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Public Statements

Pennsylvania, Texas, Wyoming Request Flexibility from No Child Left Behind

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Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced it has received requests from Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming for flexibility from No Child Left Behind in exchange for state-developed plans to prepare all students for college and careers, focus aid on the neediest students, and support effective teaching and leadership.

Since fall 2011, 47 states, D.C., Puerto Rico and the Bureau of Indian Education have requested waivers from NCLB in order to implement next-generation education reforms that go far beyond the law's rigid, top-down prescriptions. The Department has approved requests from 34 states and D.C., with other applications still pending.

"We continue to see growing momentum for education reform nationwide, and these requests reflect the desire of states to have more flexibility in implementing their locally developed ideas about how to improve education--and not be forced into a one-size-fits-all approach," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "We look forward to continuing to work with leaders to support teachers and better prepare all students for college and careers."

Federal education law has been due for congressional reauthorization since 2007. In the face of congressional inaction, President Obama announced in September 2011 that the Obama Administration would grant waivers from NCLB to qualified states. The first requests for waivers were granted in February 2012.

The 34 states, plus D.C., that have been approved for waivers from NCLB include: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

The 12 states, plus the Bureau of Indian Education and Puerto Rico, with outstanding requests for waivers include: Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming. California's request was denied.

The three states that have not yet requested a waiver include: Montana, Nebraska and Vermont (request withdrawn).

For more information, visit: http://www.ed.gov/esea/flexibility/requests.


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