Loss of No Child Left Behind waiver could affect Whatcom County schools

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDApril 24, 2014 

Local school districts could feel the effects of changes in federal funding as the state loses its No Child Left Behind waiver.

In Meridian School District, it means the district might lose control of a portion of funding for Irene Reither Elementary School, Assistant Superintendent David Forsythe said.

The school has failed to meet adequate yearly progress benchmarks mandated by No Child Left Behind in the past, and if it fails to meet those benchmarks again this year, the district would lose control of 20 percent of its Title I (low-income students) allocation - $42,000 of its $210,000 allocation.

The district is exploring the possibility of applying for a year-long exemption, though, because Irene Reither has combined with Ten Mile Elementary School. The two had been separate when the federal waiver was granted.

"We are disappointed (the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction) was not able to negotiate a continuation of the waiver, however we feel confident that we have the resources in Meridian to continue interventions with our at-risk students on campus with what is essentially a potential 20 percent cut in funds,' Forsythe wrote in an email. "Our Title I staff has made positive impact on these students."

Administrators at other Whatcom County school districts weren't available Thursday to comment about the affect of the waiver loss on Thursday.

Reach Zoe Fraley at 360-756-2803 or zoe.fraley@bellinghamherald.com.

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