Education Department Fines Texas for Missing NCLB Transfer Deadline

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

The U.S. Department of Education has fined Texas $444,000 for failing to inform parents quickly enough that their children were eligible under the No Child Left Behind Act to transfer out of struggling schools.

The fine is unrelated to a continuing disagreement between state and federal officials over how Texas included the test scores of students with disabilities when determining if districts and schools made adequate yearly progress in the 2003-04 school year under the federal law. Texas officials said April 25 they were working with federal officials on those differences and were optimistic that they would be resolved without further fines being levied against the state.

"We're hopeful that [fines] should never be an issue again," Debbie Graves Ratcliffe, a spokeswoman for the Texas Education Agency, said.

The federal fine equals 4 percent of the administrative funds that Texas received in fiscal 2004 under the Title I aid program for disadvantaged students—the largest program under the No Child Left Behind law. Ms. Ratcliffe said the state agency would be able to absorb the fine without lowering school districts' federal grants.

In an April 22 letter, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings said Texas had violated the No Child Left Behind requirement that parents be notified before the school year begins of their option to transfer their children out of a school that failed to make adequate yearly progress, or AYP, for two consecutive years. Last fall, the state did not notify districts of schools' AYP status until Sept. 27, more than a month after most schools in the state had started the 2004-05 school year.

In an earlier letter to Ms. Spellings, Texas Commissioner of Education Shirley Neeley said the state was delayed in calculating AYP results because the federal officials did not act quickly enough on the state's request to alter its plan to comply with the law.

The federal department did not give state officials a final response until July 29—three months later than promised, Ms. Neeley said in her Feb. 10 letter.

On a special education issue, Ms. Neeley announced in February that she granted appeals to 431 districts and 1,312 schools that otherwise had failed to make AYP in the 2003-04 school year. Ms. Neeley said those districts and schools failed to make AYP because they had followed the state's rules for testing special education students, which are less stringent that federal rules.

Secretary Spellings has said that she disagrees with that decision. Ms. Neeley met with federal officials to discuss the issue on April 20 in Washington.

Web Only

Related Stories
Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories





Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >