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State OKs Tutors for Kids at Lagging Schools

A list of eligible providers of taxpayer-subsidized tutoring services for students at underperforming schools released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Education contains several for-profit companies and religious groups.

Low-income families in 14 schools including 13 in Minneapolis and St. Paul are eligible for the services under a provision in the federal No Child Left Behind law. Districts are expected to get the word out to families about the new program soon.

"We are hoping parents get notified this month,'' said Doug Gray, spokesman for the state agency.

The school districts in St. Paul and Minneapolis had their after-school tutoring programs approved by the state. The state also approved 22 other applicants out of a total of 47 organizations.

Among those approved are Boys and Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities, Huntington Learning Centers, Kaplan programs and Sylvan Education Solutions. East Side Learning Center, run by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, also was approved.

Which program is used for tutoring is up to the parents. In Minneapolis, students who qualify are eligible for up to $1,502 in services; in St. Paul, they are eligible for up to $1,350 in services.

About 5,000 students in St. Paul and Minneapolis qualify, but there isn't enough money available in the program to pay for all students to receive the maximum amount of services.

Schools must provide the services if they fail to make "adequate yearly progress'' as defined by No Child Left Behind for three consecutive years.

The St. Paul Family Learning Center Charter School was identified earlier by the state in this category but has been removed after appealing its status.

— John Welsh
State OKs tutors for kids at lagging schools
Pioneer Press


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