The Education Unfinished Business Left By Sen. Ted Kennedy
Posted Aug 29 2009 10:05pm
Sen Edward M. Kennedy, who died Aug. 25 after nearly 47 years in the Senate, left a lot of unfinished business at the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, which he chaired. Though the committee worked on legislation to reform health care -Mr. Kennedy’s signature issue- during the chairman’s absence for treatment of a brain tumor, the panel also has important education items on its plate.
Those include oversight of the education portions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and what is likely to be a very tricky reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, whose current version is the NCLB law.
Even though Sen. Kennedy was "a dedicated liberal," he "would have compromised this way or that way in order to get legislation through" the Senate, said Jack Jennings, the president of the Center on Education Policy, a research and advocacy organization in Washington.
"I’m not sure there is somebody who could take over who would have that ability at this time," said Mr. Jennings, who served as a top aide to Democrats on the House education committee for nearly three decades.