January 22, 2008

Unfunded Mandate

Name an unfunded mandate enacted by President Bush.

NCLB? wrong.

The Americans with Disabilities Act. Enacted by Bush 41.

And guess who some of the biggest non-compliers are. Right, the government itself.

For example, the Richmond School District in Virginia.

Nearly every school in Richmond remains out of compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, two years after the Richmond public school system settled a multimillion-dollar lawsuit by parents with a promise to fix the problem.

So why do I hear so many complaints about NCLB being an unfunded mandate, when it really isn't, and none about the ADA, which is? They're both noble pieces of legislation which are perhaps misguided. What's the difference?


Stephen Downes said...

I think it's that critics would say that NCLB wasn't that noble.

KDeRosa said...

Yes, Stephen, but is that a serious argument considering the law was written by the leading lights of the Democratic party with the enacted purpose:

"to ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and reach, at a minimum, proficiency on challenging State academic achievement standards and state academic assessments."

That sounds fairly noble to me-- unintended consequences notwithstanding. Although I suspect that it could be argued that the consequences were not unforseen. Though certainly the same can be said for the ADA.