CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Thursday, July 18, 2013, the House will consider H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, under a structured rule. H.R. 5 was introduced on June 6, 2013 by House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman, John Kline (R-MN) and has 12 cosponsors. H.R. 5 was marked up on June 19, 2013 by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and ordered to be reported, as amended, by a vote of 23-16. The bill was also referred to the House Committee on Financial Services, which discharged the bill on July 11, 2013.
H.R. 5 reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act for each of the fiscal years 2014-2019 at the FY 2013 funding levels. Title I funding is held at the FY 2012 level to ensure priorities are met. Total spending for the bill is less than funding contained in Title I for FY 2007, the last authorization year for No Child Left Behind.
The bill eliminates and consolidates more than 70 existing programs authorized in current law. It further directs the Secretary of Education to: (1) identify those full time employee positions associated with elimination or consolidation and (2) reduce the Department of Education workforce by a corresponding amount. The bill collapses funding from most of those programs into one funding stream - the Local Academic Flexible Grant - to provide states and school districts with more flexibility with federal funds. The program also requires that 10 percent of the funds be reserved to support private sector initiatives to improve student achievement. H.R. 5 removes the maintenance of effort requirement and allows states and communities to set their own funding levels. The bill maintains separate funding for migrant education, neglected and delinquent students, English Language Acquisition programs, rural education, and Indian Education programs but restructures these funding sources into Title I.
H.R. 5 repeals the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) requirement and the federally-prescribed school improvement and turnaround intervention programs. It directs states to develop academic achievement standards, assessments, and accountability mechanisms to measure achievement of those standards. The bill repeals the Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) requirement and directs states and school districts to implement state and locally driven teacher evaluation systems. The bill consolidates most of the teacher quality programs authorized in current law into one Teacher and School Leader Flexible grant program.
The bill reauthorizes the Charter School Program and supports expansion and replication of high quality charter schools to provide additional choices to parents. H.R. 5 strengthens the Magnet School and Parent Information Resource Center programs. The bill also strengthens the five existing programs within the Impact Aid Program, including making those provisions that were included in the FY 2013 NDAA permanent. The bill moves Impact Aid Programs from Title VIII to Title IV.
H.R. 5 maintains and protects state and local autonomy by: (1) prohibiting the Secretary from imposing conditions, including conditions involving Common Core and other state standards and assessments; (2) preventing the Secretary from creating additional burdens on states and school districts through the regulatory process; (3) prohibiting the Secretary from demanding changes to state standards and coercing states to enter into partnership with other states; and (4) outlining specific procedures the Secretary must follow when issuing federal regulations and conducting the peer review process.
Finally, the bill reauthorizes the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, the primary law that provides funding to states and school districts to educate homeless children and youth. The bill strengthens the process for identifying homeless children and youth and provides better collaboration and information-sharing among federal and state agencies for services.
The original Elementary and Secondary Education Act was enacted and signed into law in 1965. Originally authorized through 1970, the ESEA had been routinely authorized from 1965 until the early 2000s. The most recent authorization came in 2002, when Congress reauthorized ESEA through the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). ESEA provides federal funding to elementary and secondary schools, primarily to supplement state and local funding for disadvantaged students. ESEA has not been reauthorized since NCLB expired in 2007. Congressional inaction has allowed the Administration to impose its own view of education reform on the nation free from Congressional oversight. First, with Race to the Top, originally funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and then through waivers of ESEA law, the Administration has used grant funds and some regulatory flexibility to coerce states into adopting the Common Core and various other policies preferred by the Administration.
Titles in the Current ESEA:
The crux of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is Title I, which authorizes funding to public schools in order to educate low-income students. Title I is intended to provide schools with the resources they need to strengthen educational programs and improve academic achievement.
NCLB required states that receive Title I funding to administer yearly state-wide assessments in reading and math, and assessments once every three years in science. Schools were held accountable for making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) based mostly on the percentage of students testing as “proficient” on the annual reading and math assessments. Title I schools who repeatedly fail to meet AYP standards are subject to a series of federally-prescribed school improvement interventions. NCLB also required that all teachers teaching “core academic subjects” be “highly qualified”. This means that they must hold at least a bachelor’s degree, a teaching certification, and have demonstrated subject-area knowledge in the subject they teach.
