Financial Legislation and No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
The financial legislation that should support No Child Left Behind has not kept up with the dramatic changes that the policy has gone through. To support the policy, financial policy should have been created at the same rate and at the same fervor that the educational policy was adopted and implemented. Many states are struggling to keep up with the policy changes and have and will spend a great deal of money to meet the goals even though many reports state that the goals are unattainable and the money just generates barriers and more disparity.
Coopersmith (2004) reports that there are many states, even those with Republican legislatures, which have questions about the federal funding of No Child Left Behind. Several states, including Utah, North Dakota, Indiana, and Ohio have created commissions to find the true cost of following the policy and if there states can afford it. The states are beginning to feel like they are being punished for following the act and even some states have considered pulling back from NCLB altogether. Iowa was one of the first state’s to recognize that they could not fiscally handle the pressure that was put upon them by following national policy.
The idea that there was going to be financial trouble was predicted by many district and states. Rogers (2003) quotes John Alger (Republican) “I believe we owe it to our voters to stop forward progress on a program that may cost local property tax payers hundreds, thousands tens of thousands in additional property tax burden.” The national policy has proven that it will cost citizens additional money in order to follow the policy that will far exceed the additional federal funding that is offered. Rogers argues that this, in the long term, will not work.”
The evaluation of the NCLB policy will need more securitization than the original document. As barriers and failures become evident, the policy makers that are in charge of revision must look at the root of those weaknesses and then restructure the policy at a grass roots level that will be both ethical and financially affordable. Teachers, students, parents, and even U.S. citizens without a stake in the educational system will feel some impact in the evaluation and revision of the policy. As Coopersmith (2004) reported, maybe it is time that states step back, take a breath, and reconsider as President Bush stated, “The most important education legislation in the history of the United States.”