ESEA Reauthorization: The State of Play in 2011

A flurry of activity by the Administration and Congress raised expectations reauthorizing ESEA in 2011. The President touched on education reform during the State of the Union and also made March "education month" during which he and the Secretary held a number of events to build support for reauthorization. Congress held several hearings and some members introduced various marker bills, but for the most part, there has been little legislative activity. Congress spent most of the year debating a budget for last year, which resulted in $700 million for Race to the Top, and $150 million for I3, but also eliminated $100 million for state ed tech grants and $250 million for Striving Readers.

As was the case with NCLB, the reauthorization of the federal law will likely have a tremendous impact on the education landscape over the next decade. The law guides the vast majority of federal K12 spending and also includes key parts of the regulatory and policy framework for state departments of education and school districts. With all the activity, we used last month's Insider survey to ask a number of questions to help sift out the substance from the rhetoric and forecast where the policy is heading.

    • When will the final ESEA bill be signed into law?
    • How much support is there for key policies and has it increased or decreased since July 2010?
    • Will the set aside of funding to support public school choice and supplemental services tutoring remain in the final law? Will there be set aside funding for technology and literacy programs?
    • What do Democrats and Republicans really want out of ESEA negotiations?
    • Was March's Education Month helpful or not in generating support for reauthorization?
    • Which relationships have the greatest and least difference over ESEA policies?
    • What was the impact of Wisconsin's collective bargaining battle? What states should we next expect to see the issue surface?

    Join us for a discussion of the results on May 6 with special guests:

    Michael J. Petrilli, Execuctive Vice President, Fordham Foundation

    Mike Petrilli is one of the nation‰'s foremost education experts. As Executive Vice President, he oversees the Fordham Institute‰'s research projects and publications and contributes to the Flypaper blog and weekly Education Gadfly newsletter. He is also a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and Executive Editor of Education Next, where he writes a regular column on technology and media, as well as occasional feature-length articles. Petrilli has published opinion pieces in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal and appears regularly on NBC Nightly News, ABC World News Tonight, CNN, and FOX News. He‰'s been a guest on several National Public Radio programs, including All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation, and the Diane Rehm Show. He is author, with Frederick M. Hess, of No Child Left Behind: A Primer. Previously Petrilli was an Associate Assistant Deputy Secretary in the U.S. Department of Education‰'s Office of Innovation and Improvement and a vice president at He started his career as a teacher at the Joy Outdoor Education Center in Clarksville, Ohio, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Honors Political Science from the University of Michigan. He lives with his wife Meghan and sons Nico and Leandro in Takoma Park, Maryland.

    Kate Tromble, Director of Legislative Affairs, The Education Trust

    Prior to joining The Education Trust, Kate was an attorney with the education practice of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP‰'s Government and Regulatory Affairs Practice Group, where she specialized in regulatory and legislative issues related to higher education. Kate previously served as legislative counsel to both Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes and Rep. Artur Davis. She also served as legislative and policy adviser to former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. Kate is a graduate of Georgetown University and Vanderbilt University School of Law.