[This document contains excerpts from the favorable Senate report recommending adoption of the "Improving America's Schools Act of 1994", amending and extending the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. This bill became Public Law 103-382 when signed by President Clinton on October 20, 1994. It provides approximately $11 billion in funding for many dimensions of public education. "Title I" funds are part of this act.]
[This document reflects the tremendous sweep of domestic policy concerns even within a particular policy "area" like education, which, on examination, turns out to involve hundreds of policy programs, potential programs, and issues. While some changes were made between this report and the actual passage of the law, the report provides a useful understanding of the scope involved when members of Congress seek to increase their influence by becoming expert in a particular policy domain such as education. For the full text of the Goals 2000: Educate America Act, click here.]
I. Introduction and Purpose
Since 1965, Title I programs have been in the forefront of our Nation's efforts to meet the needs of disadvantaged children. During their 28 year history, the programs have called attention to the plight of poor and low-achieving students through locally-operated "compensatory education" programs, migrant, disabled, and neglected and delinquent students and preschool children and their parents through three State-operated special programs and through a demonstration for high school dropouts. With a $6.9 billion commitment in 1994-95, Part A of title I (the current chapter 1 program) is the largest Federal elementary and secondary program.
This reauthorization is particularly significant as it will set the course for the program into the year 2000. Much has changed in education and our broader society since 1965, and our knowledge of learning and teaching has grown. The changes proposed in S. 1513 build on the framework legislation, Goals 2000, passed by this Congress, and respond coherently to changes in the needs of schools, students, and society and reflect an increased understanding of the necessity and the capacity to enable all students to achieve high content and performance standards. The committee substitute for S. 1513 adopts many of the administration's original S. 1513 recommendations while simultaneously maintaining the balance of authority among the Federal, State, and local governments.
II. Committee Views
TITLE I--HELPING CHILDREN IN NEED MEET HIGH STANDARDS
In authorizing Part A of title I for 5 additional years, the committee proposes a revamping of compensatory education, focusing on high standards rather than remedial skills, and providing greater decision-making authority and flexibility to schools in exchange for greater accountability for student performance.
State desiring to receive title I Part A funds will submit a plan to the Secretary of Education describing its content standards, student performance standards, and assessments that will be established or used for title I Part A programs and defining adequate yearly progress for schools and districts based on the performance of students served under this title. Standards and assessments would be the same as those developed under the Goals 2000: Educate American Act in the case of States that receive funds under that act to ensure that the performance expected of children in title I schools is the same as that expected for all children in the State.
Content standards would clearly articulate what children should know and be able to do. Performance standards would provide a way for determining in clear and easily understood terms whether students are actually learning the subject material contained in the content standards.
It is the committee's intent that the high quality academic standards that will be used for accountability purposes under the title I program be the same as those for all children so that the same expectations are placed on title I Part A students as for other students. Students receiving title I Part A services have often received a watered down curricula, and the committee intends that this practice cease.
However, the committee does not intend to require as a condition of receiving title I Part A funds that States develop academic standards in every academic subject area. While it is the intent of the committee that States develop standards in at least reading or language arts and math, it is the committee's hope that States will develop standards in those subject areas in which title I Part A funds are used. However, it is up to each State to decide the subjects in which they will develop standards.
If a State does not develop standards for all subjects in which students are served under this program, the committee intends that it develop a process to guard against such children being taught less challenging subject matter or material and being held to lower expectations in those subjects.
The committee does not intend to require States to submit their standards or assessments to the Secretary for approval. As under the Goals 2000 Act, the committee intends to preserve State and local control of education, especially in the area of curricula. States do need, however, to describe such standards and assessments or in the case of a State that has not developed such standards, it need only describe the strategy it will use to develop such standards.
Nonetheless, the committee notes that the Secretary has the responsibility under section 1111(d) to determine, after a peer review process, whether a State's plan satisfies the requirements of sections 1111(b) and 111(c). The committee also notes that the Secretary maintains his general authority under Part E of the General Education Provisions Act to ensure that States comply with all of the relevant requirements of this act.
Section 1112(c) states a number of specific measures that LEA's are required to undertake to carry out their responsibilities under the act. Sections 1114(b) and 1115(c) state the essential components of schoolwide and targeted assistance programs for each school that receives funds to implement one or the other approach. Some LEA's and schools currently have the capacity to carry out the measures specified in these three sections and the assistance provided by this act will help others achieve the needed capacity. Because other school districts and schools may need additional assistance to carry out their responsibilities, section 1111(b)(I)(A)(iii) calls upon States to undertake steps to help LEA's and schools develop the capacity to comply with their obligations.
The provision is consistent with a variety of efforts that are underway in many States to assure that the districts and schools lacking in the capacity to educate all their children to high standards are provided with needed assistance.
The committee recognizes the need for the Secretary to review and approve State applications and plans to ensure accountability for Federal programs and guard against States' using watered-down standards for title I Part A students. The committee tried to balance this Federal interest with the constitutional authority granted to States over education policy. The committee therefore inserted language to clarify that the Secretary may not require specific standards or assessments that must be used or specific assessment items that must be included in their content standards or assessments.
For similar accountability purposes, the committee requires States to submit to the Secretary any significant changes it makes to its State plan. It does not require Secretarial approval of such changes in order for a State to continue receiving title I Part A funds. Nonetheless, the committee intends that the changes could not result in the plan's no longer satisfying the requirements of the title.
In another major change, assessments for title I Part A children would be tied to State assessment systems, eliminating the burdensome testing requirements of existing law. These State assessments would be tied to the State's standards and be used as the primary means of determining whether local educational agencies and schools are making adequate progress in enabling their students served under this part to meet those standards. Assessment results will be disaggregated by categories of students to help schools ensure that all children served are making progress towards meeting the State standards.
The committee intends that States develop a set or system of assessments, rather than a single test. The set should include multiple measures, and may include assessments developed at the local level as one of the measures if a State chooses.
The bill encourages States to move toward using new forms of assessments, such as performance based measures, for the purpose of determining adequate yearly progress and for assessing the performance of children served under title I Part A. Many States are in the process of developing such new assessments. While the committee intends such assessments to be valid and reliable, it is not its intent to discourage States from experimenting with these assessments until they satisfy such criteria. Thus, language is included in the bill to allow States to use such assessments as one of the multiple measures used in the State's assessment system.
The committee has heeded the call from States and LEA's for educational flexibility and numerous waiver provisions are being inserted in various education laws. However, the committee also recognizes that States often impose more burdensome regulations than are useful and necessary to accomplish the purposes of this title to discourage this practice.
