Washington returning to No Child Left Behind

PASCO, Wash. -- Parents may have been shocked to hear Washington was the first state to lose waivers under No Child Left Behind. But Gov. Jay Inslee wasn't. He knew that a failure to act by state lawmakers had put our funding at risk.

Washington is not following an edict set up under No Child Left Behind. It does not use student test scores as a means of assessing how effective a teacher is.

"Is it fair to base a teacher's future, or anybody's future, on a variable such as a child being attentive and learning?" asked state Rep. Larry Haler.

Haler didn't point to one party for the blame. He says both sides disagreed with the move and denies they were influenced by the teachers' union or special interests.

"We informed our legislature of that, showed them the facts, and they agreed with us, so they stood firm in rejecting a bad policy by the feds," said the Kennewick Education Association's Teri Staudinger.

The loss of the waiver means Washington has to conform with the No Child Left Behind standards. The money will remain, but the districts won't get to choose how it's spent for Title I programs.

This money covers services for kids who might not pass state exams. That affects about $300,000 in Richland. Pasco receives much more.

"A million dollars that we have been able to use directly in schools for services for our students," said Liz Flynn, Pasco's assistant superintendent.

Pasco expects it could cut programs focused on reading, writing and math. If schools are listed as failing under the new standards, districts will have to pay for private tutoring services.

"They charge quite a lot of money per hour for each of the tutoring sessions they provide to the students, so the money will go there, instead of directly to the kids," said Flynn.

More of the fallout from not falling in line with No Child Left Behind.

The Pasco School District says it was anticipating this and doesn't expect any layoffs.