Even Utah is turning on Bush.

No, I'm not suggesting that suddenly Utah is potentially a blue state in 2004, but they are getting tired of his crap, at least as far as NCLB is concerned.

n a rebuke to the Bush administration, the Utah House voted yesterday to prohibit the state's education authorities from using any local money to comply with the president's signature education law, No Child Left Behind.

The vote, by a Republican-dominated chamber, comes after weeks of criticism by lawmakers arguing that the federal education measure impinges on the state's right to set its own education agenda and that the cost of compliance would be too high....

The bill that the House approved instead permits the state to spend the $103 million, but not a penny of state money, to meet the federal law's requirements, state officials said. It passed the House by a vote of 64 to 8, with 3 abstentions.

Representative Martin R. Stephens, the speaker of the House, called the measure a "statement bill."

"We are not opting out of No Child Left Behind, but there is some disparity of agreement about whether it's fully funded," Mr. Stephens said after Tuesday's vote. "So as we implement the law, we'll find out. If it is fully funded, then we'll implement it. And, if it's not, if there are requirements for which there are not enough federal funds, then we won't."
Steven O. Laing, Utah's state superintendent of public instruction has said that he thinks the bill will become law.

I haven't thought the ramifications of this kind of action out completely, but my gut instinct is that it's at least an interesting way to combat the unfunded mandate issue. If it works, you can bet that whatever future mandates come down from on high will include some hefty penalties for failure to comply. I'll be keeping an eye on this.

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