Local educational agencies (LEA's) desiring to receive title I Part A funds would submit a local plan to the State for approval. The local plan would be similar to the State plan, and could be submitted as part of a consolidated plan for multiple Federal education programs.
Currently, LEA's submit annual applications to SEA's but the applications are developed by the States and only minor updating is required from year to year. Under this bill, LEA's would have to develop comprehensive plans and once approved by the SEA, they would remain in effect for the duration of the LEA's participation in the title I Part A program. In recognition of the importance of developing such plans, the committee does not want to rush LEA's to develop poorly conceived plans. In addition, the committee recognizes the SEA's will face a great influx of plans at one time, and may not be able to perform quality review and approvals if all of the LEA plans are submitted and have to be approved in one year.
Thus, the committee included language in the bill to allow a State to phase-in the submission and approval of LEA plans over a 2 year period according to a schedule established by the SEA. The committee does not intend, however, to delay the implementation of schools' making the decision to become schoolwide schools, and expects that the schoolwide planning provisions will proceed even if an LEA's plan has not yet been approved. Since the provisions of this reauthorization do not begin until school year 1995-96, the committee does not intend to delay implementation of the new schoolwide provisions until 1998.
The LEA plans will also describe ongoing professional development activities that addresses the needs within and across schools. Because the committee believes that professional development activities are critical to the success of students, the committee requires that each school receiving title I Part A funds grants of at least $50,000 reserve 10 percent of those funds for professional development activities. It is the hope of the committee that LEA's will build on the Federal resources provided for professional development under this act, and invest State and local resources in this valuable activity as well.
It is essential that children receiving title I Part A services receive instruction from qualified, well trained staff. According to a recent report by the International Reading Association, nearly half of all title I instructors are actually instructional aides with little or no post-high school training. Over 80 percent of these instructional aides have earned only a high school diploma or equivalent. To address this situation, the bill would require that instructional aides who do not have a high school diploma or a General Education Development certificate obtain one within two years of employment, except for aides with a language proficiency needed in bilingual instruction.
Additionally, while the committee recognizes that aides can provide essential support services to teachers, the committee is concerned about the widespread practice of hiring aides rather than qualified teachers. Thus, language has been inserted in the bill to require that teachers' aides may only be used in the program if they are under the direct supervision of a qualified title I Part A teacher.
Local plans would also describe the poverty criteria for selecting school attendance areas and the criteria for selecting students among eligible students in targeted assistance schools.
The bill requires LEA's to coordinate and integrate title I Part A services with other Federal education programs. Education services for children are often so fragmented that they fail to address the needs of the whole child and do not achieve the desired effect of improving student performance at all or to the extent that they could if they were integrated with the rest of the school day or with other education programs. The committee recognizes that Congress has contributed to this fragmentation by its separate reporting and auditing requirements for each program. Thus, the committee has inserted language to make it clear that LEA's should coordinate and integrate all programs.
The committee recognizes that children with health problems often cannot perform to their potential. Something as simple to remedy as a child's imperfect eyesight cannot be addressed if the problem is never identified. Thus, the committee has inserted language to encourage LEA's, where feasible, to establish a procedure to ensure that elementary school children receive health screenings to detect health problems that can affect learning. The committee did not accept the Administration's proposal to require provision of such services even though it was supportive of the provision because funding limitations did not support such a mandate.
Local educational agencies are required to use State assessments to review the progress of their schools. The committee intends that such progress be judged on the basis of the progress of students in schools served under Part A of title I. The committee does not intend to hold LEA's and schools accountable for funds received under title I Part A for the performance of schools and students in the LEA that do not participate in the programs. The committee does intend as part of the overall State and LEA plans, however, that the accountability provisions for students served are based on the same high standards as those for all other students. The committee also intends that SEA's and LEA's exercise general oversight for the success of title I programs.
LEA's may also use local and school-based assessments and a variety of other indicators of student achievement and school improvement such as graduation and attendance rates. Local plans will describe how these assessments, selected and administered by teachers, would be used to inform parents, students, and teachers about student progress.
The committee substitute for S. 1513 would transform title I Part A into a major catalyst for school reform by encouraging more schools to operate schoolwide programs. Schoolwide programs are intended to upgrade curriculum and instruction throughout a school to address the needs of all its children, particularly children who are the focus of Federal programs. The committee believed that since 70 percent of current programs still operated on pull out models, it was important to encourage schools to consider ways of serving more title I Part A students effectively. Currently schools can become schoolwide programs only if the poverty level is 75 percent or greater.
The committee reduced the poverty threshold to 30 percent based on research showing that student achievement is adversely affected in schools with at least 30 percent poverty. The committee coupled this lowered threshold, however, with its title I Part A within State weighted pupil formula whereby the lowest poverty schools are dropped altogether, and higher poverty schools receive increased funding. In this way, the committee hopes to ensure that there will be sufficient funding in higher poverty schools to make significant advances in student achievement.
Schools operating schoolwide programs can commingle funds they receive from all Federal categorical and competitive grants (except for funds received under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act funds) to support their schoolwide program without separate accountability requirements and without requesting waivers. Cumbersome paperwork requirements are already overburdening schools. Eligible schools choosing to participate as schoolwide schools would be required, however, to disaggregate the data on student progress to determine whether the title I Part A eligible students are benefitting from the schoolwide program. The school plan will also have to address how the needs of title I Part A eligible children will be met.
Also, the schools would have to continue to meet the underlying intent and purpose of whatever acts they chose to consolidate.
Schoolwide programs must be organized around a school plan that describes a set of components to enable children eligible for title I services to meet the State standards. These components would include: effective instructional strategies that increase the amount and quality of learning time and help provide an enriched and accelerated curriculum; intensive professional development; and strong parental involvement. Additionally, coordination with the regular program may include counseling and mentoring services, college and career awareness, services to assist children in transition from preschool programs, after-school and summer programs, and incorporation of gender-equitable teaching practices.
While the LEA should be consulted, it is the committee's intention that schools be given more responsibility and authority to shape their own title I Part A programs. While the committee does not require LEA approval of schools' schoolwide plans under section 1114, LEAs would continue to have legal responsibility, as the recipient of Federal funds, to ensure that schools conduct their title I Part A programs in accordance with the provisions of the law.
To provide further support to schoolwide programs, States must establish school support teams made up of individuals knowledgeable about teaching and learning to provide technical assistance to schoolwide programs. School support teams are to be financed with Federal funds provided for this purpose and States may also use State administrative funds provided under this title.
The committee intends that SEA's develop school support teams to work cooperatively and collaboratively with schools to provide assistance and facilitate the work of the schools and not to supersede any local authority.
