But the economic reality is these are unfunded mandates, and education regulators and school districts will have to find the money to pay for them.
On August 22, Connecticut filed a lawsuit against the US claiming that Bush's education law is essentially an unfunded mandate from the federal government.
Their unfunded pension liabilities were probably more than $16 billion at year-end and retiree healthcare costs are more than three times that level.
Due diligence is the order of the day to assess if such liabilities are unfunded , or under-funded.
What we are talking about is replacing an unfunded debt with funded debt.
General Motors now has 2.5 retirees on its pension rolls for every active worker and an unfunded pension debt of $19.2 billion.
To be sure, few European companies are as burdened by unfunded pension liabilities as some U.S. companies, particularly in old-line industries.
Above all, reduce the unfunded potential future liabilities (they are not legal obligations like Treasury bonds) first.
Although the airline industry's hefty $32 billion in unfunded pensions has captured headlines in recent months, the problem extends much further.
It's an unfunded mandate: the federal government is forcing the states to spend their own money to comply with the act.