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Lies, Damn Lies, and Messages from U.S. House Education & the Workforce Committee
Note: This committee has been a mouthpiece for public school bashers

News from the
Committee on Education and the Workforce
John Boehner, Chairman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2003

New GAO Report Shows Reform Opponents are Exaggerating State “No Child Left Behind” Testing Costs

Study Shows Congress Providing More Than Enough Funds for States to Implement Tests Required Under New Education Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. House Education & the Workforce Committee Chairman John Boehner (R-OH) today called attention to a new study by the independent General Accounting Office (GAO) that shows Congress is providing more than enough money for states to design and implement the statewide achievement tests required under the No Child Left Behind education reform law. The report also shows education reform opponents are exaggerating estimates of NCLB’s state testing costs by as much as $5.1 billion between fiscal years 2002 and 2008.

“This report confirms what several private studies have already shown: Congress is providing more than enough money for states to meet the annual testing requirements in the No Child Left Behind Act, and education reform opponents have significantly exaggerated the actual cost,” Boehner said.

The GAO report concludes Congress is providing more money than necessary for all states to design and implement reasonable, reliable and valid measures of student achievement in reading and math, which is what is required by NCLB. GAO estimates the cost of implementing such basic tests will collectively cost states about $1.9 billion between fiscal years 2002 and 2008. The $1.9 billion figure assumes states do not independently opt to implement more complex testing systems than they are required to do under the law. The NCLB law requires Congress to provide at least $2.34 billion for state testing costs between fiscal years 2002 through 2008.

The new GAO report shows education reform opponents - who have claimed the cost to states of meeting NCLB’s testing requirement will actually be as high as $7 billion - are significantly over-estimating the costs of implementing the testing provisions of NCLB, possibly by as much as $5.1 billion. Since the NCLB legislation’s enactment, Congress has appropriated $771.5 million for states to design and implement their annual tests, and President Bush has requested an additional $390 million for fiscal year 2004.

GAO estimates testing costs could be higher for states only if states independently choose to design and implement more intricate testing systems that are not required under NCLB. In such instances, GAO concludes, state testing costs could range from $3.9 billion to a worst-case scenario of $5.3 billion - still significantly less than the $7 billion claimed by reform opponents.

“What this means is that even if every state in the nation chose to implement the most complex and expensive testing system - which is far more than they are required to do under No Child Left Behind - the total cost to states would be nearly $2 billion less than claimed by education reform opponents,” Boehner said.



— U. S. House Education & the Workforce Committee
New GAO Report Shows Reform Opponents are Exaggerating State “No Child Left Behind” Testing Costs

http://edworkforce.house.gov/press/press108/05may/nclbgaorpt050803.htm
May 8, 2003


INDEX OF THE EGGPLANT


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