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No Child Left Behind waiver extended for CORE districts

September 25, 2015
In the Media
John Fensterwald

The U.S. Department of Education has granted six California districts affiliated with the California Office to Reform Education, or CORE, a waiver from the No Child Left Behind law for another school year. The U.S. Department of Education announced the waiver extension in a letter on Friday.

Serving about a million students, the six CORE districts include three of the state’s four largest districts: Los Angeles, Long Beach and Fresno unified districts, along with San Francisco, Oakland and Santa Ana. A year ago, Sacramento City and Sanger unified districts dropped out of CORE, a nonprofit organization that member districts created to manage the waiver and share Common Core resources.

CORE’s waiver is the only one that the department has given to school districts; the others have gone to states. It exempts the districts from some of NCLB’s constraints and gives them flexibility to spend 20 percent of federal Title I funding – more than $100 million collectively – that they’d otherwise have to spend on hiring outside tutors and transporting students to better-performing schools. The districts also have latitude to create their own school accountability systems and decide how to turn around their lowest-performing schools.


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