Blumenthal files appeal to block costs of No Child Left Behind

Chris Rizo May 14, 2008, 4:25pm

Richard Blumenthal

HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline)-Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal on Wednesday appealed a federal judge's ruling against the state's challenge to the No Child Left Behind Law.

Blumenthal filed the appeal in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. The Democratic attorney general said his office would bring the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary.

"I am hopeful that the Bush Administration, now on borrowed time, will do the right thing - follow the law and eliminate the need for this court battle," Blumenthal said in a statement.

"The U.S. Department of Education has reneged in its responsibility to Connecticut students, failing to provide full federal funding to schools," he added.

Last month, U.S. District Judge Mark Kravitz in New Haven ruled that there were no merits to claims by the state that U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings acted arbitrarily when she rejected a request to change testing procedures for children with limited English skills and special needs.

The judge also ruled that there was no evidence that the federal law violates one of its provisions against unfunded mandates. The state argued it would have to pay out if its coffers to meet the law's requirements.

No Child Left Behind, which is President George W. Bush's signature education accountability initiative, requires schools that receive some measure of federal funding make "adequate yearly progress" on a standardized test each year or after two consecutive years of falling short can lead to sanctions, including funding cuts.

The 2002 law is aimed at improving the nation's public school system and bringing all U.S. students up to proficiency by 2014 in math, reading and writing.

Critics of the law, including many Democrats, contend that the law is rigid and needs to judge schools on a wider array of criteria than just standardized test scores.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at

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