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NSBA: Local school boards encouraged by relief plan
by Tribune Staff
Sep 25, 2011 | 1354 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National School Boards Association (NSBA) issued a statement stating it is encouraged by the Obama administration’s announcement this week to waive “problematic and burdensome” regulatory requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

“The proposed NCLB regulatory relief plan is a positive step as it could provide much-needed assistance to local school district efforts to improve student achievement,” said Anne L. Bryant, NSBA’s executive director. “However, the effectiveness of the plan will depend upon the details of the application requirements, the specific locally needed relief states ask for, and whether the merit of a state’s application is judged adequate by the U.S. Department of Education to receive the relief that it asks for.”

“NSBA believes that federal requirements that are educationally, financially or operationally counter-productive at the school house level should be eliminated as a matter of policy not as a condition for states qualifying to meet new conditions,” said Michael A. Resnick, NSBA’s associate executive director for federal advocacy and public policy. “We encourage the U.S. Department of Education to provide local relief along those lines should its state-based approach fall short of the local relief needed.”

Of great significance to local school boards experiencing declines in their own revenue streams is the elimination of requirements to set aside 20 percent of Title I funds for public school choice and supplemental tutorial services, according to the NSBA statement. While local school boards might continue to fund additional tutorial and open enrollment programs, these funds can be used to support school improvement strategies that can more effectively address local conditions.  NSBA commends the U.S. Department of Education for allowing this type of relief and urges states to request it.

Additionally, the plan allows states to request relief from NCLB’s other policies and regulations, including an accountability system requiring all students and groups of students to be 100 percent proficient by 2014 and a one-size-fits-all system of punitive actions against schools and school districts, such as the firing of principals and teachers or closing of schools.

For more information, visit www.nsba.org.

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