Some Children Still Left Behind


A press release from the Alliance for School Choice announcing a legal action they and the Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education (CURE) (Star Parker's operation) filed last week which

demands that the Los Angeles and Compton Unified School Districts immediately provide and publicize public school transfer options for children in failing schools as required by [No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)].
The Alliance also called upon U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings to cut off applicable federal funds to the districts until they comply with the law or make other suitable educational opportunities available to children in failing schools.

NCLBA requires that school districts offer to children in schools that have failed to make "adequate yearly progress" for two years under state standards the option to transfer to better-performing public schools within the district. Lack of capacity is not a basis to fail to provide transfer opportunities under the law.
The complaints filed against the school districts charge that of at least 250,000 schoolchildren eligible for transfer in Los Angeles, only 527 (.2 percent) received transfers to better-performing schools; while in Compton, zero students have received transfers despite appalling educational conditions. The complaints charge that the districts have failed adequately to make information available to parents or to provide sufficient options.
Because NCLBA does not provide a private right of action, the parents and their organizational partners must file complaints in the first instance with the school districts, demanding compliance. That is what they did….in a pair of complaints prepared by Robert Boldt, partner in the Los Angeles office of Kirkland & Ellis, but Secretary Spellings has authority to take action to cut off certain federal funds to the districts until they comply.

Lisa Snell wrote back in October 2004 in Reason of the failures of No Child Left Behind–including noting that past lawsuits along these lines in New York got rejected by federal courts.

AP coverage of the complaint here.

Details and links on another lawsuit against NCLB–this one from Connecticut's attorney general claiming it constitutes an illegal unfunded mandate against his state and others–here.