Explanation of Federalism Essay

May 8, 2021 by Essay Writer


It is worth to note that federalism is a situation in politics where a group of people are bound together thanks to a covenant made between the group and their leader or a governing representative head (Kelemen, 2005; p. 57). This means that federalism is based on democratic rules as well organ of governing where power is shared. To analyze the concept of federalism, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 will be used.

The act was signed into law by former president of United States of America George W. Bush. The Act supports a standard-based education reform believing that when standards are set at a higher level while measurable goals are in place education outcome of public schools will improve (Weinstein, 2011; par 4).

Roles of the three branches of federal government

Based on the three branches of a federal government, the legislative branch is bestowed with the responsibility of making the law. The branch comprises of congress and senate. It is this branch that will make laws to ensure that the NO Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act is operational.

It is also its responsibility to decide how the collected tax will be used. It is worth to note that the legislature will use various ways such as debates and gathering views of relevant stakeholders before deciding on the way forward. However, the laws once made are to be checked by the other branches of government, executive and judiciary.

The executive which comprise of the president, the vice president, secretary of state, cabinet, executive departments and agencies take the responsibility of enforcing the law. It is this group that will ensure that the NO Child Left Behind (NCLB) is signed into law and implemented. Through the president and the department of finance and education suitable strategies are to be put in place to ensure that the Act is realized.

For instance, the department of finance in consultation with schools will derive a way in which funds are to be channeled to schools. Lastly the judiciary is another important branch in federalism (Cooper, 2006; p. 132). The main responsibility of this branch is to interpret the law. In situations where there will be legal issues pertaining the program, it will be the role of the judiciary to hear issues being raised by the various parties.

Using its powers, it will then deliberate on the issue and make a ruling that is in accordance to the law of the land.

In essence, the judiciary through the U.S Supreme Court adjudicates cases and controversies that pertains to the federal government, disputes between states, interpreting the constitution, declaring legislation or executive actions made at any level of the government unconstitutional as well as create precedent for future laws and decision (Mckevitt & Lawton, 1994; p. 85).

Education being an aspect that impact on the needs and aspiration of the locals, the state have to perform certain tasks and responsibilities which interact and intersect with the roles of the three branches of federal government (Weinstein, 2011; par. 2).

The state can control education through passage of statutes only if it has plenary powers. Additionally, just like the legislative branch, the state legislature can create bodies to over-see education issues and give the body some of its powers (Fry & Raadschelders, 2008; p. 211).

It is also worth to note that the state government is given the responsibly of enforcing the laws passed by the legislative branch or regulations passed by other organs (Cooper, 2006; p. 124). However, it is important to remember that the state government can pass legislations with regards to the No Child is Left Behind provided the statutes are not in violation of the provisions of the U.S constitution.

Allocation of money

In a federal government funds or money are allocated through fiscal federalism which refers to allocation of money collected through tax as well as expenditure responsibilities between the relevant levels of government. Usually money is allocated to the following; the federal, state and the local government (Fry & Raadschelders, 2008; p. 257).

Ideally the federal government shares the revenue with both the states and the local governments. The premise of doing this is to eliminate the enormous negative effects of centralism which is not compatible with the provisions of federalism which calls for diffusion of powers which is aimed at accelerating growth economically.

Additionally, the guiding principle is that decentralization of spending responsibilities will not only lower levels of governance but also ensure that there is improved and efficient allocation of federal (Kelemen, 2005; p. 29).

Improving administration of the program

To improve the administration of the program, No Child is Left Behind, there is need to call or invite all relevant stakeholders to air their views on the current challenges facing the administration of the program. A long with these challenges, they opt to provide probable solutions.

Based on this, there is need to have in place a subcommittee that will critically evaluate the implications of the solutions. After that a rough draft will then be made available for public scrutiny (Shafreitz & Hyde, 2008; p.312). Once approved by the public, the same recommendations will be channeled to the legislature for preview which will then be passed to help realize the goals and objectives of the program.


The paper has critically analyzed federalism by evaluating the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The roles of the three branches of government, a strategy to improve administration of the program, the interaction and intersection of these roles and the roles of state government are also addressed.


Cooper, Phillip. Public law & public administration. New York: Wadsworth Publishing, 2006.

Fry, Brian & Raadschelders, Jos. Mastering public administration from Max Weber to Dwight Waldo. New York: CQ Press, 2008.

Kelemen, Daniel. Built to Last? The durability of EU federalism. Web.

Mckevitt, David & Lawton, Alan. Public sector management theory, critique and practice. London: Sage Publications Ltd, 1994.

Shafreitz, Jay & Hyde, Albert. Classics of public administration. New York: Wadsworth Publishing, 2008.

Weinstein, Anna. Obama on No Child Left Behind. Retrieved from https://www.education.com/magazine/article/Obama_Child_Left_Behind/

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