Education Committee Members Commission GAO Report on NCLB

This week, Senator Lamar Alexander and Representative John Kline requested in a letter to the Government Accountability Office on Tuesday that the agency study the current waiver policy for No Child Left Behind.  Senator Alexander is the senior Republican member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Rep. Kline is chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee.

The letter argues that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan began issuing waivers without direct authorization from Congress, and that lawmakers have not been adequately updated on the effects of these waivers once they go into effect. The letter states:

“Congress has little information about how the department utilizes the data required of [states] to grant, deny, renew or revoke a state waiver. Additionally, Congress has little insight into how states are impacted by the time and cost associated with applying for and implementing these waiver requirements.” 

The request asks that the GAO look into several waiver issues, including the Department of Education’s process for approving and denying waivers, and the changes that states have made in order to qualify for a waiver from the department.

Read more about the request and read the full text of the letter at the Senate HELP Committee website.

Shannon Kelly, Director of Advocacy, August 14, 2014. © National Association for Music Education (