Monday, August 22, 2005

The Feds, the states, and education

Some local news with a national spin: State of Connecticut to sue federal government over "No Child Left Behind."

According to the piece, "The lawsuit asks a federal judge to declare that the federal government cannot require state and local money be used to meet federal testing goals." The misused term of the moment is "unfunded federal mandates," although that exact term isn't found in this brief piece.

The problem is, as far as the lonely libertarian understands it, the requirements of "No Child Left Behind" are merely attached to the acceptance of federal money for education. Remember, the Constitution gives the federal government no authority to regulate education. To get around this, the federal government merely makes the acceptance of federal rules a prerequisite to any federally provided funding. And this is the sort of issue that the Supreme Court is unlikely to find any problem with. The states rights justices should have no problem with the acceptance of federal money being based upon certain conditions, while the rest of the justices rarely look to rule against federal authority in the first place.

As far as the lonely libertarian is concerned, this is just plain awesome. Hey you "big government types!" It's not so great when the federal government is doing things you don't like, is it? Hopefully now everyone will be able to see the problems of having the federal government involved in education in the first place.


Blogger Kerry said...

I think I understand what you're saying. The federal gov. is not really involved in education here at all. Each state has a Minister of Education and portfolio. The problem that arises there is that some states have an unfair advantage over others. For example, Victoria and New South Wales are the leading states in education, but the Northern Teritory is exceptionally disadvataged. It kind of makes it hard to achieve a balance - whereas if the Fed.Gov. played some minor role in delegating in this area it probably wouldn't be such a big problem.

10:23 PM  

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