An Increased Role for the Department of Education in Addressing Federalism Concerns

32 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2012 Last revised: 9 Sep 2013

Date Written: 2012


The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) is overdue for reauthorization, and prior attempts at reauthorization have failed because of political controversy surrounding the Act, particularly the extent of the federal role in education. But whether this role is detrimental is debatable. Federalism, the interaction of state governments with the federal government, often involves trade-offs between state and federal power, where courts try to draw limits on federal power. The Act does not fit squarely into lines traditionally drawn. Yet the field is ripe with new theories of federalism. How a refined view of federalism should influence legislators looking to reauthorize the Act has not been adequately addressed in the literature.

After examining the history of federalism concerns related to education, this article argues that the traditional institutions for addressing these concerns -- legislative and judicial -- are inadequate. This article suggests that Congress should give greater responsibility to the Department of Education to better balance state and federal concerns regarding education reform.

Keywords: No Child Left Behind, Department of Education, Education, Education Reform, Administrative Law, Federal Law, State Rights, Federalism, Legislation

Suggested Citation

Martin, Benton C., An Increased Role for the Department of Education in Addressing Federalism Concerns (2012). Brigham Young University Education and Law Journal, Vol. 2012, No. 79, 2012. Available at SSRN:

Benton C. Martin (Contact Author)

Emory University School of Law ( email )

1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics