Michigan schools in NCLB lawsuit

PONTIAC, Mich. - A lawsuit taking aim at the federal No Child Left Behind Act is on the docket of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Dec. 10, with a Bloomfield Hills attorney representing Pontiac and other participating school districts, The Oakland Press reported.

Dennis Pollard told The Press that he will argue that school districts should not have to comply with the act because the federal government has not funded it appropriately.

Pontiac is one of nine school districts in Michigan, Texas and Vermont named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed three years ago by the National Education Association, according to The Press.

Pollard told The Press that the argument is not over improving student achievement or the requirements of the act, but over funding. The case likely will end up at the U.S. Supreme Court, he said.

The U.S. Attorney General's Office has argued that the current requirements are appropriate under the law, The Press reported. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings has said that a decision against NCLB would undermine efforts to improve education.

Pontiac's financial situation is even worse now than in 2001, when the act took effect, or in 2005, when the lawsuit was filed, according to The Press. The district is restructuring schools to address a $10 million deficit.

The Oakland Press, "Pontiac-led lawsuit could change school initiative," Nov. 24, 2008

Michigan Education Digest, "Cash flow an issue in Pontiac," Oct. 25, 2008