Policy Documents

No Child Left Behind Waivers: Bogus Relief, Genuine Overreach

Lindsey Burke –
September 5, 2012

In this Issue Brief, Lindsey Burke writes that there is widespread dissatisfaction with No Child Left Behind (NCLB). There are also many blaming congressional inaction for the need to act unilaterally. The Obama Administration has begun issuing waivers from the law to states willing to accept Department of Education (DOE) conditions that will end up further centralizing education policy.

The NCLB waivers pose serious legal questions, circumvent the normal legislative process, significantly grow federal intervention in local school policy, and fail to offer genuine relief to states suffering from Washington mandates and red tape. As such, governors and state education leaders should reject these waivers and demand genuine relief from federal intervention, including the ability to completely opt out of NCLB.