Targeted assistance schools
Schools that are ineligible or choose not to operate schoolwide programs are to use title I funds to provide services to academically needy children who are economically disadvantaged. Currently, educationally disadvantaged students can be served, but the committee believes, given insufficient funding, that services should be provided only to economically disadvantaged students. If there are more economically disadvantaged students than available funds, the schools would decide which children to serve after determining which children had the greatest educational needs. Limited English proficient children and all children who had participated in Head Start, Even Start, or in the neglected or delinquent program in the two preceding years are eligible for services.
The committee intends to put an end to the confusion surrounding the eligibility of students being served under other Federal education programs due to their disability, limited-English proficiency, or migrant status. Such children are eligible for title I Part A services if they are poor and if they have an academic need for assistance, regardless of the fact that they may be receiving other educational services under other Federal programs.
It is the intent of the committee that students served under title 1 may and should be served with other students with similar educational needs if It would be beneficial to the students and more efficient to do so. Students should not be labeled and segregated by Federal categorical program for audit purposes alone. If it will improve the academic performance of the students, serving students together is not prohibited in this or any other program under this act.
The committee substitute further strengthens the involvement of parents at the State, district, and school levels, building on the success of the parental involvement requirements added to the law in 1988. Local educational agencies must continue to develop a parental involvement policy to provide a framework for parental involvement. It will be required that LEA's develop the policy jointly with parents. The policy would include a review of the effectiveness of schools' parental involvement activities, an identification of barriers to better parental involvement, and an implementation plan to remove those barriers.
In addition, the bill adds a new emphasis on promoting shared responsibility between parents and schools for the high performance of children through a jointly developed school level parent involvement policy and a school-parent compact in each title I Part A school. This compact will spell out the shared responsibilities of schools and parents as partners in student success. The school parent compacts represent a joint effort between the school and family to increase students' school achievement. In no case does this dictate to parents how to raise their children. The Parent Compact shall not be developed or applied in a manner which intrudes into family life decisions or family privacy.
To the extent possible, districts and schools will provide full opportunities for participation of parents with limited English proficiency or disabilities.
With respect to parent teacher conferences, the committee expects the LEA to take reasonable steps to reach those parents for whom there may be particular barriers to involvement, such as work or child care obligations, transportation, disabilities, and limited English proficiency.
The bill would also reinforce the importance of training in making parental involvement effective, such as assistance to parents in understanding the State's standards and assessments, and literacy training to help parents work with their children at home to improve their children's achievement.
Participation of children enrolled in private schools
The bill continues the requirement, which has been part of the law since 1965, that title I Part A services be provided to eligible children who attend private schools, after timely and meaningful consultation with private school officials. While the bill does not contain language defining "timely and meaningful consultation," the committee notes that this issue is addressed in Department of Education regulations, which the committee expects the Department to maintain.
The committee requires for the first time that private schools provide LEA's with documentation to determine the number of children in their school eligible for services. This is necessary because the bill requires that children be selected for services based on economic disadvantage, not educational disadvantage.
Regarding funds for capital expenses, the committee has been advised by the Administration that reimbursement of past expenditures has been largely accomplished, and that funds should now be used only to maintain and increase participation of children enrolled in private schools. To the extent that such a situation prevails, the committee concurs with the Administration. The committee believes that unless a local educational agency provides evidence to the Secretary that it has not been fully reimbursed for past expenses, any funds appropriated for fiscal year 1996 and subsequent years for capital expenses should be used only to maintain and increase participation of eligible children enrolled in private schools.
Accountability/program improvement/distinguished schools
The committee bill would extensively revise program accountability provisions for schools that are not making progress in enabling their students served with title I Part A funds to meet State standards. These changes are intended to establish a more effective system of accountability and improvement based on the ability of schools and school districts to meet clearly defined objectives. New procedures and remedies are established that are designed to make the act more effective in providing opportunities for children served to acquire the same basic and advanced skills and knowledge as children not served by the act. These procedures and remedies are designed to supplement, and not to replace, other existing procedures and remedies.
Each State would be required to defined what constitutes adequate progress for schools and LEA's participating in the title I Part A program. The term "adequate yearly progress" would apply to schools and local educational agencies instead of individual students. The definition shall be used to determine when to identify schools and LEA's for program improvement and when States and LEA's should intervene and offer assistance, and as a last resort, take corrective action. This definition of adequate progress should be based on the progress of children served under title I, i.e. economically disadvantaged children.
The committee does not intend, however, for States to develop a lower standard of what constitutes adequate progress for schools and LEA's serving title I students than they would for all students in all schools and LEA's nor does it intend for a school or LEA to be deemed to have made adequate progress if its overall student performance is acceptable but the performance of disadvantaged students served is not satisfactory.
The purpose of this review of progress is accountability, but it should also serve to provide information to each school and local educational agency so it can refine its program of instruction to better enable children served under this Part to meet the State standards.
The bill requires LEA's and SEA's to step in and take corrective action in the case of failing schools and LEA's. However, such actions may be collaborative rather than punitive or confrontational and may entail continuing technical assistance from the LEA or SEA. It is the committee's intention that LEA's and SEA's determine what the specific appropriate action should be as long as it is consistent with State law and the LEA or SEA believes it will improve student performance. The bill provides illustrative examples of corrective actions but the list is neither exhaustive nor an indicator from Congress of preferred types of corrective actions. The committee intends that such decisions shall be made by SEA's and LEA's.
Any school that, for 3 consecutive years, exceeds the State's definition of adequate yearly progress or virtually all of whose students meet the State's top performance standards could be designated by the State as a Distinguished School. In addition to State recognition, distinguished schools can serve as models to help other schools meet the State's performance standards. Local educational agencies may also reward the success of distinguished schools by, for example, permitting greater decision-making at the school building level.
Schools that for 2 consecutive years fail to meet the State's definition of adequate yearly progress (as well as those who have already been in program improvement for 2 consecutive years at the time the bill takes effect) would be designated as schools in need of improvement. These school would be required, in consultation with parents and the local educational agency, to revise their school plan in order to improve the performance of children in the school. Schools would implement the plan the first year immediately following identification. States must establish a corps of Distinguished Educators or some other form of intensive assistance to schools in need of improvement. The bill requires that school support teams work with schools in program improvements.
Although the committee expects that the process for adopting and approving assessments will provide for a reliable accountability system, the committee recognizes that there may be instances that would militate against a school's being placed in school improvement, and therefore the committee recognizes that there can be problems with assessment results that affect their accuracy as an indicator of improved or decreased academic achievement. Random error and other measurement anomalies.