Title II is primarily concerned with preparing, training, and recruiting quality teachers. Funds are used to set up programs that fulfill this goal. Title III addresses the allocation of funds toward providing language instruction for those with limited proficiency as well as for immigrant students. Title IV addresses funding for school safety, and how states can receive federal funding to implement programs that address safety. It also provides opportunities for communities to establish or expand activities in community learning centers to improve opportunities for “academic enrichment”.
Title V is established as the innovations component of ESEA. Title V is intended to support local education reform efforts, provide funding to agencies that implement positive reform programs, to support programs promoting the start-up of public charter schools, and to develop programs to improve student, school and teacher performance. Title VI funds state development of academic assessments and includes the Rural Education Initiative, which provides funding to rural school districts to help meet the unique needs of rural communities. Title VII provides grants for Indian, Hawaiian Native, and Alaska Native education.
Title VIII of ESEA addresses the Impact Aid Program. Impact Aid is established to assist local school districts that have lost property tax revenue due to the presence of tax-exempt Federal property within their school boundaries. In 2003, $1.19 billion was allocated to school districts whose tax base was affected this way. Schools are able to use most impact aid funds in any manner they choose in accordance with their local or state requirements.
 Note: ESEA establishes a low-income threshold for Title I schools at 35 percent. See: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/107-110.pdf (115 Stat. 1470)
According to CBO, “H.R. 5 would amend and reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (the ESEA, commonly referred to, in its most recently reauthorized form, as No Child Left Behind). The underlying authorizations for those programs have expired, although most have received appropriations since their authorizations have expired. This bill would authorize funding through fiscal year 2019 for various grant programs; those authorizations would automatically be extended one year, through 2020, under the General Education Provisions Act. The bill also would amend and reauthorize the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, which authorizes grants to assist in the education of homeless children.
CBO estimates that H.R. 5 would authorize the appropriation of $22.9 billion in 2014 and $114.3 billion over the 2014-2018 period. Implementing the bill would have discretionary costs of $85.6 billion over the 2014-2018 period, assuming appropriation of the estimated amounts. Enacting the bill would have no effect on direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
H.R. 5 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal government.”
1) Reps. Kline (R- MN) and Rokita (R-IN) Manager’s Amendment #23 – Amendment clarifies that a state opting not to receive funds for a program under the Act shall not be required to carry out any of the requirements of such program and that states and school districts can support civics education efforts, and makes other technical improvements.
2) Reps. Young (R-AK), Gabbard (D-HI), Hanabusa (D-HI), and McCollum (D-MN) Amendment Amendment #55 – Amendment restores and makes policy improvements to educational support programs for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students that are currently authorized under Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and would be diminished under H.R. 5, the Student Success Act.
3) Rep. Cárdenas (D-CA) Amendment #51 –Amendment increases the authorized funding level to $775,000,000 until FY 2019.
4) Rep. Luetkemeyer (R-MO) Amendment #32 – Amendment expresses the sense of Congress that States and local education agencies should maintain the rights and responsibilities of determining curriculum and assessments for elementary and secondary education.
5) Rep. Jackson-Lee (D-TX) Amendment #58 – Amendment states that if funding for awards to states is not sufficient then funding will be targeted to schools serving neglected, delinquent, migrant students, English learners, at-risk students, and Native Americans to increase academic achievements of such students.
6) Rep. Bentivolio (R-MI) Amendment #58 – Amendment requires state educational agencies to consult with private sector employers and entrepreneurs as part of its education plan. It also requires the Secretary to have representatives from private sector employers appointed to the peer-review process by reducing practitioners from 75 percent to 65 percent.
7) Rep. McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) Amendment #2 – Amendment reinstates the one percent cap as it relates to students with the most significant cognizant disabilities participating in the alternate assessments; ensures alternate assessments are tied to academic content standards for grade in which student enrolled; and ensures parents are involved in the development of assessments as it relates to the student’s individualized education program.
8) Reps. Reed (R-NY), McKinley (R-WV), and Owens (D-NY) Amendment #53 – Amendment clarifies that Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and State Education Agencies (SEAs) are able to use multiple measures when identifying academic performance measurements instead of the current one size fits all testing assessments.
9) Rep. Benishek (R-MI) Amendment #3 – Amendment encourages states to include the number of students attaining career and technical education proficiencies enrolled in public secondary schools, in its annual state report card. This information is already required to be collected by the Perkins Act, and would simply streamline access to information to the public.
