ASHVILLE, TN (WRCB) -- Governor Bill Haslam officially ended Tennessee's participation in the federal "No Child Left Behind" program Thursday.

The governor sign into a bill that will give the state a way around the federal rules that had been signed into law by President Bush and took effect nationwide in 2002.
Acting on the request of several governors, last year President Obama granted waivers to ten states, including Tennessee, provided they develop their own educational standards to meet the stated goals of the NCLB legislation.
Haslam said the original law had the best of intentions, but it set the bar too high and too quickly, requiring all public school children to become completely proficient in reading and math by 2014.

Surrounded by educators from across the state and students, Haslam also announced more than $37 million in federal grants for three school districts to assist in their efforts to turn around low-performing schools.  
"This administration is committed to continuing Tennessee's momentum in education reform, and days like today are the reason so many eyes are on us as a leader in the effort to improve education for every student in every classroom," Haslam said.

"This legislation was a priority for me this session, and I appreciate the broad bipartisan support it received – a testament to a lot of hard work by many people," he added.

House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga),  Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville), Sen. Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) and  Rep. Harry Brooks (R-Knoxville) all co-sponsored the bill.