Feds Again to be Involved in No Child Debate

Feds Again to be Involved in No Child Debate

Save Story

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- For the second year in a row, federal education officials are lobbying Utah lawmakers as they debate bills to water down involvement in the No Child Left Behind Act.

House Speaker Greg Curtis said the officials have asked legislators to hold off debate on the bills until they can participate -- either in person or by telephone -- this week.

"If I in any way thought it was an attempt to kill the bills, I'd say, 'No way,' " Curtis said. "It's a matter of courtesy."

The bills, one sponsored by Rep. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, and a separate one sponsored by Rep. Kory Holdaway, R-Taylorsville, would subordinate NCLB to Utah educational goals in terms of focus and resources. Both of the measures sailed through committee.

Dayton said she was "totally affronted" about the request to hold debate.

"(This is) an issue on federal intrusion, and they want to intrude on the process," she said. "I'm willing to talk to them and do what's best for Utah, but I'm not willing to put my bill on hold right now."

The U.S. Department of Education's public affairs office was not immediately available for comment.

Officials from the U.S. Department of Education last year paid Dayton a visit on her No Child Left Behind opt-out bill, which stood to cost the state $106 million in federal funding.

Dayton pulled the bill for interim study.

Now she is sponsoring HB135, which would give state education goals and the Utah Performance Assessment System for Students priority over NCLB, particularly in terms of spending state money and deciding what's best for children.

The bill also directs Utah's school chiefs to lobby for NCLB changes and study whether the federal law requires the state to change its curriculum or invest its own money.

It was uncertain whether the prioritization would affect federal money coming to Utah, the bill's fiscal note states.

Holdaway's measure would have Utah use U-PASS, which fulfills the spirit of NCLB, until the federal law is amended and adequately funded.

"Obviously, (the federal government is) interested in what we're doing ... we're making the noise, we're the squeaky wheel," Holdaway said. "We've been on the forefront of this whole states' rights battle. We feel this is an issue of federalism in its purest form."

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics



Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the KSL.com Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast