The Senate ESEA Reauthorization Draft, Part VI– My Final Post
On April 7, 2015, the Senate education committee announced the following as part of a press release:
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 7 – Senate education committee Chairman(R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member (D-Wash.) today announced a bipartisan agreement on fixing “No Child Left Behind.” They scheduled committee action on their agreement and any amendments to begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 14.
The result of the Lamar-Murray collaboration on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization (the latest version of which is renamed No Child Left Behind) is this 601-page document entitled, The Every Child Achieves Act of 2015.
On April 7, 2015, I began reading and writing about the content of those 601 pages. My writing has resulted in a series of six posts.
This is my sixth and final post, just in time for the Senate education committee meetings that will begin on April 14, 2015, regarding this possible ESEA reauthorization draft.
My other five posts on the Alexander-Murray reauthorization draft can be found here:
At the end of part V, I left off with Title VI, “Innovation and Flexibility.”
That is where I begin this final post.
Let’s jump in.
Page 429, Title VI, “Innovation and Felixibility,” involves ESEA money available “to support State and local innovation in preparing all students to meet challenging State standards” and “to provide States and local educational agencies with maximum flexibility in using Federal funds provided under this Act” as well as “to support education in rural areas.”
Title VI is loosely defined because it allows states and local education agencies (LEAs) to submit for consideration of federal funding potential programs (or components of programs) that do not fall under previous titles.
LEAs receiving grants directly from the US secretary must agree to administer assessments “that are consistent with” (pg. 437) the state assessments that states agreed to use to receive Title I funding (see pgs. 35-40 for Title I assessment info). This means that LEAs that receive Title VI money directly from the US secretary will have to establish that the assessments they use for the Title VI funding somehow “match” the state’s chosen assessments for Title I.
As is true throughout the Alexander-Murray draft, the fact that assessments are tied to those “challenging State academic standards” is downplayed by only mentioning “meeting” the standards. However, in sections in which “meeting” the standards is mentioned as a necessary criterion for funding, all goes back to Section 1111(b) of Title I, which involves setting those “challenging State academic standards” and the assessments.
“Meeting challenging State academic standards” is a euphemism for adequate marks on assessments, whatever those adequate marks might be.
The prohibition on federal control is repeated in Title VI:
Nothing in this title shall be construed to authorize an officer or employee of the Federal Government to mandate, direct, or control a State, local educational agency, or school’s specific instructional content, academic standards and assessments, curriculum, or program of instruction, as a condition of eligibility to receive funds under this Act. (pg. 441)
Title VI also includes this interesting rule:
Nothing in this title shall be construed to mandate equalized spending per pupil for a State, local educational agency, or school. (pg. 442)
Next is Title VII, “Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native Education” (pg. 442):
It is the purpose of this subpart to support local educational agencies in developing elementary school and secondary school programs for American Indian and Alaska Native students that are designed to—(1) meet the unique cultural, language, and educational needs of such students; and(2) ensure that all students meet the challenging State academic standards adopted under section 1111(b)
All goes back to those “challenging State acedemic standards,” the front door for the state assessments.
Page 496: Title VIII, “Impact Aid,” involves grants to LEAs “whose boundaries are the same as a Federal military installation or an island property designated by the Secretary of the Interior to be property that is held in trust by the Federal Government; and that has no taxing authority.” Title VIII was designed to assist schools located on federal property because these schools do not benefit from local taxes. Some language in Title VIII indicates that it also serves districts “located in a State that by State law has eliminated ad valorem tax as a revenue for local educational agencies” (pg. 502) or that serves high percentages of children residing on federal land (for example, see pgs. 503-04).
An interesting note: If a state board of education takes over an LEA eligible for Title VIII money, the LEA remains eligible for Title VIII impact aid for two years (pg. 506).The Senate ESEA Reauthorization Draft, Part VI– My Final Post | deutsch29: