From Alyson Klein at Education Week:
Harkin, who was a key author of the education portions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is a big fan of special education. (In fact, his late brother was a special education student.) He's also a major champion of federal funding for school facilities and told reporters that he was "not a happy camper" when money for school construction was taken out of the stimulus law.
So what does this mean for education legislation—including No Child Left Behind reauthorization? Well, this session of Congress will be Harkin's last chance ever to put his stamp on a rewrite of the law, something he's listed as a priority. Harkin has already made a start, working with Sen. Michael B. Enzi, then the Senate education committee's top Republican on a bipartisan revamp of the law back in 2011. The legislation got the support of three of the panel's GOP members, but never made it to the floor of the Senate. Presumably, having started that work, it seems Harkin would want to try and finish the job, especially since his home state of Iowa didn't get a waiver to get out from under the mandates of the current NCLB law.