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School Choice

No Child Left Behind (NCLB)

The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act amended the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 in ways to strengthen parent involvement and choice in education. The most critical amendments focus attention and resources on improving low-performing schools and providing access for all students to high quality education. Under NCLB, when schools do not meet state targets for improving the achievement of all students, parents have better options, including the opportunity to send their child to another school. Parents whose children are enrolled in Title I schools that are identified in need of improvement, corrective action, or restructuring have the opportunity to transfer their children to a higher-performing school.

Parents of students enrolled in schools in need of improvement, corrective action, or restructuring may also have the opportunity for their children to receive supplemental educational services (SES), which are tutoring and other academic enrichment services provided outside the regular school day and designed to enable children from low-income families to reach academic proficiency. The opportunity to obtain SES is another parental choice component of NCLB and is available to eligible students who are enrolled in schools in the second year of school improvement, corrective action, or restructuring. When both options are available, parents may choose the option that most effectively meets the needs of their child.

A student is generally eligible for SES if he or she receives free or reduced-price lunch and attends a Title I school identified by the state as not meeting state targets for improving the achievement of all students for at least three consecutive years. Eligible families choose an SES provider from a list developed by the state, and school districts pay for the tutoring services.