An 868-page bill said to be a fix for the loathed, landmark “No Child Left Behind,” was recently introduced allowing senators only 48 hours to read and consider it. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky) objected, declaring, “This process is rotten from the top to the bottom.”
Sen. Paul called that a “tragedy.”
No senator could argue with his criticism of the process, of course, but Sen. Michael Bennett of Colorado did take to the floor to argue it was an even bigger tragedy that so many children failed to reach proficiency in math and reading. He begged Sen. Paul to stop objecting so the bill could move forward and be passed.
Sound reasonable? Well, Bennett did not claim to have read the entire bill, only that (like so many other bills passed in recent years) the legislation is so desperately needed that no time could be spared to actually read it and deliberate.
Sen. Paul also lambasted the idea that senators had not held hearings where they might listen to the teachers and administrators struggling to comply with the federal mandates in No Child Left Behind. “I’ve yet to meet one teacher who’s in favor of No Child Left Behind,” he offered. “They abhor it.”
For his efforts, Paul got a hearing on the legislation, scheduled for November 8. Now let’s hope he can get senators to sit up in their seats and pay attention.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.