NEA Files "No Child Left Behind" lawsuit

"Today we're standing up for children, whose parents are saying, 'No more' to costly federal regulations that drain money from classrooms and spend it on paperwork, bureaucracy and big testing companies."
--NEA President Reg Weaver

After three disappointing years of urging the federal government to live up to its commitment to fund the No Child Left Behind Act, NEA said enough is enough and filed a lawsuit in federal court on April 20 to force the federal government to pay for its own rules and regulations.  In the legal challenge, NEA, joined by the school districts of Pontiac, Michigan; and Laredo, Texas; and seven districts in Vermont, uses funding and research data to show that school districts have been forced to drop or dramatically reduce critical education reform efforts to pay for the law’s costly and ever-growing requirements.

At the center of the suit is section 9527(a) of the law, which states: "Nothing in this Act shall ... mandate a State or any subdivision thereof to spend any funds or incur any costs not paid for under this Act."  Since the law's enactment in 2002, the federal government has fallen $27 billion short of providing the funding it authorized to help schools comply with the law's regulations. 

Among the growing expressions of support from key Members of Congress are those of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), George Miller (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Education and Workforce Committee and one of the primary architects of the law, and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), a member of the House Education Appropriations Subcommittee.