House Endorses Sweeping NCLB Rewrite
July 09, 2015
The House endorsed a sweeping rewrite of the No Child Left Behind education law.
• The House endorsed a sweeping rewrite of the No Child Left Behind education law. By passing 218-213 a measure aimed at significantly reducing the federal government’s role in K-12 education, the House sets up tough negotiations with the Senate which began debating its own revamp of the 2001 law on Tuesday. Twenty seven Republicans voted with a Democratic caucus against the bill. Both bills maintain regular testing of students but devolve to states’ decisions about what to do with the results, allowing local officials to set the terms of teacher evaluations and design standards for failing schools. The House bill goes further in rolling back federal power, giving states leeway to untether federal funding from particular districts and permitting money to follow students to public schools of their choice. The White House has signaled its disapproval of both chambers’ measures, saying they lack accountability standards for failing schools. [WSJ]
• A new rule from the Department of Housing and Urban Development takes aim at segregated housing. The new rule is designed to help communities that receive federal funding break out of historical patterns of housing segregation, and it comes in response to criticisms that federal enforcement of fair-housing laws has been opaque and difficult for smaller communities to accommodate. Under the new rule, HUD will provide communities with historical data they must use to analyze segregation patterns, areas where race and poverty are concentrated, and availability of good schools and jobs. Communities will then be required to submit these analyses to HUD, set goals for reducing segregation, and track results. As a final resort, the federal government can withhold money from communities that fail to address discriminatory policies. Some lawmakers and community leaders say it amounts to forcing communities to integrate against their will. [WSJ]
Economic Indicators & News
• Jobless claims data have been remarkably stable at very low levels since March, but last week’s initial claims were up 15,000 to 297,000. Continuing claims, up 69,000 to 2.33 million, also rose sharply. An important factor which will soon be at play is the auto retooling which will shut down parts of the auto sector in rolling layoffs this month. It is possible that retooling is behind some of the pressure is the latest data as well. If these results are repeated in next week’s report, the outlook for the July employment report could definitely turn lower. [Bloomberg]