Year to year fluctuations in students and student characteristics, modifications and alterations made to assessments as States develop and implement these new assessments, and other problems which the committee cannot anticipate might make it unfair to place a school in program improvement based on such test results. Therefore, the bill requires LEA's to provide schools with an opportunity to review and appeal the data. However, the LEA would make the final decision about the validity of test results.
If, after 3 years in school improvement and after receiving technical assistance and other remediation measures from the local educational agency, a school still fails to make adequate progress, the local educational agency must take corrective action. Examples of actions LEA's may take range from requiring greater collaboration with other agencies to authorizing students to transfer to other schools within the LEA to reconstituting the school staff. All actions must be in compliance with State law. When an identified school makes adequate progress for 2 out of 3 years, it would no longer be identified for school improvement.
The time for identification and the length of time in school improvement are both extended to two years in order to improve the quality of the data by which schools are identified for school improvement and to allow time for action taken by the schools to have effect. The requirement for technical assistance recognizes that the lowest achieving schools need help in determining how to improve. However, corrective action would be required after 3 years in program improvement to ensure that, in situations where there is continued failure to make adequate progress, more aggressive actions are taken so that children in those schools are given the opportunity to receive a high-quality education.
The committee substitute establishes a similar process of improvement and accountability for the local educational agency in recognition of its vital role in the performance of schools and children. While the local educational agency will review the progress of schools, the State educational agency will review the progress of the local educational agency. The State educational agency will annually review the progress of each local educational agency to determine whether it is making progress towards meeting the State's definition of adequate progress. Any local educational agency that for three consecutive years exceeds the State's definition of adequate progress can be rewarded.
Any local educational agency that has not made adequate progress for two consecutive years will be identified for improvement.
If after the provision of technical assistance and other remediation, a local educational agency still fails to made adequate progress after four years in program improvement, the State educational agency must institute corrective actions. Corrective actions must be consistent with State law. Corrective action would be required after three years in program improvement rather than two years (as would be the case for schools in program improvement) to give the local educational agency sufficient time to turn around those schools needing improvement before being subject to corrective action. When an identified local educational agency makes adequate progress for at least 2 of 3 years, it would no longer be identified for program improvement.
As already noted above, there may be anomalies in assessment data and therefore the bill requires SEA's to provide LEA's with an opportunity to review and dispute the data.
The committee also intends that the Secretary will develop regulations which provide guidance to SEA's and LEA's on extenuating circumstances when it may be appropriate to delay taking corrective action.
Distribution of funds
The new title I, Part A formula reported by the committee is a composite of three integrally related distribution sections: (1) Federal to State allocations; (2) State to district allocations; and (3) district to school allocations. The new title I, Part A formula targets significantly more funds to disadvantaged children than does current law. It is intended to respond to recent research findings that the achievement of all students, both poor and non-poor, suffers in schools with poverty rates exceeding 30 percent.
The Federal to State allocation formula builds upon the structure provided under current law in distributing funds to States based upon respective numbers of poor children multiplied by a measure of cost for meeting the additional needs of those children. The new formula, however, assigns poor children weighted need values based on the poverty rate or number of poor children within a county. The higher the poverty rate or number, the higher the average child multiplier and per child grant a community attracts. District, rather than county, level Census data are to be used for the purpose of allocation if the Secretary determines such data are of satisfactory quality.
Weights are applied in a marginal or step fashion similar to Federal income tax rates. Marginal application assures a consistent relationship between poverty concentration and average child grants. Such an application, unlike the current law concentration grant formula, avoids a "cliff-like" effect whereby small changes in poverty concentration effect large changes in average grants.
The multiplied cost proxy in the committee reported formula is the same as current law, 40 percent of State average per pupil expenditure. The Committee has, however, narrowed the limits on cost factor to 85 percent and 115 percent of the national average per pupil expenditure. Those States whose average per pupil expenditure is below 85 percent of the national average are raised to that level, while those States above 115 percent of the national average are reduced to that level.
During a series of school finance hearings held by the Subcommittee on Education, Arts and Humanities following committee consideration of the Goals 2000: Educate America Act, several Members expressed interest in addressing the school finance issue in the context of the title I, Part A formula. As a result of those hearings the committee reported title I, Part A formula includes, in addition to the cost factor multiplier, two new effort and equity multipliers. The effort factor compares State per pupil expenditures with State per capital income. The equity factor is based on a coefficient of variation related to within State district spending per pupil and the disparity standard of equalization established pursuant to the Impact Aid program (P.L. 81-874, section 5(d)2(B)).
District size and poverty data are accounted for in the calculations. Both the effort and equity multipliers for each State may not be equal to more than 1.05 or less than .95.
The Federal to State allocation formula also provides for a minimum State grant equal to one-quarter of one percent of total title I, Part A funds. This State minimum includes a maximum limit on grants equal to 125 percent of the amount a State would receive without the application of the State minimum. For the first year, there is an addition 15 percent limit on each State's increase in total grants under the committee reported formula as compared to the estimated grant of each State under current law. Finally, there is 100 percent hold harmless provision in the first year after enactment to ensure that no State experiences an actual decline in funds when the new formula takes effect.
In the second and third year following enactment a 90 percent and 85 percent hold harmless, respectively, is also applied.
Each of the parts of the Federal to State formula is integrally related to the other, and the committee emphasizes the importance of considering the formula as a whole. Disparities in one provision of the formula are compensated in other provisions, and the old adage that the sum is greater than total of the parts is true with respect to the committee reported formula.
Under the State to district allocation formula, only local educational agencies with at least 5 percent poverty are eligible to receive funds. An optional two percent State level reserve of funds that may be distributed to high poverty schools in ineligible districts is provided to meet the needs of areas with pockets of poverty. In addition, a 1 year 85 percent hold harmless for ineligible districts and 2 year 85 percent hold harmless for eligible districts is included to give communities the necessary time to adjust their educational programs to the new title I, Part A formula.
The State to district allocation formula also includes a weighted child need value. Weighting in the State to district formula is approximately 50 greater than that of the Federal to State formula. In applying child weights based on district poverty figures, States may choose to identify weight classifications or quintiles on the basis of their specific enrollment data rather than national data insofar as such identification results in the increased targeting of funds on low income children in low income areas. An amount equal to 1 percent of each district's student population is to be absorbed by each district and not considered for the purpose of distribution under the State to district allocation formula. The result is higher average child grants for poorer districts.
States have several data sources on which to base district level allocations: (1) Census district level poverty data; (2) AFDC data supplemented by counts of limited-English proficient children; or (3) any other measure of poverty a State chooses as long as it is equated to Census poverty data or targets funds more effectively than Census data.
