Few Parents Moving Students to Better-Performing Schools

Few Parents Moving Students to Better-Performing Schools

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LAYTON, Utah (AP) -- Few parents are taking advantage of the federal No Child Left Behind law to move their children to better-performing schools, education officials said.

Under the federal law, schools that receive Title I funds and haven't made adequate yearly progress for two consecutive years must pay to transfer students to higher performing schools.

That option is available at two Davis elementary schools, Vae View in Layton and South Clearfield, but only a handful of parents have applied to transfer.

Nationally, an average of 2 percent to 3 percent of students moved from underachieving schools in the first year, said Michelle Beus, the district's legal-issues specialist.

Vae View Principal Eric Holmes said the school sent letters to all parents telling them of the option, but just two applications have come in.

"I didn't expect a big flood of applicants," he said. "Most people are pretty happy with our school."

South Clearfield Principal Daren Allred, whose school has 450 students, said there has been three applications.

With 72 percent of students on free or reduced lunch and 20 percent who don't speak English as a first language, the school faces unique challenges with a transient population, Allred said.

"That's just the reality of the student population," he said. "Those issues are going to be there."

The school went from having eight NCLB "no's" in the first year to three this year. Much of what is judged by NCLB is out of the school's control, he added.

But the school is striving to improve, such as by hiring a part-time tutor to work with students learning English as a second language.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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