Mercedes Schneider is reading the 600+ pages of the Senate bill drafted by Senator Lamar Alexander and Senator Patti Murray. It is a tough job, and I am glad she has the patience to do it.


This is her second installment, and you will find in it a link to the first close reading of the bill, which went to page 136.


She picks up a few points she wants to add to her review of the first 136 pages, and she adds commentary on another 25 pages. Her pace has slowed down, either because she teaches high school English full-time, or because the tedium of reading legislative language is slowing her down. A few points she touches on that are important: 1) the bill allows public school choice, but does not require it; 2) the bill does not refer to “failing” schools (a favorite term of the reformers); 3) the bill reiterates the principle that federal funds must “supplement not supplant” local funding; 4) the bill again prohibits federal interference in local efforts to improve schools, another slap at Arne Duncan’s overreach.


You can be sure she will read the proposed law to the very end, and we will all be better informed. You can also be sure that most members of Congress will not read the legislation as closely as she does.