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New legislation promises more choices for low-income families: proposed act would afford private school transfer, intensive tutoring.

On July 18, a bill was introduced in Congress that would help economically disadvantaged students in under-performing schools transfer to the private school of their choice or sign up for intensive after-school or summer tutoring.

If enacted into law, the America's Opportunity Scholarships for Kids Act would authorize the U.S. Department of Education to award $100 million in fiscal year 2007 for competitive grants to states, school districts and nonprofit organizations to provide scholarships of up to $4,000 to children from low-income families in persistently low-performing schools to attend the private school of their choice.

Grant recipients would also be authorized to provide up to $3,000 for tutoring services to low-income students if they choose not to attend a different school. This would include tutoring through after-school or summer school programs designed to help improve students' academic achievement.

Under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, schools failing to meet their Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goals for five years are identified as needing restructuring. According to the Department's records, 1,065 schools were identified as needing restructuring in the 2004-05 school year. Preliminary estimates suggest that an additional 1,000 schools from the 2005-06 school year will be identified as needing restructuring.

"We are one step closer to ensuring that parents can make choices that strengthen their children's futures and give them a great start in life, regardless of their resources or the communities in which they live," said U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.
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Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:The Achiever
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2006
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