Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are debating how best to reform No Child Left Behind. At the end of last week House Republicans ushered through some sweeping reforms to the measure. Their bill would cut federal education funding by about $1 billion, while also removing a lot of the federal checks on local school systems.
Republicans say educators across the U.S. are clamoring to regain more control of their own school systems. The legislation failed to garner a single Democratic supporter. The Senate is moving ahead with its own rewrite of the law that seeks to retain a strong federal role in education.
Virginia Democratic Rep. Bobby Scott says many localities still need pressure from the federal government.
"The federal role in education is really to specifically help those areas that are not generally covered like low income areas, bilingual education, special education, groups that would generally be left behind if the federal government didn't step in.," he says.
It's still unclear when the Senate will take up its education bill, but it will have to be reconciled with the House version, which is facing a veto threat from the president leaving Congress with yet another issue where the two parties are worlds apart from each other.