Ohanian comment: Although the writer is right, he shouldn't think that NCLB would be good if it were fully funded.
Congress doesn't mind making promises. Fulfilling them is another issue, or more accurately, a pitfall. The demonstration of this congressional deception is playing out in the funding of the No Child Left Behind program.
A bill passed by the House last week shortchanged NCLB by $13.2 billion, despite an attempt by U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore to sidetrack the shortfall. Moore, a Democrat who represents the 3rd Kansas District in the House, helped sponsor legislation that would have delayed some federal mandates on school performance if the program is not fully funded.
The Moore legislation did not pass but there is still an opportunity to amend the bill. It awaits action in the Senate.
As of this year, the NCLB shortfall totals $40 billion.
States, including Kansas, are having enough difficulty in financing schools without having the Bush administration's NCLB initiative turn into an unfunded mandate.
This congressional failure on NCLB is a repeat of its failure to keep its pledge on special education funding. The states and local school districts have had to pick up the slack.
In 1975 Congress enacted the Individuals with Disabilities Act for students with special needs. The law directs Congress to provide up to 40 percent of the program's cost, with states and local districts funding the rest. In many years the U.S. share has been around 10 percent, sometimes less.
Moore is on the right track in his NCLB quest, but unfortunately too few of his colleagues care about following through on the education of our children.
Johnson County Sun
INDEX OF NCLB OUTRAGES