BY MATT CANHAM, The Salt Lake Tribune
Sen. Orrin Hatch voted in favor of No Child Left Behind and has supported the education law in the face of angry state lawmakers and teachers groups for almost a decade.
But no more.
Late last week, Hatch not only voted against a revamp of the much-maligned law, he also was one of three Senate education committee members who voted to scrap it altogether.
“The current law just hasn’t worked like we hoped it would,” he told The Tribune in an interview. “I gave No Child Left Behind the benefit of the doubt, but frankly, while my vote was motivated by the best of intentions, it ended up being too much of a straitjacket.”
Tea party activists have criticized Hatch for voting in favor of President George W. Bush’s signature education law, saying it expanded the federal bureaucracy and weakened state control of the education system.
But Hatch said his newfound opposition to the law isn’t a reaction to political opponents, who are trying to defeat his 2012 re-election bid, though they have had a hard time persuading conservatives to jump in the race.