Colorado School Districts Can Opt Out Of 'No Child Left Behind Act'

School Districts in Colorado can say no to the controversial "No Child Left Behind Act." Under a new law passed in the legislature during the session that ended this week, districts will be able to opt out of the federal requirements without being punished.

The "No Child Left Behind Act" requires all students to show progress in math and reading by 2014, and that schools track the progress within subgroups. A school that does not meet the standards would be labeled as failing and be required to use federal aid to pay for after school programs, or let better performing students transfer to different schools.

Under Colorado's new law, districts that choose not to comply with federal requirements will not be punished, but will not receive federal aid. Mesa County School District 51 Board Member Marcia Neal tells 11 News, Mesa County receives upwards of $7.5 million last year from the federal government.

Neal says opting out wouldn't be in the best interest of the school district. Schools that turn down federal aid will still have to track progress in math and reading, and report that information each year in order for the state Department of Education to receive federal funds.

The new law takes effect July 1st.

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