Finds NCLB Will Cost $1.5 Billion in Ohio
The first detailed analysis
of the costs to a state of complying with the federal "No
Child Left Behind" Act (NCLB) has been completed in Ohio, and it calculated
the cost at $1.5 billion. The Ohio
Department of Education commissioned the study, prepared by the firm of Levin,
Driscoll and Fleeter, at the behest of the Ohio General Assembly.
study concludes that it will cost the State of Ohio
a total of $1.447 billion dollars (in current 2004 dollars)
to implement the provisions of NCLB fully. The actual
cost estimated by the researchers is $1.491 billion,
however, they estimate that the federal government will
contribute $44 million in additional funds to aid in
compliance with NCLB. The $1.447 billion figure represents
an 11% increase in education spending in Ohio.
The largest portion of the cost, 93%, is
attributed to student intervention costs, in order to bring 100% of the children
up to proficiency levels. These intervention service costs include, among others,
salaries of teachers and instructional assistants, transportation costs, summer
school costs, extended day costs and intensive in-school academic intervention.
The study assumes that 75% of Ohio's children currently perform at proficiency
levels. Administrative, teacher and paraprofessional costs account for only 7%
of the cost. This cost includes testing, meeting the "highly qualified"
teacher and paraprofessional requirements and professional training.
Several experts who reviewed
the findings commended the researchers for conducting
such a thoughtful analysis in the short time allowed,
90 days. The experts raised various questions regarding
the use of the money to be expended, the accuracy of
the cost estimate and the unpredictability of the largest
portion of the cost, i.e. student intervention services.
This study is especially significant because it is the
first systematic analysis of how NCLB will affect the
by January 29, 2004.