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White House Clarifies "No Child Left Behind" Act
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WASHINGTON - As the Democratic party adds its voice to the states' outcry over the President's "No Child Left Behind" Act, the White House is moving to address the issues raised. "First and foremost, you have to understand, this has all been a tragic error," began Scott McClellan, addressing the White House press corp. "When he was working up the first draft of this act, the President mistakenly wrote 'No Child Left Behind' instead of the intended 'No Left Child Behind'. The act's original intent was to offset the added difficulties of left-handedness with additional, specialized instruction. After the incorrect version went out, it took on a life of its own," he explained.

This adjustment in understanding helps to explain why the states are up in arms over the costs of the act. "Lefty's represent less than ten percent of the population," said McClellan, "So the act should only impact teaching and scoring for that group. It is not an across-the-board mandate."

"Well, that changes things, I admit," said Gene T. Harris, Superintendent, Columbus City Schools, Columbus, Ohio. "But not as much as they might think. Even if I only have to apply special programs to ten percent of my pupils, I have to make those programs available in every school. Or I have to bus the students to wherever I consolidate the programs. Either way, it's a huge expense. We still view it as an unfunded mandate, imposing on us the federal government's idea of what our kids need."

"If this is what they had in mind all along," said Senator John Kerry, Democratic presidential hopeful, "then why has it taken all these months for this clarification to come down? Call me paranoid, but I'm sensing what we called in the Jungle 'Bad Karma'."

"We'll be communicating the act more clearly in the coming weeks," said McClellan, "Until then, schools are free to apply the educational benefits of the act as they see fit without fear of funding cuts until we have more correctly communicated the intent of this very necessary act. The President regrets the error deeply and asks for your patience in remedying the situation."
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