Alexander Statement on Tennessee Waiver from No Child Left Behind

Says, “Gov. Haslam and Tennessee have done exactly what they should have … as they work to provide better teachers and better schools”

Posted on February 9, 2012

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on the U.S. Department of Education’s announcement today that it would grant the state of Tennessee a waiver from the requirements of No Child Left Behind:

“Governor Haslam and Tennessee have done exactly what they should have, and that is to get as much freedom as possible from federal regulations as they work to provide better teachers and better schools. Fortunately for Tennessee, Secretary Duncan’s objectives are very much in line with Tennessee’s objectives, but that won’t be true for every state and the secretary should not be using his waiver authority to impose requirements on states that are not now in the law.”

Alexander, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, joined other Republican senators in introducing five bills to fix No Child Left Behind last year, and also supported moving a bill introduced by Sens. Mike Enzi (R-Wy.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) out of committee and to the floor for debate.

In a speech delivered on the Senate floor last year (video HERE), Alexander urged the U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to “to "show restraint" with respect to his waiver-granting power, saying, "Just because you have every state over a barrel doesn't mean you should be tempted to use this opportunity to become a national school board."

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