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Maine Governor worried about costs of Bush education reform law

AUGUSTA, Maine -- Saying Maine is "not going to take it any more," Gov. John Baldacci said Tuesday he's concerned about costs the state faces from the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's education reform centerpiece aimed at raising standards in the public schools.

The National Education Association is challenging the law in federal court in Michigan. School districts in Michigan, Vermont and Texas are also joining the lawsuit, along with teachers' union chapters in those states and more than a half dozen others, including New Hampshire.

The Baldacci administration estimates costs faced by state government as a result of the No Child law at $11.5 million over the six years from fiscal 2003 to 2008, said Kippax. Costs to local school districts are being calculated, but could run into the tens of millions of dollars.

Baldacci accused the federal government of reneging on its responsibility to pay a fair share for mandates to the states.

"We have to fight back," the governor said. "We have to tell them we're not going to take it any more."

Federal officials say schools have improved under the reform law and there have been "historic" levels of education funding under Bush, who they maintain is committed to holding schools to high standards.

— Associated Press
Boston Globe


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