April 18, 2005
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Jennifer Chavez
Public Information Officer
(505) 476-0393

Secretary García Travels to DC for Council of Chief State School Officers Legislative Conference

(Santa Fe, NM) Today, Secretary of Education, Veronica C. García, and Deputy Secretary Dr. Kurt Steinhaus are meeting with the Council of Chief State School Officers in Washington DC to discuss legislative issues. The meeting has been scheduled because this is a very busy time for education issues on Capitol Hill. In addition to the budget and appropriations process, there are six major federal education laws that impact the educational process from early childhood to adult education: Head Start, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Perkins Vocational and Technology Education Act (Perkins), the Higher Education Act (HEA) and the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Several of these acts, including Head Start, Perkins, HEA and WIA are currently pending reauthorization Congress. The US Department of Education will soon be publishing comments on proposed regulation sunder IDEA and new guidance with regard to NCLB. President Bush has proposed a new initiative focused on high school reform, which may also result in new legislation.

Secretary García said, “On this trip to DC, in addition to meeting with the Council of Chief State School Officers, I will be meeting with Secretary Spellings again and I will be seeking more clarification on the No Child Left Behind Act. I am hoping we will be granted more flexibility due to the rural nature of our State, without compromising the high levels of accountability that are critical in the No Child Left Behind Act. Additionally, I want to get up to date information on other legislative issues. One theme that has been made clear to me already, is the idea that we must continue to raise the bar academically, particularly in math and science if our country will remain competitive in the global market in the years to come.”

Highlights of Secretary García’s itinerary include:

  • Monday, April 18th Opening Session and Plenary on “the Vital Role of Education and Chiefs in the 21 Century” with Michael Dell


  • Tuesday, April 19th “A Conversation with Chiefs on the Federal-State Partnership on Improving Education” with Secretary Spellings and “A Conversation with Chiefs on NCLB” led by Assistant Secretary, Ray Simon


  • Wednesday, April 20th Congressional Breakfast on Capitol Hill with Senators Enzi and Kennedy and National Teacher of the Year Award Ceremony in Rose Garden at the Whitehouse