at the core of any reauthorization of NCLB, said state chiefs who participated in a Q-and-A in San Diego.

The U.S. Department of Education continues its trend of extending states' No Child Left Behind Act waivers even if they haven't completely taken care of everything cited in their monitoring reports.

Schools overseen by the Bureau of Indian Education have serious financial problems that includes the accumulation of unspent funds intended for instructional purposes such as special education, the report says.

States seeking to keep their NCLB law waivers will have to do more to show how they plan to identify and intervene in low-performing schools, but won't have to give data showing their new systems are improving student achievement, new U.S. Department of Education guidance says.

Ahead of the U.S. Department of Education's No Child Left Behind waiver guidance, expected this week, Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., and Democrats who represent majority-minority districts are urging Education Secretary Arne Duncan to ensure the academic achievement of all students.

The child care development block grant could be on the president's desk by the end of next week.

Twenty-seven pages of new guidance released on the issue Monday appear to give states a lot of running room to figure out just what these equity plans should look like.

For those keeping score at home, this leaves just New Mexico and Louisiana waiting on their extensions.

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