The district to school allocation formula provides that only schools with poverty rates in excess of the district average or of a level sufficient to implement a schoolwide project are eligible to receive title I funds. In distributing funds, each district must rank its eligible schools according to poverty percentage only and first serve any school with a poverty rate in excess of 75 percent. Funds must then be distributed again in rank order to eligible schools with between 50 percent and 75 percent poverty, except that the ranking may be done on a grade span basis. Remaining funds are to be then distributed in rank order to schools with less than 50 percent poverty.
For schools with poverty rates in excess of 75 percent, funds are distributed to such schools in amounts equal to at least 65 percent of the per pupil allocation for each eligible child in such schools. For schools with poverty rates below 75 percent, the district is to allocate at least 65 percent of the per pupil district allocation for each eligible child in the grade levels to be served in such schools. It is the intent of the committee that this 65 percent per pupil minimum be calculated on the basis of the poverty data used by each district to make subgrants to eligible schools. The minimum allocation requirement is not applicable in districts that only serve schools with poverty rates in excess of 50 percent.
The committee reported bill also provides a 2 percent district level reserve which may be used to serve schools outside of rank order but with relatively high need. Certain provisions of the district to school allocation formula are inapplicable in districts with less than 1,000 children, except that such districts must serve schools in rank order according to grade span or school poverty rate and such districts must allocate at least 65 percent of the per pupil district allocation for each eligible child in the grade levels to be served, and in schools participating in desegregation programs that enroll at least 100 poor children or have at least 25 percent poverty.
The committee intends that title I, Part A formula move the program closer to the original purpose of the act. The intent of the act at that time as stated in the Declaration of Policy was to provide financial assistance to "local education agencies serving areas with concentrations of children from low-income families". Several recent reports, including one by the Department of Education, have indicated that this goal is not being achieved. Under current law, funds are spread thinly, indeed to almost every school district regardless of its level of poverty, while at the same time many high-poverty schools go unserved because funds received by their respective district are insufficient to provide services in any but the highest poverty schools.
Title I, Part A--Head Start Program Performance Standards
The Head Start Program Performance Standards were developed in the mid- 1970's to establish minimum standards of services to be provided to children and parents in the areas of education, health, nutrition, social services, and parent involvement. Since these standards were implemented, they have been widely recognized as a key to providing high quality, family-centered early childhood development services. A 1993 study by the U.S. Department of Education found that, of a sample of comparable preschool programs serving low-income children, the Heard Start programs were of consistently higher quality than the other programs studied, including Chapter 1 preschools.
The committee believes that all low-income children should benefit from a high-quality, Head Start-style preschool experience which incorporates essential parent involvement and linkages to comprehensive social services. Any State choosing to utilize funds under this part to provide early childhood development services to low-income children under the age of compulsory school attendance shall ensure that such services comply with the Head Start performance standards. Local education agencies may contract with local providers of early childhood education, such as Head Start agencies, comprehensive child development centers, or other appropriate early childhood education service providers to conduct all or part of the services.
Any State that chooses to utilize funds authorized under this act to provide early childhood development services to low-income children below the age of compulsory school attendance may utilize career development and technical assistance funds reserved under title II of this act to promote effective implementation of the Head Start performance standards. The committee expects the Secretary of Education to work with the Secretary of Health and Human Services to coordinate appropriate training and technical assistance and curriculum development activities with the Head Start programs currently funded under this act.
Public schools already compromise more than 20 percent of current Head Start grantees, and have demonstrated ways in which Head Start performance standards can be applied successfully in public school settings. The committee urges the Secretary to draw on the valuable experience and expertise of these Head Start and public school staff, and encourages the use of such personnel to provide peer technical assistance to title I preschool programs.
The committee believes that applying Head Start Program Performance Standards to title I preschool programs will not only improve the quality of these services but will begin to institutionalize activities that will promote a more smooth "transition" from Head Start, and other comparable early childhood programs to the public elementary school system.
Title I, Part B--Transition to Success
The National Task Force on School Readiness established as a primary goal ensuring developmentally appropriate education services, parent involvement, and supportive services for children from birth through the primary grades. The committee recognizes that increasingly, elementary school-age children arrive in the classroom with an array of unmet needs which may prevent them from reaching their potential as students. The committee also acknowledges the critically important role which parents play in their children's education.
Yet, as Tom Schulz of the National Association of State Boards of Education noted in a subcommittee hearing, only 50 percent of a national sample of elementary schools offer opportunities for parents to serve on committees, and only 37 percent provide parent education workshops. While almost 60 percent of parents of prekindergarten children report talking with teachers on a daily basis, only 23 percent of kindergarten parents do so.
In recognition of the importance of the experiences of children and their parents during the primary grades, the legislation includes the Transition to Success Challenge Grants, included in a new Part B of title I. This program is designed to integrate health and social services, promote a greater degree of parent involvement in the education of their children, and promote developmentally appropriate curricula. The Secretary will withhold 1 percent of title 1, Part A funds until SEA's provide a satisfactory early childhood transition plan. It is the intent of the committee that the Secretary, upon approval of the early transition plan, allocate to each State the proportion of funds reserved at the Federal level equal to 1 percent of that State's Part A grant.
In the event that a State does apply to the Secretary for such funds, an LEA may apply directly to the Secretary.
LEA's may apply for the grants if they receive funds under Part A and agree to contribute $1 of matching funds for every $1 made available under Part B. These matching funds may include Federal grants (including funds made available under this act), State or local funds, or in-kind contributions fairly evaluated.
Priority for awards shall be given to applicants that operate their transition projects at a school designated for a school-wide program, have the greatest number or percentage of poor children, and demonstrate a commitment from the local community through dedication of resources from other public and private sources. LEA's currently receiving assistance through the Follow Through Act are eligible to complete their grant cycle under this authority.
In order to receive Transition Project funding, LEA's must form consortia with early childhood development programs to develop and operate programs for children in kindergarten through the third grade. These programs shall assist students and their families in obtaining supportive services, including health, mental health, nutrition, parenting education, and social services. A supportive services team of family service coordinators shall be developed to assist families and administrators in providing these services, to conduct home visits, and to coordinate a family outreach and support program.
The committee expects that the Transition Projects will not provide all of the services directly but develop linkages with existing providers in order to ensure that children and families receive the services they need, including after-school or child care programs for working parents. Nonprofit agencies or institutions of higher learning with experience in early childhood development may participate in the consortia and may provide matching funds for the Transition Projects.
General coordination requirements
While Head Start and other early childhood programs for at-risk children serve the same families as title I schools, there is often little coordination or communication between the two. Frequently, families leaving early childhood programs and entering elementary schools experience a difficult and confusing "transition" from one program to the next. The committee believes that early childhood programs and the elementary schools should work together to make this transition from preschool to kindergarten as successful as possible.
