The Iowa Department of Education has given an “early warning” to 50 districts and 145 schools overall that they’re not meeting the federal standards set in the “No Child Left Behind Act.” The law requires students to meet certain minimum standards, but Governor Vilsack says Iowa schools didn’t get the federal funds they need to do the job. He says the problem is this underscores the flaw in the approach. He says Leave No Child is “focused on failure, and it’s funded for failure.” Vilsack says if the federal government were really focused on the issue, it would have fully funded this bill. An he says they would fully fund special education. Because of the underfunding, Vilsack says the state loses 300-million dollars a year. Vilsack says the federal funding would make a big difference.He says that would go a long way to addressing some of the problems the early warning system has put into play. Vilsack says they notified school districts so they weren’t caught off guard. He says they felt it was the responsible thing to do to let school districts know this is coming and they could face federal sanctions. He says they’ve also let federal officials know they believe the structure of the program is flawed. You can find out if your school is on the watch list by surfing to: www.state.ia.us.
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