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Bill Nelson wants federal review after Tampa Bay Times investigation into failing schools

Sen. Bill Nelson has asked the U.S. Department of Education to look into the public schools in Pinellas County that have been part of a Tampa Bay Times investigation.

Nelson echoes a call from U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa.

Here is Nelson's letter to Secretary Arne Duncan:

Dear Mr. Secretary:

I am writing you about five public elementary schools in Pinellas County, Florida. Specifically, Maximo, Lakewood, Campbell Park, Fairmount Park and Melrose elementary schools have an alarmingly low student performance rate.

These schools based in predominantly African-American neighborhoods are among the worst in the state, according to a report in the Tampa Bay Times which found that the schools do not have adequate resources.

That is why I respectfully request that the U.S. Department of Education review how the local school district is using Title I dollars intended to bolster schools that serve children from low-income families.

I am enclosing a copy of the Tampa Bay Times article. I appreciate your prompt attention to this urgent matter.

Bill Nelson