Missouri Seeks Escape from No Child Left Behind

6 years 8 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, February 21 2012 Feb 21, 2012 Tuesday, February 21, 2012 4:35:00 PM CST February 21, 2012 in News
By: Megan Rice
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COLUMBIA - The Missouri Board of Education Tuesday approved the state's request for a waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act. George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind Act is still making headlines even though the former has been out of office for years. The latest controversy is that the act has been up for renewal since 2007 and its stipulations have become unobtainable for many states now. 

To quit complying triggers a cutoff of federal funds.  So many states are seeking a waiver. Ten states have gotten waivers so far -- Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Tennessee. 

The Missouri State Teacher Association Spokesperson Todd Fuller complains the act has given local education a loss of control. "No one is completely happy with the No Child Left Behind Act" said Fuller. 

Columbia Schools Superintendent Chris Belcher agrees with the MSTA on one thing: "The act has been a complete disaster."  Belcher believes that the local education systems and the federal education systems are not working together.

"It irritates me" he said. 

However, MTSA feels the waiver may not be the solution that helps anyway.

"What people do not realize is the waiver could cost people more money" said Fuller. The waiver would allow for new tests that could potentially cost a lot. "The waiver would be another form of No Child Left Behind" he said. Since no one can predict the future, MTSA proposes a 1-year waiver so there can be more time to estimate costs. 

However, the eyes of the Superintendent see things differently.

"I personally reviewed the budget and I do not see how the waiver could be damaging in a financial aspect" said Belcher. 

So Missouri now waits, hoping for approval from the federal government to quit No Child Left Behind.That could take 3 to 4 weeks.

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