Consistent with actions taken by this committee in the Head Start Reauthorization, all LEA's are expected to work with local Head Start and other early childhood development programs to increase coordination and smooth the transition to elementary school.
Transition activities to be undertaken by the Head Start programs and LEA's shall include developing and implementing a systematic procedure for transferring appropriate records, establishing channels of communication between staff members, conducting meetings involving parents, kindergarten and elementary school teachers and Head Start teachers, and organizing and participating in joint staff training. LEA's receiving funds under section 1113 may use such funds for these activities.
Title I, Part C--Even Start Family Literacy Program
The Even Start Family Literacy Program combines early childhood education and adult basic education into a unified program. Its success is due in part to its ability to build partnerships within families so that family members reinforce and encourage each other's learning. Even Start services include the following: adult literacy training, training of parents to aid in the education of their children, identification of eligible participants, testing and counseling, support services, home-based education of parents and children, and staff training.
It is closely coordinated with other Federal programs, including the Adult Education Act, JTPA, volunteer literacy programs, and Head Start (which has recently been amended to require all Head Start programs to offer literacy services to all parents of Head Start participants.) Even Start is a State-administered program and there are 344 Even Start sites nationwide--in every State, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
Provisions of S. 1513
Amendments to Even Start build on earlier amendments to the program in the National Literacy Act, which strengthened targeting of services to families most in need and expanded eligibility of those who can be served. Because research shows that children of teen parents have a 78 percent chance of living in poverty, S. 1513 extends family literacy services to teen parents. In addition, it requires the following: stronger collaboration between schools and communities, that programs provide services for at least 3 years, and that they operate on a year-round basis.
The committee bill continues the practice of limiting the Federal share of the program to 90 percent for the first year of operations, declining to 50 percent during the fifth year or later. This is to encourage grantees to become self-sufficient so that programs will continue to exist after Federal funds are withdrawn. Even Start funds are not intended to be the sole financial base for Even Start efforts. S. 1513 stipulates that services provided under title I may be counted as part of the local contribution for Even Start, which the committee hopes will provide these programs with stronger incentive to work together, and result in improved effectiveness.
To assist States in expanding efforts to promote family literacy, the bill also authorizes competitive grants to States for the establishment and implementation of coordinated literacy efforts. These grants would only be awarded to States that match or exceed the support provided under this part. These grants would be made in years when appropriations are greater than the previous year. The Secretary may use the excess amount, but no more than $1 million, for this purpose.
It is the intent of the committee that participants in the Even Start program may be served with students not participating in Even Start who have similar educational needs, in the same educational settings where appropriate.
Title I, Part D--Education of Migratory Children
The title I migrant program authorizes grants to State educational agencies (SEA's) for special programs designed to meet the needs of children of migratory workers. This program was first enacted in 1966 in recognition of the particularly difficult educational problems migrant children face.
The dropout rate for migrant students is extremely high. Typically, migrant children lag 6 to 18 months behind their expected grade level, beginning in the primary grades. Many migrant children are poor and many do not speak English. Their mobility retards educational progress and they are often difficult to identify and serve.
Because of the transient nature of the population, the program is administered through the SEA's, which make project grants, usually to local educational agencies (LEA's). Migrant funds are distributed to States based on the number of "currentlies" (migrant students who have moved in the past year) and "formerlies" (those eligible for 5 full years after ceasing to move).
Almost 800,000 children were identified in 1993 as migrant, of which 80 percent receive services. Services include educational and other support to improve educational participation and achievement. Health and educational records are required to be transferred from one school to another when a child moves. For years this task has been undertaken by the Migrant Student Record Transfer System, funded through a separate section of the statute for "coordination" activities. The statute also authorizes summer programs, funded through an adjustment made to each State's allocation.
Provisions of S. 1513
S. 1513 extends the migrant education program and makes several changes. It adds a new statutory authority to serve "emancipated" youth, older children who do not travel with their families. The bill authorizes the Secretary, if the Secretary so chooses, to make incentives grants to SEA's that enter into consortia arrangements for the more efficient delivery of services of interstate students. Consortia grants could, for example, be made to encourage greater cooperation in the identification and recruitment of children moving between States. Finally, the bill removes from current law the funding requirement for operating the Migrant Student Record Transfer System, to permit children's records to be transferred in a more cost effective and efficient manner.
So as not to disrupt interstate record transfers, the bill does allow the Secretary to extend the current contract for operating the Migrant Student Record Transfer System until January 1, 1995. However, it is the committee's intent that the Secretary review the effectiveness of the current methods used to transfer records and report to Congress no later than October 1, 1995.
The committee reported bill defines "migrant" for the purposes of eligibility in this program as one who has moved within the preceding 48 months. The committee recognizes that cessation of migration does not necessarily mean that a child's need for supplementary educational services disappears. The committee intends that formerly migrant children who no longer meet the definition of "migrant" in the bill and who continue to need supplementary services may receive these services through Part A and other appropriate programs.
It is the intent of the committee that students served under the Migrant Education program may be served with non-migrant students with similar educational needs if it would be beneficial to the students, and it would be more efficient to do so. Students should not be labeled and segregated by Federal categorical programs for audit purposes alone. If it makes sense to serve students together and it will improve the academic performance of the students, it is not prohibited in this or any other program under this act.
Title I, Part E--Education for Neglected and Delinquent Youth
The bill reported by the committee modifies the existing Chapter 1 State Agency Program serving neglected and delinquent youth. The committee recognizes that the current requirement that the institutions for neglected and delinquent youth offer only 10 hours of instruction a week to qualify for funding is far below the amount local school districts provide. The legislation requires youth residing in State youth facilities to participate in education programs for 20 hours a week and those residing in adult facilities to participate in such programs for 15 hours a week in order to qualify for services.
The committee intends for programs provided to youth in such facilities to be comparable with those that are being offered by school districts. the allocation of funds is based on a count conducted by the State agency by a date or dates, which must be adjusted to reflect the relative length of such agency's annual programs. For purposes of determining the number of neglected and delinquent children enrolled in a State agency, the committee agrees with the Administration's proposal to decrease the paperwork burden associated with taking average daily attendance.
However, due to concerns that the "date or dates" determined by the Secretary for the count may not adequately reflect the number of children enrolled in a State agency in certain periods, the committee added clarifying language to ensure that no State agency will be required to report the count on only one specific date.
In order to facilitate a youth's transition back into locally operated programs, the legislation requires the designation of an individual in each institution receiving funds under this part to be responsible for issues related to such transition.
To support systemic educational improvement for all children, the legislation requires that beginning with school year 1996-97 an SEA participating in providing free public education in an institution for neglected or delinquent children and youth or to students attending a community day program for such children and youth shall use funds only for institution-wide projects.
