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Richard Piatt ReportingThe Utah Legislature is on the verge of passing two bills the White House doesn't want passed. Both take a stand against the new 'No Child Left Behind' education standards.
Utah is one of 33 states actively rebelling against No Child Left Behind. But lawmakers here are leading the charge and drawing attention from national media as well as the White House.
Orem Representative Margaret Dayton carries around the 'No Child Left Behind' statute. She's read it several times, in fact. She likes its goals. She doesn't like the 'do it our way or forget the federal money' part.
Rep. Margaret Dayton, (R) Orem: “Those seven percent funds that come to our state should not affect 100 percent of our programs.”
Dayton is leading a charge, Legislators worried Utah education standards could get lost in the Federal bureaucrat-ese. This year, her bill allows Utah schools to adhere to state standards first. Federal standards would be subject to a 'sorting out' process.
The House unanimously approved her bill---so did a Senate committee. And fellow Legislator nd teacher Kory Holdaway is sponsoring a resolution dealing with the issue. Both he and Dayton are drawing national media attention. Holdaway is also day-tripping to Washington Wednesday to share Utah's story.
Rep. Kory Holdaway, (R) Taylorsville: “I think we’re leading out. WE’re saying this is a problem and it needs to be addressed.”
Utah's differences with Bush administration policy is a story cable news networks are starting to follow. The administration is watching for possible embarrassment. And Senator Orrin Hatch is one of the delegation in the middle of it all.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, (R) Utah: "I think our people are willing to do that, they just don't want it dictated to them, and I agree with them."
Last year Representative Dayton sponsored a bill outright rejecting 'No Child Left Behind'. This year she's acknowledging the state can't do that, yet it still started a flurry of questions from other states.