State school officials confident about federal waiver

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State school officials reportedly are confident that they will be granted a waiver from the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind law.

According to a statement from the association representing school board members statewide, the state superintendent’s office sent a message to school districts on Monday, in which it reported on its ongoing negotiations with the U.S. Department of Education.

So far, 24 states have received the waivers, which exempts them from financial penalties for not meeting the targets included in the law.

The law requires states to have all students pass reading, writing and math tests by 2014. This is largely considered impossible to achieve for most states, including Washington.

State Deputy Superintendent Alan Burke is “bullish that final approval will be granted for a one-year waiver,” the school board association said in the statement.

School officials expect Washington to be included in the next round of announcements, the statement read.

Negotiations have yet to be finalized, but the likely fate of the state’s application is relevant to districts’ budgets, which need be finalized by July 10.

Districts stand to lose so-called Title I money if the old rules stay in place and they do not meet the heightened testing standards.

Once Washington officially receives the waiver, state school officials will offer training to districts on the modified rules.