Federal A State Capitals Roundup

Minn. Eyes Opt-Out Of Federal NCLB Law

By Michelle R. Davis — March 29, 2005 1 min read
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Minnesota would forfeit federal education funding unless changes were made in the way the federal No Child Left Behind Act is implemented, under a bill making its way through the legislature.

The legislation passed out of the Senate finance committee last week with bipartisan support after clearing the education committee earlier in the month and was awaiting a vote by the full Senate. A companion bill in the House hasn’t made much progress.

Among other changes, the bill calls on Congress to amend the No Child Left Behind Act to permit “value added” accountability systems that focus on the improvement in student test scores over time, said Cap O’Rourke, the committee administrator for the bill’s sponsor, Democratic Sen. Steve Kelley.

Other revisions in the federal law demanded in the Senate bill would modify how school districts are determined to be “in need of improvement.”

The bill says that without those changes, Minnesota would opt out of the 3-year-old federal law. Such a step could jeopardize the state’s federal education aid, which this fiscal year totaled $244 million.

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