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'No Child' Law Gets Utah Snub

April 20, 2005|From Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — Snubbing President Bush's education changes, the Utah Legislature passed a measure Tuesday giving state education standards priority over federal ones imposed by the No Child Left Behind Act.

Education Secretary Margaret Spellings has said the state bill could cost Utah $76 million in federal funding. But Utah officials bristle at the federal act's requirements, arguing they amount to unfunded mandates.

The bill is seen by many as the strongest objection to the federal law among 15 states considering anti-No Child Left Behind legislation this year.

The bill passed the House during the regular session that ended in February, but Republican Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. persuaded state lawmakers to put off voting on the bill while his administration negotiated a settlement with the Department of Education.

Despite those efforts, the bill passed comfortably in the House and Senate on Tuesday.

Huntsman could sign the bill as early as today.

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