Education-News1RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia will continue to get relief from federal education requirements and No Child Left Behind-era sanctions. The Virginia Department of Education says federal officials have approved the state’s request for a four-year extension of its Elementary and Secondary Education Act flexibility waiver originally approved in 2012. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven Staples extension allows Virginia schools to plan through the 2018-2019 school year with goals for narrowing achievement gaps and improving teaching and learning in under-performing schools. Without the waiver, most Virginia schools would be labeled as failing for not meeting the law’s goal of 100-percent proficiency for all students by 2014. Staples says the waiver has allowed state schools to focus federal funds and other resources on “smart interventions that are producing positive results for students.”