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Shellanne Thompson | Reporter

CARBONDALE—The USD 434 Board of Education unanimously approved the Elementary and Secondary Education Act at its Jan. 9 regular meeting.

The act outlines the board agreement to work with and support changes in district curriculum and classroom instruction that align with the implementation of common core state standards, and provides relief from regulations of the No Child Left Behind Act. The board believes these changes will help students use higher level thinking skills and will allow teachers to spend less time focusing on annual assessments. The transition will begin this school year and may impact student scores on the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years. The board, however, believes the results will benefit all students.

Steve Shogren, SVP with George K. Baum & Company, spoke to the board regarding the bond resolution that would finance a new fine arts facility and gymnasium for Santa Fe Trail High School. The district qualifies for 44 percent state aid on any construction project and Shogren presented the board a proposed resolution to cover the remaining cost, authorizing a $4.6 million wrapped financing structured bond issue to be placed on the April election ballot.

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