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NCLB Outrages

New Study Affirms State Boards' Call for More Federal Funding to Expand State Education Departments

ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 23 /PRNewswire/ -- A new national study released today tracking the ongoing implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) at the state level has found that nearly all states are short on the staff and resources necessary to meet NCLB's requirements. The findings by the independent and non-partisan Center on Education Policy affirm an earlier analysis by the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) that state departments of education lack the infrastructure needed to help schools and districts succeed. The association is calling on Congress to make building "state capacity" a spending priority in the FY06 budget.

"This report confirms what NASBE and state boards of education have been saying for some time: that Congress and the Administration must help states build the infrastructure and staff expertise of state departments of education in order to help improve low performing schools identified by NCLB," said Brenda Welburn, NASBE Executive Director.

"The ultimate success of the No Child Left Behind Act will rise or fall depending on the ability of states to provide assistance to schools and local districts. Unfortunately, most state departments of education are currently not structured to deliver the comprehensive services NCLB requires they provide low-performing schools. New federal resources are critical to helping states quickly make this transition to becoming more directly involved at the local level with improving student achievement," noted Welburn.

The Center on Education Policy report found that 36 states do not have the internal capacity to carry out all of NCLB's requirements, with nine others concerned about their ability to meet federal mandates as the number of low- performing schools continues to rise. Only one state believes it has sufficient capacity, according to CEP.

Earlier this month, the Connecticut State Board of Education issued a study of the state's cost of complying with the No Child Left Behind Act. The study found that the state's responsibility for providing technical assistance to low-performing schools under the law is one of the state's most substantial financial and personnel-intensive obligations.

"We wholeheartedly agree that leaving no student, school, or district behind is the right focus for our time. Yet, without robust and direct state support to help struggling schools and students, the No Child Left Behind Act is merely identifying the problem and not offering any solutions. NASBE and its members will continue to press Congress and federal officials to 'help states help schools'," vowed Welburn.

NASBE, http://www.nasbe.org/, represents America's state and territorial boards of education. Our principal objectives are to strengthen state leadership in education policymaking; advocate equality of access to educational opportunity; promote excellence in the education of all students; and assure responsible lay governance of education.

Source: NASBE

CONTACT: David Griffith of NASBE, +1-703-684-4000, ext. 107

Web site: http://www.nasbe.org/

— PRNewswire
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