Table: Hear Ye, Hear Ye: The No Child Left Behind Act in Court

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Several lawsuits in federal and state courts have centered on provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Some examples:

Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now v. New York City Department of Education Federal suit by ACORN alleged that the New York City and Albany, N.Y., school districts had denied some children their rights under the federal law to transfer out of schools that had failed to make adequate yearly progress.

Status: A federal district judge in New York City dismissed the suit in 2003, ruling that the law did not create an individual right to sue under the transfer or supplemental-educational-services provisions.
Kegerreis v. United States A public school teacher in Kansas City, Kan., sued the federal government, arguing that the law unfairly seeks to hold only school personnel accountable if students have unsatisfactory test scores.

Status: A federal district judge in 2003 dismissed the teacher’s suit, ruling that it relied on hypothetical harms, and that the federal government had not waived its immunity from being sued.
Reading School District v. [Pennsylvania] Department of Education
The Reading, Pa., district sued the state education department in state court last year, contending that some of its schools had failed to make AYP because the state did not provide enough money or did not translate state tests into Spanish.

Status: The state commonwealth court ruled against the district last year on the grounds that the state planned to have tests in other languages ready by this year. The district has appealed the ruling to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. It has two other challenges to the state’s administration of the law pending in the commonwealth court.
Fresh Start Academy v. Toledo Board of Education
A private tutoring provider claimed that the Toledo, Ohio, district had unfairly blocked
it from providing supplemental educational services to students under the law.

Status: A federal district judge ruled last month that private tutoring providers have
no right to sue to enforce the federal law.
Ottawa Township High School District v.
U.S. Department
of Education
Two Illinois school districts sued the federal department and the state board of education early this year, arguing that the law’s requirement that special education students count as a subgroup for school accountability conflicts with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act’s mandate that each such student have an individualized education program.

Status: The suit is pending in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
School District of the City of Pontiac v. Spellings The suit filed last month by the National Education Association and districts in several states contends that the federal government is underfunding the law, in violation
of a provision that no state or district should incur costs not paid for by the act.

Status: The suit is pending in U.S. District Court in Detroit.


SOURCE: National Education Association; Education Week

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