Rep. Todd Rokita Named Chairman of K-12 Panel

Rep. Todd Rokita, a conservative Republican from Indiana, has been tapped to oversee the House education subcommittee on K-12 policy."In recent years, Indiana has helped lead the way with groundbreaking education reforms that have set an example for the rest of the nation. I'm excited to serve as chairman of the subcommittee with oversight over K-12 education, where I will have the opportunity to take what we've learned in Indiana to Washington, and also to ensure that states like Indiana have the flexibility and help they need to deliver top-quality education for students and families."

That puts him in a powerful position for education policy—particularly if Congress surprises everyone and somehow makes significant headway on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act this year. In fact, back in the winter of 2012, when the House education panel marked up bills to renew the ESEA law, Rokita stood out as one of the most conservative members of a very conservative bunch of lawmakers. He introduced an amendment to reduce the number of employees in the U.S. Department of Education, which was added to the bill. What's more, he put forth—then withdrew—a game-changing provision that would have basically repealed the entire decades-old ESEA law—not just the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The legislation would have essentially allowed states to opt out of federal education programs and return the money to taxpayers. Rokita, who as the former secretary of state in Indiana, has a lot of political experience, was elected to Congress in 2010, as part of the big, "tea party" wave. And he was seen as emblematic of his freshman class. This report came from EdWeek's Alyson Klein on Jan. 3, 2013.


SES in 2012-13 Is Like "Where is Waldo" now that the USDE has acted on most of the ESEA waiver applications formally submitted. Here is the headline--18 States  and their school districts will provide continued access to the academic life-line program known as SES to low-income/low achieving students.  The complete list and EIA's analysis of the ever-changing landscape is found here.

Even in a state like New York which recently received approval for its waiver (that did NOT continue SES), New York City did announce its intention to continue some version of tutorial support empowering school principals to make procurement decisions specific to their own needs. Details on NYC's plans remain murky as of this date but Federal officials are closely monitoring the situation urging the City to release more information asap.

And EIA has learned from its contacts with the US Department of Education that California's unique waiver request will not be approved, resulting in the status quo for all NCLB accountability requirements, including SES and Choice.

The 8 states that received approval for the "AMO waiver", will also continue all NCLB accountability provisions, freezing schools identified as in need of improvement at their 2011 levels. This means that interventions like SES will be in place for those previously identified schools for the upcoming school year.

This still is a transitional environment and education entrepreneurs are urged to look beyond SES for new ways to support struggling students and schools. That is why EIA has launched its New Opportunities Series showcasing 11 business opportunities in PreK-12. For more details, see the announcement on this series in this newsletter and at




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