Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » March 2005 » About Those Unfunded Mandates...

[« Memphis News - the Week in Review] [Friday's Theme »]

03/18/2005: About Those Unfunded Mandates...

This article by David S. Broder (Washington Post) today at Those Unfunded Mandates is about a ten year old piece of legislation called merely the UMRA bill (Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.) The UMRA has the purpose of requiring: "...any mandate that would cost state or local governments more than $50 million a year, or private business $100 million, would be subject to a point of order during debate -- and legislators would have to vote specifically that the benefit was worth the cost."

The article goes on to ask:

"So how has it worked? ...

[Senator Dirk] Kempthorne told the National League of Cities convention Monday that it has been a success, that "it fundamentally changed the relationship" between Washington and the other levels of government. He cited a recent Congressional Budget Office report that found only five new mandates had been passed in the past decade. In a later interview he told me, "It has changed the culture on Capitol Hill" by making Congress far more sensitive to the fiscal impact of its decisions.

Others are not so certain. The CBO testimony cited by Kempthorne said that while UMRA drove Congress "to either eliminate mandates or lower their costs" in several pieces of legislation, exemptions and restrictions that were part of the law have meant that "some federal requirements that state and local officials view as burdensome to their jurisdictions are not considered unfunded mandates under UMRA." These big programs include the No Child Left Behind school reform act, the legislation guaranteeing special-education benefits for disabled children, the Medicaid program and the post-2000-election law mandating improved voting equipment -- no small matters.

A similar study by the Government Accountability Office reached a similar conclusion, noting that expensive conditions placed on such programs as No Child Left Behind are beyond the reach of UMRA, because states can theoretically decline to participate."

This put me in mind of a recent conversation I had with a neighbor who works at a "purposely un-named" Suburban School District. She related to me the negative qualities of the "The No Child Left Behind Act" as it works in their district and how it only promises to get worse each year -- partially from the Unfunded Mandate of this legislation, as well as it's illogical criteria which raises the bar each year for performance regardless of the "certain" number of children who can never meet that bar in the "real world" situation to begin with.

Plus, she talked about the emphasis this puts on the teachers forced to focusing on those few students who fall within in this category of "needed to pass No Child left Behind" and the inordinate attention and time spent on those illusory goals. Her group for the district was called euphemistically "The List of the 94" and she is working hard to attempt to ensure these 94 students meet these No Child Left Behind criteria for her district. But the going is tough without the funds -- those Unfunded Mandates -- to achieve these goals.

Karen on 03.18.05 @ 06:01 AM CST

[ | ]

March 2005

Archives of Blogger site
Archives: May '04-Feb '05
Archives: Feb-March '05

Powered by gm-rss

Len's sidebar:
About Len (The uncondensed version)
Memorial to a dear friend
Frederick W. Benteen
The Web of Leonards
The St. Louis Cardinals
The Memphis Redbirds
The St. Louis Browns
The Birdwatch
Hey! Spring of Trivia Blog
BlogMemphis (The Commercial Appeal's listing of Memphis blogs)
The Guide to Life, the Universe, and Everything
George Dubya Bush Blows
Kraftwerk: Chicago, 6/4/2005
My Chicago: Part One
My Chicago, Part Two
Millennium Park
Miscellaneous Chicago
Busch Stadium Tour and BoSox/Cards Game: 6/6/2005
St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum

Len's extended blogroll:

Brock's Sidebar:
About Brock
The Agitator
Boing Boing
Brad DeLong
Crooked Timber
The Decembrist
Dispatches from the Culture Wars
Flypaper Theory
Heretical Ideas
John and Belle Have a Blog
Jon Rowe
Julie Saltman
The Language Guy
Literal Minded
Marginal Revolution
Matthew Yglesias
Oliver Willis
Orin Kerr
Political Animal
Positive Liberty
Signifying Nothing
Unqualified Offerings

Karen's Sidebar
About Karen
The Ig-Nobel Prizes
The Annals of Improbable Research
The Darwin Awards
EBaums World
Real Clear Politics
U.S. News Wire
Foreign Affairs
The Capitol Steps
Legal Affairs
Nobel Laureates for Change
Program On International Policy
Law of War
Sunday Times
Media Matters
Is That Legal?
Andrew Sullivan
Literal Minded
Jon Rowe
Freespace Blog
Thought Not
Publius Pundit
Blog Maverick
Rosenberg Blog
Crooked Timber

The Rocky Top Brigade:

Rocky Top Brigade Sampler

A New Memphis Mafia

The liberal alternative to Drudge.

Get Firefox!

The Rebel Alliance of Yankee Haters
Blue Squadron (NL)
Babalu (Marlins)
Leaning Toward the Dark Side (Mets)
Ramblings' Journal (Cubs)
Mediocre Fred (Brewers)
Len Cleavelin (Cardinals)
Red Squadron (AL)
Obscurorama (Red Sox)
Frinklin Speaks (Mariners)
Steve Silver (Twins)
Steve the Llama Butcher (Red Sox)
Rob the Llama Butcher (Rangers)
MoatesArt (Red Sox)
Rammer (Tigers)
JawsBlog (Indians)
Ubi Libertas (Blue Jays)
Oldsmoblogger (Indians)
Mass Backwards (Red Sox)
Industrial Blog
Cry Freedom

How many visitors are here:

Blogrings/Blog indexes/Blog search:
« ? Verbosity # »

Listed on Blogwise
Blogarama - The Blog Directory
Popdex Citations
Blog Search Engine

Greymatter Forums Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com
template by linear