NewsEducation / July 23, 2015

Feds Grant Indiana Three-Year No Child Left Behind Waiver

The state Department of Education announced today that Indiana has received a three-year extension from the U.S. Department of Education for the state’s No Child Left Behind waiver. This flexible status exempts the state from various provisions of the federal education law.No Child Left Behind, Elementary and Secondary Education Act2015-07-23T00:00:00-04:00
Feds Grant Indiana Three-Year No Child Left Behind Waiver

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Indiana is still in line with the expectations set in order to receive federal funding.

The U.S. Department of Educatio announced Thursday that Indiana has received a three-year extension of the No Child Left Behind waiver. This flexible status exempts the state from various provisions of the federal education law.

State Superintendent Glenda Ritz says this waiver will give schools more local control and greater flexibility over how they use $230 million in federal dollars.

“I will continue to work with both local schools and the federal government to find increased ways to direct more resources into classrooms while reducing the amount of time spent on testing,” Ritz said in a statement.

Indiana had been operating under a one-year waiver extension granted last summer.

Earliler in 2014 the waiver was put on a conditional status after a federal review found a lack of support for failing schools, among other issues. That caused a political firestorm between Ritz and Gov. Mike Pence.

Under former state Superintendent Tony Bennett the state adopted education reforms -- like teacher evaluations and the so-called college-and-career ready academic standards known as Common Core -- to qualify for the waiver. 

When Ritz ousted Bennett in the 2012 election, she was left to continue the reforms championed by Bennett to maintain the waiver.

Pence, in a statement today, called the new extension "great news for children, parents and teachers."

He said the renewel was due to the work of Ritz's Department of Education, the Indiana General Assembly, members of the State Board of Education, and local educators.

“Hoosiers can be proud of the ongoing, collaborative effort that has made this renewal possible," Pence said. "My administration remains committed to ensuring that all Hoosier children have access to quality schools, and that education is determined by Hoosier educators and families in their local communities.”

No Child Left Behind is the latest version of the country’s cornerstone education law, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), an extensive statute that has governed funding for primary and secondary education since 1965. ESEA is up for renewal this session in Congress, and right now the House and Senate have each passed their own version of a rewrite. The chambers will have to work together to come up with one version to send to the President’s desk.

Along with all other states, Indiana would be subject to whatever regulations appear in a new version of ESEA – unless the feds decide to continue the practice of granting waivers – so it’s unclear how long this waiver will stay in effect.

Former President George W. Bush signed NCLB into law in 2002.

WFYI education reporter Eric Weddle contributed to this report.

Rachel Morello is a reporter with StateImpact Indiana, a collaboration of Indiana Public Broadcasting stations to explain the effects of state education policy on people's lives. Contact Morello at rmorello@indiana.ed or follow on Twitter:



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