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States to receive long-awaited NCLB relief

NEA supports temporary fix, pushes for Congress to revamp law

WASHINGTON - February 09, 2012 -

President Obama and Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan today announced the approval of ten states’ plans to make substantial school reforms in return for temporary regulatory relief from some of No Child Left Behind's mandates. The Administration endorsed plans by Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Tennessee. New Mexico’s application has not yet been approved.

“We’re encouraged by President Obama’s and Secretary Duncan’s efforts to provide NCLB waivers for relief,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel.  “These states have committed to working with teachers, parents, and other community stakeholders to implement changes designed to better support students. Our members look forward to being part of a true partnership with school and community leaders to think creatively about how to help all students thrive with this new flexibility.”
“But this is only a stopgap measure. We will continue to work with Congress on a comprehensive bill that works for students and reflects the important federal role of ensuring equity while working with states and local school districts to support the public education system,” said Van Roekel. “Any ESEA reauthorization bill must ensure that all students have access to quality early education, well-rounded instruction, a safe and supportive learning environment, and access to qualified, caring, and committed teachers.  As a nation, we must do more to implement a new vision of public education that helps all students succeed."
Van Roekel underscored the importance of the new version of ESEA legislation including provisions that ensure educators have a seat at the table for all key decisions, including the development and implementation of school improvement plans. “The face of public education is changing all over the country. We’re seeing great success and long-lasting progress when educators, school administration, parents, and communities come together for the students,” said Van Roekel.

For more information on NEA’s push for comprehensive NCLB reauthorization, please go to
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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Sara Robertson  (202) 822-7823,