In my first entry of 2008, I wrote that state legislators were going to put NCLB in their sights. Virginia already has passed a bill that would require the state board to consider opting out of the law, though I predicted that board members would find more than 400 million reasons (aka dollars) to stay with the law.
Now, anti-NCLB bills are moving in Minnesota and Arizona. In Arizona yesterday, the House passed a bill that would require the state to leave NCLB by July 1, 2010. Rep. David Schapira, the Democrat who sponsored the bill, estimates that the state would need to replace $600 million in federal money if the bill is enacted. In Minnesota, the House Finance Committee approved an amendment Tuesday that would require the state to leave NCLB.
In both states, the bill will face hurdles. In Minnesota, Education Commissioner Alice Seagren opposes the bill, according this news report (courtesy of Schools Matter). In Arizona, Rep. Schapira has no specific plan to replace the lost federal money. At some point, someone will ask how the state is going to replace that money. That would be a hard question to answer in Arizona—or just about any other state.
A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.