It is the intent of the committee that students served under the Neglected and Delinquent program in schools may be served with other students with similar educational needs if it would be beneficial to the students, and it would be more efficient to do so. Students should not be labeled and segregated by Federal categorical program for audit purposes alone. If it makes sense to serve students together and it will improve the academic performance of the students, it is not prohibited in this or any other program under this act.
Title I, Part F--Federal Evaluations and Demonstrations
The bill reported by the committee authorizes a National Assessment of title I--in coordination with the ongoing National Longitudinal Study--to examine how well schools, local educational agencies, and States are implementing programs authorized under the title. The Assessment--to be planned, reviewed, and conducted with an independent panel of researchers, State and local practitioners, and other appropriate individuals--would examine how well schools, local educational agencies, and States are progressing toward the goal that all children (including those served under the title) will reach challenging State content and performance standards, and are accomplishing the purposes set forth in the title. An interim and final report will summarize the Assessment's findings.
The longitudinal study, which will track different cohorts of students within schools with differing poverty concentrations, will provide a useful measure for determining the program's ongoing effectiveness. The bill stipulates that developmentally appropriate measures be used to assess student performance and progress for both the National Assessment and National Longitudinal Study.
The committee also supports funding for demonstrations under this part that show the most promise of enabling children to meet challenging State content and performance standards. The bill authorizes demonstration program grants to be awarded to State and local educational agencies, other public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and consortia of institutions to encourage broad participation in supporting systemic reforms. Finally, strategies to disseminate and use high quality research and knowledge about effective practices for improving teaching and learning would be implemented through grants or contracts.
Title I, Part G--General Provisions
This part will permit State rulemaking related to title I, but makes it clear that regulations should be kept to a minimum and support education reform to enable all children to meet State content and performance standards. The committee recognizes that this bill would impose many new requirements and roles on States such as developing State plans for Part A of title 1, developing and implementing State standards, and providing support to LEA's and schools as they develop schoolwide plans and undergo program improvement. Thus, the committee has included a set-aside of funds, from title 1 grants, for State education agencies for administration and implementation of this program and for program improvement activities.
It is the committee's intent that the appropriations that are currently provided as separate line items for State administration and program improvement be added to the overall title I, Part A appropriation so as not to decrease Part A grants for program implementation, administration, and program improvement to States or Part A grants to school districts. States may reserve up to 1 percent of the funds received under title I programs (excluding Even Start) for State administration in fiscal year 1995, with minimum amounts established for smaller States. States may reserve 1.25 percent for State administration in fiscal years when appropriations are $500 million over the fiscal year 1995 level.
They may reserve 1.5 percent in fiscal years when appropriations are $1 billion over the fiscal year 1995 level. States may reserve an additional 0.75 percent from the same sources for improvement activities at the school level.
The committee intends that funds received under this title be used to supplement the education of students receiving services under this title, and the provisions in section 1123(c)(2) and section 1124(b)(2)(3) are meant to carry out the purposes of the original act to expand and improve education programs for students in areas with high concentrations of poverty. However, some States may be using title 1 funds to provide basic services that are routinely available to students in other schools that do not receive such funds. These wide resource variations call into question the supplemental nature of title 1 funding.
They suggest that States examine the baseline level of resources in schools served under this act to ensure that the services provided by title 1 are truly supplemental, such that they expand and improve on what the state considers to be a basic educational program.
This part also prohibits the Federal Government from mandating, directing, or controlling a State, local education agency, or school's content or performance standards, assessments, or instruction as a condition of eligibility for title I funds, and states that nothing in title I is to be construed as mandating equalized per pupil spending, or national school building standards.
TITLE II--IMPROVING TEACHING AND LEARNING
Title II, Part A--Dwight D. Eisenhower Professional Development Program
The Eisenhower Professional Development Program is designed to help ensure that teachers, administrators and other staff have access to high-quality professional development that is aligned to challenging State content and challenging State student performance standards. The Eisenhower program builds upon the successes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Mathematics and Science program, expanding teacher training in mathematics and science to support the development and implementation of sustained and intensive high-quality professional development activities in the core academic subjects when appropriations exceed $250 million.
The committee recognizes that there is a need for the effective involvement of parents in the education of their children and that professional development should include methods and strategies to better prepare teachers and administrators in involving parents.
The authorization of appropriations is $800 million in fiscal year 95. Five percent are allocated to carry out Subpart 1, 93.75 percent to carry out subpart 2 and 1.25 percent to carry out subpart 3.
The committee intends to preserve and enhance the progress that has been made in professional development in math and science, and therefore requires that each State shall ensure that all funds received and distributed by the State are used for professional development in mathematics and science when total appropriations for Part A are less than $250 million. If the amount appropriated is equal to or more than $250 million, 10 percent of the amount above $250 million in addition to the first $250 million will be used for professional development in math and science.
The committee acknowledges that States could apply for waivers under section 10401 of the act to provide professional development in subjects other than math and science in years when appropriations are less than $250 million. The committee also notes, however, that the safeguards in section 10401 would apply.
Subpart 1--Federal activities
The Secretary is authorized to make grants and enter into contracts and cooperative agreements to support activities of national significance that the Secretary determines will contribute to the development and implementation of high-quality professional development activities in the core academic subjects and to evaluate activities under subpart 1 and 2.
The Secretary may award a grant or contract to establish an Eisenhower National Clearinghouse for Mathematics and Science Education. The grant or contract shall be awarded for a period of 5 years. The grant or contract shall be used to maintain a permanent repository of mathematics and science education materials and programs for elementary and secondary education, compile information on all mathematics and science education programs administered by each Federal agency or department, disseminate information, and coordinate with existing data bases.
The Secretary is authorized to award a grant to support the establishment of teacher training programs in early childhood education, and the core academic subjects. The teacher training programs shall train teachers who teach grades kindergarten through college and borrow teacher training principles, especially the use of summer institutes and teachers training teachers, and receive technical assistance from, the National Writing Project.
Subpart 2--State and local activities
The Secretary is authorized to make grants to State educational agencies for the support of sustained and intensive high-quality professional development activities in the core academic subjects at the State and local levels.
Each State that wishes to receive funds shall submit to the Secretary an application which shall include a State plan for professional development designed to give teachers, administrators, and pupil services personnel in the State the knowledge and skills necessary to provide all students the opportunity to meet challenging State content standards and challenging State student performance standards. States may use their funds to carry out activities described in the plan.
Each local educational agency that desires to receive a grant shall submit an application to the State educational agency. Each application shall include the local educational agency's plan for professional development, an assurance that the activities conducted will be assessed at least every 3 years, and a description of how the programs funded will be coordinated with other professional development activities.
