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Some Connecticut and Vermont Schools Declining Federal Funding

Two years into the No Child Left Behind Act, educators and state officials around New England are struggling to figure out how or even whether to comply with it. Some Connecticut and Vermont schools are declining federal funding because of the law's testing requirements. But other, lower-income districts are hard pressed to turn down money of any kind. Rural districts, where teachers often teach more than one subject, face staffing problems because of the law's teacher-qualification requirements. Last week, New Hampshire lawmakers were looking for the money to pay for annual testing. At stake is about $65 million from the feds. ''More people around the nation are beginning to realize that the law is unworkable,'' said William Mathis, superintendent of the Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union. Vermont is among the top 10 states in standards and achievement. Despite that, there could be problems showing the required ''adequate yearly progress'' for all students, Mathis said. ''Even though schools are doing good jobs, in many cases, the statistics guarantee that schools will eventually be labeled as failing,'' he said. ''That's terribly demoralizing when people are doing good jobs, and achievements are good.''

— B. J. Roche
New US law challenges rural schools
Boston Globe


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