Original story at: Reuters

Senate Passes Education Bill; Bush to Sign Soon
December 18, 2001 12:30 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Senate easily approved a massive school reform bill on Tuesday, sending it to President Bush for his signature.

The bill authorizes up to $26.5 billion for public elementary and secondary schools, much of it targeted to help narrow the achievement gap between low-income students and their wealthier counterparts.

A product of months of bipartisan compromises, the bill also requires states to test students in reading and math yearly in grades three through eight.

Schools that perform poorly will get additional resources, but students in those schools will also get new options, including attending another public school or getting tutoring or other supplementary services.

The House passed the bill last week. Bush, who made education reform a centerpiece of his presidency, plans to sign it.