I'm a former NY'er, so really, I know nothing about rural issues. This strikes me as important though
The full impact of the law, known as No Child Left Behind, will depend on the flexibility given to rural states in applying its provisions, and so far the Bush administration has sent mixed signals. President Bush frequently describes the law as a triumph of education reform, and state officials report that White House officials have been adamant in refusing to grant waivers. [full article in the NYTimes]
I want every Democrat running for President to say, "If you're wondering about the No Child Left Behind bill, ask a teacher" (unless of course, you voted for it, then you have some explaining to do).
I ask with all seriousness, what has Bush done for rural areas? No Child Left Behind takes away their teachers, he's thinning their forests, he's never met a polluter he didn't like. Is it just about guns? Religion? What?!? It's time to WAKE UP.
Needless to say, Howard Dean is the alternative. He understands Gun Rights and the Environment. As the Governor of a rural state, he's much more in tune with their issues and he knows how the Federal Government can be a burden on the States (unfunded mandates and one size fits all programs).