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Q & A: what benefits does no child left behind offer parents of children in high-poverty schools?

Schools with high concentrations of children from low-income families receive what is called "Title I" support: federal funding to help students at risk of falling behind. More than half of all public schools (55 percent) come under this category. In exchange for these federal dollars, schools must meet certain requirements set forth in the No Child Left Behind Act, including giving parents information and choices about their children's education, as highlighted below.

* Supplemental educational services (SES) are free tutoring or other extra academic assistance outside the regular school day to students who: 1) qualify for free or reduced-price lunch; and 2) are enrolled in a Title I school that has not made adequate yearly progress (AYP) for three years or longer. Parents of eligible children should receive annual notices about the availability of these services and a state-approved list of SES providers. (AYP is the annual level of improvement, as measured on student assessments and other academic indicators, set by each state that a school must achieve.)

* Public school choice allows parents to transfer their children to another higher-performing public school, which could be a public charter school or a school in another school district, if their children attend a Title I school that has not made AYP for two years or longer.

* Local report cards, prepared every year by school districts receiving Title I funds, include information on how students overall performed on state tests and thereby if schools achieved AYP goals. They not only tell how well the district is doing but also give a big picture of the performance of individual schools and different student groups, such as those with disabilities or with limited English proficiency. Districts must make the report cards easy to understand and available to parents.

Adapted from Empowering Parents School Box: What Parents Need to Know, U.S. Department of Education, 2007. To order, see back cover.
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Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:The Achiever
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2007
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