(CN) – The Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge by school districts and teacher unions to the Bush-era No Child Left Behind Act.
Without comment, the justices on Monday turned down Pontiac Public School District v. Duncan, a case questioning whether public schools must spend state and local money on required programs that Congress left unfunded.
After a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit, the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati split 8-8 on appeal, leaving the judge’s ruling intact.
Passed in 2002, the No Child Left Behind Act requires schools to test third- through eighth-grade students in subjects such as math and reading. They are tested once again in high school. Schools that miss certain benchmarks face sanctions, including the potential loss of federal funding.
Teacher unions and school districts, led by Pontiac Public School District in Michigan, argued that they shouldn’t be forced to spend money on mandatory programs if the federal government won’t pay for them.
The 6th Circuit said it was up to Congress to clarify the law.