The States of NCLB

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As a reminder that all politics—especially education politics—is ultimately local, legislatures in more half of the nation's states have introduced resolutions challenging the Bush administration's No Child Left Behind Act. Some of the mostly symbolic bills were unanimously adopted, others were killed outright, and many never even made it out of subcommittee hearing rooms.

Regardless of their fate, nearly all the bills reflected common concerns, as seen by the proposals listed in the table below. Legislation was launched by both Democratic and Republican lawmakers, but the majority of challenges came from "red states"—those George W. Bush carried in 2000—rather than from the "blue states" won by Al Gore.

Proposed Resolutions and Challenges to NCLB
  Requesting waivers, revisions, or exclusions Requesting increase in federal funding Refusing to comply with all or part of NCLB Prohibiting spending of state money on NCLB mandates
AK x x    
AZ x x x  
CA x x    
CO x x    
CT x      
FL x x    
HI x x x  
ID x      
IN x      
IA x      
KS x x    
KY x x   x
LA   x    
ME       x
MN x   x  
NH       x
NM   x x  
OH   x    
OK x      
PA   x    
RI   x    
SC x      
SD   x    
TN   x    
UT x x x  
VT x     x
VA x      
WA x      
WV x x    
WI   x   x
WY x   x  
* New Jersey's resolution proposed only one highly specific change to NCLB
SOURCES: National Conference of State Legislatures and staff research

Vol. 16, Issue 02, Pages 32-33

Published in Print: October 1, 2004, as The States of NCLB
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