Connecticut Costing-Out 2005, NCLB

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The scope of this study was narrow. It estimated the marginal cost of administering those provisions of ESEA that are new with the enactment of NCLB in 2002. The study did not examine: (1) the cost of any state or federal requirement that was in existence prior to 2002; (2) the cost of providing students with the opportunity to meet state student learning standards, as adequacy cost studies do; or (3) the cost of trying to help 100 percent of students reach “proficiency,” as NCLB requires.

The study has two parts:(1) state-level costs; and (2) local-level costs.

Study Title: “Cost of Implementing the Federal No Child Left Behind Act in Connecticut ”


Date Completed: Part 1 State-Level Costs: March 2, 2005

Part 2 Local-Level Costs: April 5, 2005


Calculated Marginal Administrative Costs: Part I – State Level Costs (through Fiscal Year 2008): $112.2 million total

1. Standards and Assessments: $41.6 million

2. Development and Administration of Accountability System: $18.2 million

3. Creation of Technical Assistance and Support Systems for schools and Districts: $19.2

4. School Transfers and Supplemental Educational Services: $2.7 million

5. Highly Qualified Educators (Teachers and Paraprofessionals):$3.2 million

6. Data Management: $13.6 million

7. Administration of NCLB and Title I Programs under NCLB: $13.7 million

Part II – Local Level Costs of Three Sample School Districts:

New Haven : $150.1 million total cost- $10.1 million borne by district alone

Hamden : $16.4 million total cost – $8.7 million borne by district alone

Killingly $8.0 million total cost – $3.8 borne by district alone


Highlights of the Study: Federal Funding Gap: an estimated $41.6 million dollars of state-level costs not covered by federal allocation.

Biggest Cost Areas: (1) standards and assessments; and (2) technical assistance to those schools and districts labeled “in need of improvement.”


Special Features of the Study: Study of Local-Level Costs:

Pursuant to the state law cited above, the Connecticut State Department of Education conducted a study of new local-level administrative costs engendered by NCLB, as well as conducting the state-level study. The CSDE chose three sample districts that varied in: (1) size, (2) average per capita income, (3) percentage of children qualifying for free or reduced lunch, (4) percentage of children from homes where English is not the native language, and (5) percentage of minority students.

The three districts are: (1) New Haven ; (2) Hamden ; and (3) Killingly.

The CSDE restructured the Augenblick, Palaich and Associates, Inc. (APA) template, described in the methodology section below, to apply it to the three districts. CSDE relied on the local school districts to estimate the costs in nine areas: (1) high quality staff (teachers and paraprofessionals); (2) parent involvement and notification; (3) AYP responsibilities; (4) responsibilities for districts with schools and districts labeled “in need of improvement;” (5) assessments for English language learners for English language proficiency and for Title III purposes; (6) school transfers; (7) supplemental educational services; (8) curriculum and assessments; and (9) overall NCLB requirements.


Methodology: Connecticut is part of the CCSSO consortium of states conducting cost studies on the marginal additional administrative cost of NCLB. The Connecticut State Department of Education used a template developed by APA. APA developed a template, used by all members of the consortium, to collect, organize and aggregate costs at four levels:

components : a broad category of NCLB (such as highly qualified educators);

areas : more specific aspects of components (such as ensuring highly qualified teachers);

tasks : to be performed within areas (such as defining standards or creating processes for assessing teachers); and

activities: actions associated with tasks

The templates that collect raw data and generate cost are activity based and unique to each state. The component, area and tasks are standard across all states using the APA templates and were developed by a close reading of the NCLB, its regulations and the non-regulatory guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education.

The Connecticut State Department of Education examined the cost of each activity in staff time (organized by activity and personnel category) and in contracts and other costs. Inaccuracies and missing data were checked by the Associate Commissioner of Education and senior staff members of the Division of Teaching, Learning and Assessment.

The CSDE staff estimated the costs in the seven NCLB major categories listed above in the section on Calculated Marginal Administrative Costs.

Implementation: This study served as one basis for the Connecticut Attorney General’s announcement on April 5, 2005 , that Connecticut intends to sue the federal government over the cost of NCLB.


Recommendations: Seek additional funds for NCLB implementation, especially for the two most costly items; and reallocate existing funds.

The report makes clear that Connecticut is investing in research-proven initiatives, independent of NCLB, which it believes will narrow the achievement gap. These programs include: preschool, after-school programs, class size reduction, and summer school or summer leadership activities.


Prepared for: This study was required by Connecticut Public Act 04-054, which mandated that the secretary of the Office of Policy and Management and the Commissioner of Education analyze and report the costs associated with compliance with NCLB.


Prepared by: Connecticut State Department of Education, using a template designed by Augenblick, Palaich and Associates, Inc.