HD12 - Status Report on the No Child Left Behind CCSSO Cost Consortium Project (December 29, 2004)

Executive Summary:
(See also House Document No. 21, 2004)

Virginia has entered into a consortium facilitated by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) consisting of 15 states. The purpose of the consortium is to help Virginia determine the "costs" associated with the implementation of the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).There are a number of ways to think about the costs of NCLB as demonstrated by the cost studies that have been done as of Spring 2004, which vary dramatically in the questions they seek to answer, the categories of costs they cover, the methodologies they use to calculate costs, and the conclusions they draw.

For the purposes of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) Cost Consortium, APA defines costs as follows:

The cost of NCLB is the value of the resources (time and materials) your state needs to utilize to: (1) implement the explicit requirements of NCLB that are related to accountability (by which we mean the development and implementation of school and school district performance standards, assessments to measure student performance, and consequences of not meeting performance expectations); (2) meet any new requirements of NCLB that go beyond what had been required under the previous reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), such as requirements about the qualifications of educators who work with students; and (3) administer all aspects of NCLB, including managing the numerous federal grant programs it supports.

Note I: This definition of the cost of NCLB does not include the actions you believe the state, school districts, and schools should take to assure that every student becomes proficient in reading, math, and science by 2013-14. That is, this is not an "adequacy" study in the way that some state courts have referred to the costs that must be incurred to meet state standards.

Note 2: The cost of NCLB specifically focuses on resources expended above and beyond those the state is spending to develop and implement its own accountability system. That is, we are only interested in those costs that are attributable to NCLB and that would not have been incurred if NCLB did not exist.