10) Rep. Heck (R-NV) Amendment #19 – Amendment provides Local Education Agencies (LEAs) with the option of entering into partnerships or contracts with other entities to implement programs that serve youth in, or transitioning out of institutions and correctional facilities, and youth at-risk of dropping out of school. This would provide LEAs with the option to partner with organizations that have the existing experience and resources to enhance the effectiveness of services provided by school districts to vulnerable populations through the Neglected/Delinquent program in an integrated fashion.
11) Reps. Schock (R-IL) and Meehan (R-PA) Amendment #44 – Amendment ensures that greater authority and governance are restored to local education agencies as delegated by their States. It also ensures that the Secretary of Education does not impose any additional requirements or burdens on local educational agencies unless explicitly authorized by federal law.
12) Reps. Scalise (R-LA) and Bishop (R-UT) Amendment #67 – Amendment states that under Title II in H.R. 5, there would be no federal mandate for states to conduct teacher evaluations.
13) Reps. Moore (D-WI) and Wilson (D-FL) Amendment #29 – Amendment delays the implementation of new Title II formula until the Secretary of Education determines that the implementation will not reduce funding for schools serving high percentages of students in poverty.
14) Rep. Bishop (R-UT) Amendment #76 – Amendment eliminates Subsection C of Section 2111, which allows grant money to bypass states and go directly from the Department of Education to local districts.
15) Rep. Tonko (D-NY) Amendment #15 – Amendment reserves 10 percent of existing grant funding under the Teacher and Principal Training and Recruiting Fund for competitive subgrants that would allow organizations with STEM expertise to provide STEM professional development and instructional materials throughout the state for elementary and secondary education.
16) Reps. Brooks (R-IN) and Polis (D-CO) Amendment #5 – Amendment clarifies that federal funds may be used for computer science education.
17) Reps. Polis (D-CO) and Petri (R-WI) Amendment #25 – Amendment allows charter schools to use grant funds for teacher preparation, professional development, and improving school conditions; ensures that charter schools expand outreach to low-income and underserved populations.
18) Rep. Velazquez (D-NY) Amendment #68 – Amendment requires that applicants consider how to target their services to low-income students and parents, including low income students and parents who are not fluent in English.
19) Rep. Mullin (R-OK) Amendment #65 – Amendment strikes language in the bill that allows consolidated districts to be eligible for payment if they do not qualify after consolidation; strikes language allowing for mid-year adjustment for student counts; makes the 8007 Construction program a competitive grant program.
20) Rep. Garrett (R-NJ) Amendment #18 – Amendment clarifies that states that opt out of receiving funds, or are not awarded funds, under this Act are not required to carry out any of the requirements of the programs under this Act. The amendment also clarifies that states are not required to participate in any program under this Act.
21) Rep. Broun (R-GA) Amendment #21 – Amendment requires the Secretary of Education to include in their report to Congress the average salary of employees who were determined to be associated with eliminated or consolidated programs or projects by the underlying legislation and a report on the average salaries of the employees of the Department according to their job function.
22) Rep. Culberson (R-TX) Amendment #39 – Amendment empowers states by giving them the opportunity to accept or reject federal grant money. Grant money rejected by state legislatures would be dedicated to paying off our outstanding national debt.
23) Reps. Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Meehan (R-PA) Amendment #8 – Amendment provides a funding condition that for states or local education agencies to be eligible for funds, agency personnel cannot facilitate the transfer of an employee if they know, or have probable cause to believe, that the employee has engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor. Agencies must also require employees be subjected to background checks in compliance with the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act.
24) Rep. Jackson Lee (D-TX) Amendment #75 – Amendment creates a report containing recommendations regarding the advisability of authorizing a state education authority to close a school district over the opposition of a locally elected school board, and regarding best practices governing the exercise of authority by a state education agency in monitoring, supervising, and controlling underperforming school districts with particular emphasis on rural and underserved school districts.
25) Rep. Cantor (R-VA) Amendment #30 – Amendment allows Title I funds to follow students to other public schools or charter schools upon the state opting to allow it.
26) Rep. Miller (D-CA) Substitute Amendment #12 – Amendment reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to maintain the civil rights and equity focus of the law and to ensure all students have access to an education that prepares them for college and the workforce. Supports all students, and in particular those who are historically disadvantaged, through access to high quality state-developed standards, a meaningful but flexible accountability and school improvement system, improved and targeted professional development and working conditions for teachers and school leaders, additional learning time and after-school programs, and dedicated supports for wrap-around services for students and a well-rounded education.
For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.