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Escondido Union School District Rejects NCLB Funds for Two Schools

The Escondido Union School District [in San Diego County] angered some parents by rejecting Title I funding for two low-performing schools,
avoiding federal regulations that require the district to allow students to transfer out of such schools if they take federal dollars.

Marty and Rachel Salazar complained to the North County Times when their daughter Brittney, 12, was refused a request to transfer out of Del Dios Middle School where test scores have failed to improve sufficiently to keep
the school off the Title I sanctions list and where Brittney's own scores have been slipping.

The paper quoted Brittney's father saying, "There has been all this talk about
how parents will have more choices, more control. It's a lie. There is not parent control ... If the district wants to control where your kid goes to school, they'll find a way to do it no matter what the law is."

District Supt. Mike Caston told the newspaper that he agrees with the objective of the No Child Left Behind law that requires such transfers but that the money provided by the federal government under the law doesn't
cover the cost of providing portable classrooms for the students who want transfers.

As a result, the school district rejected Title I funds for two of the four schools in its district that have failed to improve their test scores as required by the act. And it has denied requests to transfer from those schools because of overcrowded conditions in its other schools.

Caston predicted that other districts across the state will have to make similar decisions as the NCLB requirements get tougher and more schools receive sanctions.

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Copyright 2003 Education Beat. Reproduction permitted if credited.

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