JUNEAU (AP) -- Federal Education Secretary Rod Paige has agreed to visit rural Alaska to see firsthand the problems schools there have complying with the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, said Paige agreed to the visit during a meeting with Stevens Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
A spokesman with the Paige's office said a definite date has not been set for the visit, but it will probably be in May.
Stevens met with Paige to discuss problems rural Alaska has complying with the federal education law.
For instance, the law requires high school teachers to have at least a bachelor's degree in each core academic subject they teach, but small rural schools with only two or three teachers say they'll have trouble meeting that standard.
Stevens has criticized federal officials for not giving Alaska enough flexibility in meeting the act's requirements and for not traveling to rural Alaska on their visits to the state.
Paige plans to have Deputy Education Secretary Bill Hansen head up a rural task force that will look at unintended consequences of the law and make recommendations on how the law can best serve the needs of rural students.
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