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According to the Associated Press, President Barack Obama will free 10 states, including Tennessee, from the strict requirements of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law. The move will allow states flexibility in how they prepare and evaluate students. The law requires all students to be proficient in reading and math by 2014. Obama's action strips away that requirement in exchange for a viable substitute plan.
Tennessee parents would be able to opt their children out of extracurricular school activities under a proposal advancing in the state House. The measure passed the House Education Subcommittee Wednesday. The companion bill is awaiting a vote in the Senate Education Committee. Under the legislation, schools would notify parents about the activities by way of student handbooks or policy guidebooks. Parents who don't want their children to participate in a certain activity could send a note to the school.
Governor Bill Haslam's anti-crime package is advancing in the Legislature. The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a bill seeking to crack down on people trying to make and sell methamphetamine and a measure targeting prescription drug abuse. Both bills now head for a floor vote. In addition, the House Judiciary Committee approved another administration bill to enhance penalties for violent crimes committed by groups of three or more people, while panels in both chambers approved heavier penalties for gun possession by people with previous felony convictions.
The City of Crossville has released a statement concerning the passing of an ordinance to ban the sale, possession, or distribution of any synthetic mixture by any retail establishment within the city limits. These items are known as synthetic marijuana and bath salts. According to the release, "the number of arrests within the last six months has increased dramatically associated with these synthetic substances. These substances are a serious health concern to the general public due to their side effects and unknown long term effects both physically and psychologically. These products are clearly marked "NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION", but has not deterred individuals from purchasing and ingesting them for their euphoric effects. For additional information on this issue and to view the complete ordinance and penalties visit the City of Crossville web-site @ www.crossvilletn.gov ."
State officials say federal funds are available for the 2012 Summer Food Service Program. The program is intended to assure that children and individuals with disabilities, who rely on free and reduced-price meals during the school year, have access to nutritious meals during the summer.