Archived Information

Seven More States, Puerto Rico and Bureau of Indian Education Request NCLB Flexibility

44 States Have Now Requested or Been Approved For Waivers; Other States Can Still Apply

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Press Office, (202) 401-1576, press@ed.gov


The Obama Administration today has received requests from seven new states, Puerto Rico and the Bureau of Indian Education for flexibility from No Child Left Behind (NCLB) in exchange for state-developed plans to prepare all students for college and career, focus aid on the neediest students, and support effective teaching and leadership.

The latest requests, filed by Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, West Virginia and the Bureau of Indian Education, bring to 44 the number of states that have either requested waivers or already been approved to implement next-generation education reforms that go far beyond No Child Left Behind’s rigid, top-down prescriptions.

“This is truly a nationwide movement, and the message from coast to coast is clear – America can’t wait any longer for real education reform.” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “My hope is that Congress will come together to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, but we know states need flexibility now.”

Federal education law has been due for congressional reauthorization since 2007. In the face of congressional inaction, President Obama announced in September of 2011 that the Obama Administration would grant waivers from NCLB to qualified states. The first requests for waivers were granted in February of 2012

The 33 states (plus the District of Columbia) that have been approved for waivers from NCLB include: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

The 11 states (plus the Bureau of Indian Education and Puerto Rico) with outstanding requests for waivers include Alabama, Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota, West Virginia.

The 6 states that have not yet requested a waiver include: Montana, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont (request withdrawn), and Wyoming.

For more information, visit: http://www.ed.gov/esea/flexibility/requests.