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.