04/22/2005: No Child Left Behind Lawsuit
The State of Illinois is part of this lawsuit: Teachers sue over `No Child' funding by Stephanie Banchero (Chicago Tribune):
”The nation's largest teachers union and a group of school districts sued the U.S. Department of Education Wednesday, contending the No Child Left Behind act is severely underfunded and has forced schools to divert money from worthy programs to pay for the reform's "costly absurdities."
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in eastern Michigan, charges the Department of Education is forcing schools to meet tough student testing and teacher licensing requirements even though Congress has shortchanged districts and states by $27 billion during the last four years. To meet the law's regulations, schools have had to use scarce state and local money, which the suit contends is illegal under No Child Left Behind.
A handful of local school districts across the country, including one in Illinois, have either sued the department over various aspects of the law or threatened to sue, but Wednesday's legal challenge is the first nationally coordinated assault on the controversial act. It represents the latest salvo in the three-year battle over implementation and funding of No Child Left Behind, which requires schools to ensure by 2014 that all students can read and do math at grade level.
At least 30 states have sought leniency from the law's requirements, and Connecticut has threatened to sue over funding. On Tuesday, Utah lawmakers became the first to openly defy the Department of Education by passing a bill that lets schools ignore federal mandates that conflict with state priorities or use state money.
"The NEA is standing up for children, their parents and their school districts," said Reg Weaver, president of the National Education Association. "Parents across the country are fed up with Washington and the costly regulations of the so-called No Child Left Behind law. Reform without resources is a cruel hoax."
The suit turns on one paragraph in the 1,100-page act that bars federal officials from making schools spend their own money to carry out the law. The plaintiffs want a judge to enforce that portion of the act and bar the department from withholding money from states and districts that don't live up to the law due to funding shortfalls….”
Karen on 04.22.05 @ 04:37 AM CST