Note: This letter was sent to the executive appropriations committee to request an additional $30M for the State Board of Ed should they decide to either refuse the NCLB Waiver or write their own waiver, absent the (illegal) requirements from the US Dept of Ed.
I'm in support of an additional $30 M for the State Board to make up any potential issues if they refuse the No Child Left Behind Waiver. This year's waiver includes all the requirements from the previous years (College and Career Ready standards aka Common Core, testing, tying teacher pay to those aligned tests, and data tracking). Additionally, it appears that they are redefining Title 1 monies to cover all students, not just low-income.
Since the original NCLB act prohibited this kind of involvement from the Feds, the waiver, itself, violates federal law, not to mention the clear language of the Constitution. Additionally, while NCLB allows the state to apply for waivers, it does not indicate that those waivers would require any particular requirements about testing, standards, or teacher evaluations. The State Board is legally within its right to request a waiver from the egregious 100% proficiency of NCLB without acquiescing to additional requirements arbitrarily imposed by the US Department of Ed. However, should they do this, it is entirely possible that the US DOE will reject their waiver. A rejection of the waiver would mean the loss of flexibility in spending about $30 M in Title 1 funds. It would be greatly appreciated if you were able, as an Executive Appropriations Committee, to include this request.
This single action of appropriating $30 M for the State Board to push back against the Federal Waiver would remove the vast majority of our federally imposed requirements for testing and standards. In short, it would return educational sovereignty to our state, in a very large degree.
If you'd like more information on the NCLB waiver, please look at my letter to the State Board from last August. I have taken the time to look through much of the actual text of NCLB.
Alpine School Board Member, Highland, Alpine, Cedar Hills