Giving districts wiggle room on No Child Left Behind's requirements would hurt the chances for reauthorization and just generally create a messy renewal process, according to a survey of Beltway Insiders and other edu-smarty-pants

Under the new Republican majority, the panel also is going back to its previous name, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce

It will be up to the new, more fiscally conservative Congress to decide if if President Obama's signature education reform program will be extended.

A new, more conservative Congress will get to set 2011 spending levels for K-12 programs.

Schools would be required to conduct comprehensive background checks for any employee using state criminal and child abuse registries and the FBI's fingerprint database, under a bill that the U.S. House of Representatives is considering today.

The buzz is that education could get a much more prominent role than usual in the president's State of the Union address early next year. And lawmakers want to be ready.

Federal education programs will be frozen until March 4 under a budget deal up for a vote this week, and next year a new, more conservative Congress will set spending levels for K-12.

Senate leaders' decision to stop action on a big giant spending bill could spell flat funding for most federal programs, including Title I and special education, until a new Congress is in place.

The Teacher Incentive Fund and the School Improvement Grant program would see some tweaks under the giant spending bill under consideration in the Senate.

Survey data shows that the stop-gap efforts couldn't stave off cuts forever. Now that federal dollars are drying up, districts are still facing shaky revenues.

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