February 16, 2005
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Jennifer Chavez
Public Information Officer
(505) 476-0393

Secretary Garcia Initiates New NCLB Rulemaking

(Santa Fe, NM)-- Several problematic issues relating to the implementation of the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act have been identified by the Public Education Department. In order to streamline the implementation of NCLB requirements, the Federal Programs Coordinating Committee at the request of Secretary Veronica C. Garcia is investigating how best to manage these issues, which include:

- Regulation of incentives to parents by Title I Supplemental Educational Services (SES) providers
Currently, SES providers are allowed to offer monetary or gift incentives to prospective parents needing their services, however the Public Education Department would like to disallow this practice.

- Time frame for implementation of SES (SES services are tutoring services made available to students attending schools in need of improvement.)
Currently, there is no specific deadline for when these tutoring services must be provided; PED would like to establish a deadline for schools to provide tutoring services at the beginning of the school year.

- Regulation of school choice in rural school districts
Currently, it is left to the district to determine whether it is practical to bus students to another district if the school those students are attending fails to make AYP. PED will consider establishing official guidelines for bussing students to other districts.

- Use of Title II funds to meet the “highly qualified” teacher requirements of NCLB
Currently, Title II funds have a broad application of uses; PED would like to require districts that are failing to hire enough highly qualified teachers to utilize Title II funds specifically for that purpose.

“Over the last year we’ve learned that the requirements of the No Child Left Behind act are extremely complex. Title I allows for states to establish policy that exceeds federal rules where the US Department of Education specifically provides this authority to states. Therefore, we intend to revamp our regulations,” said Secretary Veronica C. García.

The new rulemaking process will enable the PED to ensure that the implementation of NCLB requirements is fair and efficient. The formal rulemaking process will begin in March with the expectation that rules will be in place by the beginning of the 2005-06 school year.