Schools across the country are getting some wiggle room in a deadline to get a top teacher in every teacher in every core class.
Rural teachers, science teachers and those who teach multiple subjects will get leeway in showing they are highly qualified under federal law.
The changes are most sweeping for rural teachers, thousands of whom will get an extra school year - until spring 2007 - to show they are qualified in all topics they teach.
Education officials are stressing that states have flexibility in deciding how teachers meet the "highly qualified" requirements.
Senior administrator for the Nebraska education department, Marge Harouff, said the department is pleased with the changes.
Harouff said the new federal rules for how to determine who is a highly qualified teacher are more in line with what Nebraska had in place before the new federal laws.
The easing of rules is the latest effort by the Bush administration to show it's trying to answer concerns about the No Child Left Behind Act without watering it down.