Senator Orrin Hatch “was not particularly interested in having a conversation with me about why we shouldn’t vote to opt out of No Child Left Behind or why he voted for it,” says Utah state senator Margaret Dayton. In 2004, Dayton pushed for a bill to opt out of NCLB’s requirements. Although Hatch met with Education Secretary Margaret Spellings to argue his state’s case, Dayton says Hatch wasn’t especially helpful to her cause: “He was one of the votes that put us in [NCLB]. I never quite understood that.”
Dayton files another complaint: “Mike Lee made sure that the senators in our state have his access information, and we can contact him on a regular and frequent basis. Orrin Hatch has been in the U.S. Senate for a number of years, and we as state senators do not have his contact information; we all need to go through his staff if we have questions.”
On the homepage, I observe that Hatch has been more skeptical of NCLB than his critics suggest, but the issue will constitute one more hurdle for him in his race for renomination.