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Last Updated: 04/12/2018


 Article of Interest - Federal Funding

Granholm Warns of Unfunded Mandates in 'No Child' Act
from Gongwer News Service, 2-21-03
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Republican and Democratic governors split sharply at this weekend's National Governors Association meeting over President George W. Bush's "No Child Left Behind" federal school funding law that significantly increased education funding to states in exchange for greater school choice for pupils.

Democratic governors, including Governor Jennifer Granholm, criticized the Bush administration for imposing numerous mandates in the law without sufficient funding to implement them. The law has certain standardized testing requirements, mandates that each state set annual yearly progress standards and allows pupils to switch schools if their school fails to meet those standards.

In a closed-door meeting between the governors and U.S. Education Secretary Roderick Paige, Democratic governors demanded to know whether the federal government would fully pay for the mandates called for under the law. Mr. Paige's answers left Democrats unsatisfied.

"I think a number of us were eager to hear more," Ms. Granholm said.

The Bush administration is not giving states the funding to pay for the mandates required under the law despite some "wonderful rhetoric," Ms. Granholm said.

"All of the testing requirements that are put on the table are not funded," she said. "The mandates are not funded."

But Republican governors defended Mr. Bush, questioning how Democrats could criticize considering the tremendous increase in federal funding for education under the law.

And Mr. Paige said unlike a 1994 federal school funding law, the "No Child" act has given states funding to help pay for the testing required.

Connecticut Governor John Rowland, a Republican, said the "No Child" law has been a success and the funding is fair. The key to the law's future success: no federal dictates to the states, he said.

"We're happy to participate in meeting standards as long as we have the flexibility to do so," he said.

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