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GOP Education Bill Would End Minority Programs

Replacing "No Child Left Behind" means ending programs that address achievement gap

black girl in school learninghThere’s little doubt that Democrats and Republicans would like to move past President Bush’s flawed “No Child Left Behind” education reforms.

One Republican congressman’s proposal includes cutting programs that support students from racial minorities, poor families, those learning English as a second language and students with disabilities, the New York Times reports.

Representative John Kline of Minnesota, the Republican chairman of the House Education Committee, introduced the legislation on Thursday, saying it would free states to determine how students meet learning standards set under the Bush reforms.

“What I object to and continue to object to is the federal department virtually coercing states [to meet the standards],” Kline said in a call with reporters.

Early criticism of Kline’s bill has been sharp.

“[This] turns the clock back decades on student achievement, equity and accountability in American public education,” said Rep. George Miller of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Education Committee. ”Our children, teachers and schools deserve more than ideology when it comes to fixing our nation’s education law.”