- Report Published -
|Status of the Department's Effort to Estimate the Cost Impact of the Federal No Child Left Behind Act|
|Superintendent of Public Instruction|
|Appropriation Act - Item 144 E.5.b. (Special Session I, 2004)|
|Pursuant to Item 144, paragraph E.5.b., of the Appropriation Act (Chapter 4, 2004 Acts of Assembly, Special Session I), I am required to report on the status of the department's effort to estimate the cost impact of the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.|
In response to the General Assembly's request, the department is participating in a consortium of state departments of education sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). This consortium was formed to develop a coordinated approach for analyzing the costs of NCLB. CCSSO is a nationwide, nonprofit organization composed of the officials who head each state's department of elementary and secondary education. CCSSO helps establish partnerships among member states to facilitate the study of educational issues.
The purpose of this NCLB cost consortium is to pool resources to estimate the cost of implementing the requirements of NCLB. The CCSSO has contracted with Augenblick, Palaich, and Associates, Inc. (APA) to develop a model framework that states can use to determine the activities required to implement NCLB and their associated costs. In addition to the benefits of a process developed in collaboration with other states, the use of a third party brings independent objectivity to the process.
To date, CCSSO has convened two meetings during which the participating states were provided with APA's proposed costing model, which consists of the required components and tasks associated with meeting all the aspects of NCLB. All of the consortium states participated in discussions to amend the proposed model to suit the needs of the states involved. This process has resulted in an approach that breaks the requirements of NCLB into seven major components for purposes of determining the cost to the state departments of education. All states participating in the NCLB cost consortium have agreed to use the following major components:
1. Standards and Assessment
3. Technical Assistance
4. School Choice and Supplemental Services
5. High-Quality Educators
6. NCLB Data Management; and
7. NCLB Titles
Within each of the seven components, there may be several areas; for example, under the "standards and assessment" component, areas include developing reading standards and conducting reading assessments. Tasks further divide some, but not all, areas into more specific steps or requirements. For each task, the department is responsible for determining all the activities required to implement the task. To help illustrate the detailed nature of this cost analysis, I have attached the consortium's list of major components as well as the areas and tasks identified for each component. This list represents the combined work of all of the states. Virginia will not necessarily have costs in each of the areas identified.
The NCLB cost consortium recently completed development of the attached components, areas, and tasks that represent the framework of the efforts required to implement NCLB. In the coming months, we will be working to develop Virginia's list of activities and estimated costs associated with this framework.
While this effort is taking place, the department will also be working to develop similar activities and cost estimates for school divisions. The process of determining the state and local cost impacts of NCLB is a significant undertaking requiring extensive staff time and resources and is expected to take several months to complete. Because of the level of complexity and time that will likely be involved with developing estimates of local costs, we are planning to use a process that will select sample school divisions in an effort to develop a unit cost methodology that can be used to estimate costs statewide. We do not believe a statewide survey of this complexity that would require all school divisions to respond would be a productive effort.
The department is continuing to make progress in meeting your request and, over the upcoming months, will make status updates available upon your request. If you have questions or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me or Dr. Patricia I. Wright, deputy superintendent, at (804) 225-2979. You may also contact Dan Timberlake, assistant superintendent for finance, at (804) 225-2025.
/s/ Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction