Thursday, November 18, 2004

Oh, so was it Spellings' people who squashed the NCLB rebellion in Utah?

More pieces of the puzzle turn up in this NYT piece on Spellings.
Ms. Spellings is seen as closely attuned to the administration's thinking and political sensibilities. Last year, for example, as resistance to No Child Left Behind spread among Republican legislators in several states, she dispatched an adviser from her office to the Education Department and to state capitals in an effort to quell the rebellion and smooth relations between the states and Washington.
Legislators in rural states, especially Utah, were actively pursuing ways to mitigate the punitive effects of NCLB before the presidential election. It was not a pretty sight.

The whole issue was effectively neutered when officials from up high stepped in. Now if you want to know what they said to stop the rebellious Utah legislators, I don't know. Whatever they said was not meant for public consumption since all I saw was this:
Dayton originally wanted to abandon the program, but federal officials warned that would have cost the state half of its federal funding, or about $106 million a year. Dayton said the 75-member House "didn't have the stomach" for that, so she rewrote her bill to have Utah comply with only those mandates "where there is adequate federal funding."
Hmmm. The threats worked.

I wonder if this'll be a pattern in the next Administration.