No Decision Yet On No Child Left Behind Waiver
Department of Education says it's still waiting to hear
Aug. 01, 2014
Indiana was supposed to know by the end of July whether its No Child Left Behind waiver would be extended. The education department is still waiting to hear.
The U.S. Department of Education told the office of state Superintendent Glenda Ritz it would decide on the future of Indiana's waiver from certain federal education benchmarks by the end of the month. While the department extended waivers for five states as of Thursday, Indiana was not one of them, but that's because the waiver request is still pending. "Despite media reports to the contrary, no decision has been made by the federal government regarding Indiana’s waiver. According to a press release from the United States Department of Education yesterday, Indiana is one of nearly 20 states that currently have waiver requests pending," read a statement from the Department of Education.
Indiana was first granted a waiver in 2012, giving the state more flexibility in how it spends more then $230 million in federal education money every year. But in May, the federal education department told the DOE it found several problems that needed to be corrected if the waiver were to be renewed. Among them were what the feds called the state's poor response to the needs of failing schools and a lack of oversight over the teacher evaluation process.
Ritz's office filed a response, but that response was criticized by Claire Fiddian-Green, Governor Pence's Special Assistant for Education Innovation. Fiddian-Green also is co-leader of the Center For Education and Career Innovation (CECI), which Pence created to work with all of the state's education agencies, however Ritz, the only Democrat holding statewide office, has repeatedly accused the Republican Pence and CECI of trying to take over her department or, at least, interfere with its work. Several members of the State Board of Education, all of whom were appointed either by Pence or his predecessor, Mitch Daniels, also criticized Ritz for not sharing with the board information about problems with the waiver.
The U.S. DOE says there is no timetable for a decision on Indiana's waiver.