By Ron Maxy
Tennessee Charter School Association –February 14, 2011
Local school leaders hope the involvement of Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., on a committee that will help rewrite the federal No Child Left Behind law means good things for Mississippi educators.
Cochran, the state’s senior senator, announced Friday he had agreed to continue serving on the Senate Rural Education Caucus, a bipartisan group that will promote the needs and interests of education in small and rural school districts in the 112th Congress.
The DeSoto County public school system is not considered a rural district—it’s the state’s largest—but district officials still applaud having a Mississippi voice on the caucus and involved in revamping a law that many educators say puts an onerous burden on schools.
Reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind law is among the legislative goals outlined for the current session of Congress.
Cochran, in addition to serving on the caucus, is vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and serves on the appropriations subcommittee that provides funding for the U.S. Department of Education.
“I believe this caucus can play a valuable role in the next two years as Congress addresses the multitude of challenges facing education, on both policy and funding fronts,” Cochran said in a statement.
“As Congress begins to consider rewriting the No Child Left Behind law,” Cochran added, “I will be interested in seeing that the federal government’s approach to public education is best tailored to meet the needs of rural districts in Mississippi.”