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Federal appeals court rules No Child Left Behind challenge can proceed

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [official website] Monday ruled [opinion, PDF] that a 2005 lawsuit challenging the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) [PDF text] should not have been dismissed by a lower federal court. The National Education Association [group website] and individual school districts in Texas, Michigan and Vermont filed the lawsuit [JURIST report] in April 2005 to force the federal government to pay more for unfunded mandates created under the act. The US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan [official website] originally dismissed the suit [JURIST report], ruling that the plaintiffs did not have a cause of action since if Congress had intended the law to be fully funded, it would have done so in the legislation.

The majority opinion, written by Justice R. Guy Cole Jr., held that the NEA and the three states did have a cause of action since NCLB could be reasonably read to mean that a "state need not comply with requirements that are 'not paid for under the Act' through federal funds." AP has more.

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