Archive for Monday, May 17, 2004

Stuck with the bill

May 17, 2004

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To the editor:

All across America school boards, cities, counties, and states are struggling over this same problem. The so-called "No Child Left Behind" federal act was offered up and touted to address and fix public education. It is the brain child of the Bush administration. It was all dressed to look good and sold as a serious answer to an intractable set of educational failures. What happened is a lot like being invited out to dinner and then left sitting there as the charming host leaves without bothering to pay the bill.

We are getting an education, if you will bother to read the act and follow the money, in what has been accurately described as "unfunded mandate." There have been quite a few "unfunded mandates" in Bush-sponsored legislation during the course of his administration. They will, each and every one of them, bring us grief.

We very much need to wise up and ask: "How much will it cost and who will pay for it, and how?" We need to get that settled BEFORE we buy all the pretty new programs and laws that are going to fix whatever it is they are supposed to fix.

Once more: They are called "unfunded mandates." We could have, and should have, found out about the "unfunded" part of that one before we found it out at the expense of our children's education and our community's schools. It's not the only thing way wrong with the act, but it is way wrong enough all by itself.

Jack Klinknett,

Lawrence

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