Hillsborough fairs highlight free tutors under NCLB
TAMPA -- Need a free tutor in Hillsborough County this fall?
Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, you might be entitled to one. And it's time to go shopping.
On Saturday at 1 p.m. at Memorial Middle School in Tampa, the school district will be offering the first of five "provider fairs," featuring a raft of companies that have gone into business to offer free tutoring under the federal law.
To qualify, students must attend a low-income Title 1 school and be eligible for a free or reduced-fee lunch. Their school must also have failed to make adequate yearly progress for two or more consecutive years under NCLB and state guidelines. More than 100 schools fall into that category in Hillsborough.
Other fairs will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 1 at Greco Middle School in Temple Terrace; on Sept. 8 at Roland Park K-8 in Tampa; on Sept. 10 at Shields Middle School in Ruskin; and from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sept. 12 at Turkey Creek Middle School in Plant City.
District officials will be on hand to answer questions and provide refreshments. The state Department of Education has also put together a list of tough questions parents might want to ask the companies.
Not all tutors are equal. Last spring, Gov. Charlie Crist signed a new law establishing a rating system for tutoring companies, from "excellent" to "unsatisfactory." But state officials say that system is still under development and won't be available until the fall of 2010.
-- Tom Marshall, Times Staff Writer