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What does NCLB Waiver Mean for Afterschool

by School's Out Washington | | Posted under Policy & Legislation

As students across the state head back to school, school districts have scrambled to get out letters and phone calls to the hundreds of thousands of families across the state whose child is attending a “failing” school according to No Child Left Behind Act which says 100% of students should be passing state math and reading tests this year.

Washington State lost its waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act due to stalemate in last year’s legislative session around teacher evaluation legislation.  Now, Washington schools must redirect 20% of their federal Title 1 money, about $40 million annually statewide, which supports services for low-income students.

Some districts have used this money to implement full-day kindergarten, or for afterschool and expanded learning opportunities.  Under federal law, now some of the Title 1 funding must pay to transport kids to schools that are meeting federal standards should parents choose to do so. However, since over 80% of all Washington schools are considered failing according to NCLB, most parents don’t have much of a choice leaving those set-aside funds to be spent on tutoring, the other allowable expense.

The “supplemental education services” required to be offered to low-income students in “failing” schools provides an opportunity for afterschool programs to support tutoring services.  As a recent Seattle Times article states, “It will be interesting to compare the cost and return on investment of sending a child to a Sylvan Learning Center or Kumon versus the cost of providing students with in-school programs such as after-school tutoring, extended kindergarten and professional development for teachers.”

We would like to hear from folks in the field about how the waiver is impacting afterschool programs. Are school districts reaching out to afterschool programs to partner and provide tutoring services? Is this an opportunity for non-profit community organizations or have for-profit tutoring services already claimed this space in your community?  Let us know your thoughts on this issue and feedback you’ve heard from parents and community members in your area.

For more information about Supplemental Educational Services, visit OSPI’s website.

Here are some recent headlines on this topic:

What it means for schools to lose control over Title 1 funds and No Child Left Behind Waiver, Seattle Times Opinion Northwest

New rules will govern tutoring companies operating under No Child Left Behind, The News Tribune

Without NCLB Waiver, Most Washington schools now failing despite steady test scores, KPLU

Test results: 88 percent of Washington schools don’t meet federal standards, The Bellingham Herald

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