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Message: live free or go broke. (Inside the law: analyzing, debating and explaining no child left behind).

Will people from the "Live Free or Die" state tell the federal government to keep its NCLB regulations?

More than half of New Hampshire's school districts oppose yet another unfunded mandate from the feds. The state's residents were scheduled to vote on whether to reject the NCLB mandates last month.

The unanswered question is what will happen if the entire state refuses to enact this legislation. The federal government might withhold all its education funds to New Hampshire.

"[The vote is] a very strong message that would be sent to our congressional delegation, reminding them of how we do things in New Hampshire," says Dean Michener, interim executive director of New Hampshire School Boards Association.

"Local control is probably the key word here. Local taxpayers are funding the major piece of education budgets.... They want to maintain control over programs."

The NHSBA upholds figures from the New Hampshire School Administrators Association that estimate districts must spend, on average, an extra $575 per pupil each year to implement No Child Left Behind, but only receive about $77 per pupil from the federal government. The costs include training and hiring more qualified teachers and paraprofessionals as well as technology expenses. Several other states have expressed concerns about the law's financial burdens.

New Hampshire voters don't want a repeat of the federal government's promise to fund 40 percent of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The government has yet to live up to that promise.

As of mid-February, about 80 out of 150 school districts statewide adopted resolutions opposing the new law or planned to vote on a Warrant Article, which would tell the feds that voters "vigorously oppose any and all unfunded and under-funded federal educational mandates ..." due to heavy financial burdens on school budgets.

Per-student cost to implement NCLB: $575

Federal dollars allocated: $77
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Title Annotation:effects of No Child Left Behind Act mandates on New Hampshire
Author:Pascopella, Angela
Publication:District Administration
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U1NH
Date:Apr 1, 2003
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