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Calif. Lawmakers Pass Major School Reform Package

The California Legislature has sent Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger landmark education reforms designed to overhaul the state's worst schools.

The bills passed their final legislative hurdle in the state Senate on Wednesday and are headed to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has said he will sign them.

The reforms will allow California to compete for part of the $4.3 billion being made available to states under the Obama administration's Race to the Top initiative.

Under the legislation, state officials could close failing schools, convert them to charter schools or replace the principal and half the staff. Parents whose children are stuck in the lowest-performing schools would be given greater leeway to send their children elsewhere and could petition to turn around a chronically failing school.

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