Three-quarters of the way through an eight-year contract, school officials in Fort Worth, Texas, have suspended service and maintenance agreements for a controversial technology-based math program whose efficacy is supported, at least in part, by research bearing the U.S. Department of Education's (ED's) coveted "double-check" validation.

The solution at issue--funded locally in Fort Worth with more than $15 million--has received an additional $45 million elsewhere through unusual, "earmarked" federal funding arrangements. An "earmark" in legislative parlance is money designated for a specific purpose and recipient--in this case, a for-profit company.

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