AP reports on Dorn effort to stop children from attending better schools or receiving free tutoring

July 1, 2014

The Associated Press (AP) reported on Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn’s announcement yesterday that he wants to exempt Washington schools from the standards of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

The 2002 education reform law gives families assigned to schools that fall short the ability to select a better school for their children, receive free transportation and get free outside tutoring.

By mid-August, school officials are required to send parents a letter informing them of their rights under the law.  Superintendent Dorn says he wants to stop local officials from sending the letters to parents.

If Superintendent Dorn succeeds, Washington children will be denied the education services to which they are entitled under federal law.  The AP reports school districts would be barred from using $40 million in federal funds “to transport students who want to go to a different school and provide outside tutoring for families that request it.”

Superintendent Dorn admitted yesterday that “nearly every school in the state is not making adequate yearly progress,” according to AP.  Still, he wants to make sure Washington families have no where else to turn.  He is trying to work with federal officials to ensure Washington children do not receive federally-funded tutoring, school transfers or other educational services.

Federal officials will decide over the summer whether Superintendent Dorn can stop the parental letters from being mailed out.





For the complete reasoning

Will the Feds Enforce? Or give WA another pass?

If true, what Dorn is proposing is to have the state, via OSPI, return the "flexibility" schools had under the Federal Flexibility Waiver, but without the federal authority to do so. This would be a flagrant violation of federal law, and as such, Washington will risk losing ALL ESEA NCLB Title 1 funding from the federal government.

The question is, will Arne Duncan & Obama allow WA to give them this slap in the face? Try to recall the most recent time the Feds via the USDOE has EVER withheld Title 1 funding from a state for non-compliance.

Dorn is making a calculated political move. Make a show of being "for" giving Districts the ability to spend federal dollars how they want, instead of how the law says it now must be spent. If the Feds cave, and allow WA to get away with it, Dorn wins. If the Feds enforce, and pull federal funding, districts may grumble, but Dorn can claim this was the Feds' doing and blame the Feds for WA's woes, and Dorn still wins.