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Connecticut to challenge constitutionality of No Child Left Behind Act

[JURIST] Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal [official profile] announced Tuesday that his office is preparing the first state-sponsored federal lawsuit [CT AG press release] against the US Department of Education [official website] for imposing millions of dollars worth of illegal unfunded mandates under the No Child Left Behind Act [PDF text; executive summary; US Dept. Ed. fact sheet]. In order to comply with NCLB testing mandates, Connecticut will be required to spend $8 million above what federal funding provides. Blumenthal contends that this forced spending violates the Unfunded Mandates Provision of the NCLB, 20 USC Sec. 7907(a), and the spending clause in the US Constitution. A Department of Education statement criticized the announcement, saying "The basis for the state's lawsuit appears to rest on a flawed cost study of the No Child Left Behind Act that creates inflated projections built upon questionable estimates and misallocation of costs." AP has more. Earlier this year, the National Conference of State Legislatures issued a statement [PDF text] joined by all 50 state legislatures attacking the constitutionality [JURIST report] of NCLB. The state legislatures said that the education program unconstitutionally extends federal power in an area traditionally left up to state control and accused the government of coercing states into compliance.

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