Thursday, March 23, 2006

On The Local Scene, the NAACP clashes with Dick Blumenthal over No Child Left Behind

From today's Hartford Courant: NAACP Details Opposition to "No Child" Lawsuit

When lawyers clashed in a New Haven courtroom recently over a federal school reform law designed to help poor and minority children, state NAACP President Scot X. Esdaile couldn't help noticing who was missing. "It was all white people on this side [of the courtroom], and all white people on [that] side - and the argument is about our children," he told a mostly black audience in Hartford Wednesday.

Maybe the lawsuit smacks of condescension, maybe it doesn't. Regardless, the NAACP's opposition is more than a wee bit interesting. With minority children disproportionately affected by No Child Left Behind, their position speaks volumes about both the validity and usefulness of such a law.

Of course, the lawsuit itself borders on frivolous. Congress's power to condition federal money on the fufillment of certain conditions is well-steeped in Spending Clause doctrine. The unfunded mandate complaint is laughable- No Child Left Behind is merely a condition placed on states should they chose to except federal education funding. Should the states refuse such funding, the conditions of No Child Left Behind would be unenforceable.

But apparently, tricky Dick doesn't see it that way.


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