Each local educational agency shall provide at least 33 percent of the cost of the activities.
Of the amount received by a State 75 percent shall be available for State level activities and local activities. Not more than 5 percent of this amount may be used for administrative costs of the State educational agency and not more than 5 percent may be used for level activities.
Of the amount received by a State 75 percent shall be available to the State agency for higher education for grants to institutions of higher education or private nonprofit organizations of demonstrated experience. A 1991 report conducted by SRI International reveals the significant contributions higher education institutions have made in providing sustained and intensive professional development in math and science under the current Eisenhower program. The committee recognizes that higher education institutions can play an important role in the reform of K-12 education and that higher education should continue as an important resource to strengthen the skills of teachers in math and science and in the other core academic subjects.
All awards to institutions of higher education or private non-profit organizations of demonstrated experience shall be made on a competitive basis. Funds shall be used for sustained and intensive high-quality professional development, preservice training activities, and other sustained and intensive professional development activities related to achievement of the State plan for professional development.
Subpart 3--Professional development demonstration project
The Secretary is authorized to carry out a demonstration project to build national models of professional developments by making grants to eligible partnerships to plan and implement programs. Applicants must be planned, developed, and managed by a consortium that includes, at a minimum, the LEA, the teacher's union, if any, one or more higher education institutions, and local parent and community councils.
The purpose of these demonstrations would be to address the need to prepare teachers to teach to higher standards and to show the new organizational arrangements and deep investments in teachers necessary if new standards and assessments are going to lead to improved outcomes for all students, especially poor and minority students who have made the least progress thus far. The programs are to focus on increasing teachers' knowledge and understanding of content and improving their classroom practice in order to help all students.
Subpart 4--General provisions
Each State that receives funds under Part A shall submit a report to the Secretary every 3 years beginning in 1997 on the State's progress. Each local educational agency that receives funds under Part A shall submit a report to the State every 3 years beginning in 1997 on the local educational agency's progress. The Secretary shall report to the President and to Congress on the effectiveness and activities under Part A.
Title II, Part B--National Writing Project
The Secretary is authorized to make a grant to the National Writing Project to support and promote the establishment of teacher training programs in the subject of writing, to support classroom research on effective teaching practices in the subject of writing, and to coordinate activities with the activities funded under Part A. The National Writing Project shall establish and operate a National Advisory Board which shall advise the National Writing Project and review its activities. The authorization of appropriations is for $4 million in fiscal year 95.
Title II, Part C--Support and Assistance for ESEA Programs
Subpart 1--Comprehensive regional centers
In an effort to simplify the current structure of categorical technical assistance centers, the committee consolidated the work of the current centers into 11 regional centers. The Secretary is authorized to establish one center in each of the Department's ten regions and one center at the Pacific Educational Laboratory in order to provide comprehensive technical assistance to States, local educational agencies, schools, and other recipients of ESEA funds. The Secretary also is authorized to provide a technology-based technical assistance service to support the administration and implementation of ESEA programs and to be accessible to all States, local educational agencies, schools, community-based organizations and others.
The committee recognizes the expertise and assistance that existing categorical technical assistance centers offer. During the transition from the existing structure of centers to the "megacenters", the committee does not intend for services to substantially diminish or be interrupted during the transition.
The committee believes that it is critical for the Regional Centers to have representation in each State they serve. For this reason, the committee intends for the State Facilitators authorized under Subpart 2 of this Part to act as a liaison between the comprehensive regional centers and the State in which they work.
The committee urges the Department of Education to jointly plan and implement the technical assistance provided for the Safe and Drug-free Schools program within the Comprehensive Regional Centers with other Federal agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice. The committee especially urges the Department of Education to jointly plan and implement such technical assistance with the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) in the Department of Health and Human Services because of CSAP's role as the lead Federal agency for alcohol, tobacco and drug prevention.
Subpart 2--National diffusion network
The bill authorizes the Secretary to establish a State based outreach, consultation, and dissemination program through the National Diffusion Network and its State Facilitators. The Secretary shall make one or more awards in each State. The State Facilitator shall identify educational programs and practices for dissemination, identify needs for assistance, provide professional development and technical assistance, and promote teacher networks throughout the State. The work of the State facilitators shall be coordinated with the work of the Comprehensive Regional centers and shall be administered by the Office of Reform Assistance and Dissemination.
The Secretary shall also develop a system of validating effective programs and promising practices for dissemination through the National Diffusion Network to be coordinated, aligned with and administered by the Office of Reform Assistance and Dissemination.
Subpart 3--Eisenhower regional mathematics and science education consortiums
The bill authorizes the Secretary, in consultation with the Director of the National Science Foundation, to award grants or contracts to eligible entities to establish and operate regional mathematics and science consortia. The consortia will disseminate exemplary mathematics and science education instructional materials and provide technical assistance for the implementation of teaching methods and assessment tools. There should be at least one consortia awarded per region unless the amount appropriated is less than $4,500,000. Region is defined as a region of the United States served by a regional education laboratory. The authorization of appropriations is $23 million in fiscal year 95.
Title II, Part D--Territorial Teacher Training Program
The bill authorizes the Secretary to make grants or enter into contracts for the purpose of providing training to teachers in schools in Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau. The authorization of appropriations is for $2 million in fiscal year 95.
Title II, Part E--Telecommunications Demonstration Project for Mathematics
The bill authorizes the Secretary to make grants to a nonprofit telecommunications entity, or partnership of such entities, to carry out a national telecommunications-based demonstration project to assist elementary and secondary school teachers in preparing all students to achieve State content standards in mathematics. The authorization of appropriations is $5 million in fiscal year 95.
TITLE III--TECHNOLOGY FOR EDUCATION
Background and need for legislation
After reviewing testimony, reports and other available information, the committee concludes that an informed, carefully planned use of technology is critical to improving student achievement and to providing all students with better access to educational opportunities. The high academic standards that the Goals 2000: Educate America legislation seeks to establish cannot be met by many students without the assistance of educational technology. Furthermore, American workers and citizens of the future must be familiar with and able to use technology in a variety of settings.
Despite the pervasive impact of technology on other segments of society, many students never interact with modern technologies in their classrooms. As a result, many students lack access to educational opportunities through which they can gain skills necessary to function effectively in the modern work place. The local bank uses technology far more advanced than the technology in schools in its community. America's schools, with out-dated, often second-hand equipment and classrooms without telephone lines, less adequate wiring, are truly the technological step-children of society.
Yet, because technology and electronic infrastructure are expensive, technology threatens to become another source of inequality among schools and districts across the country. Thus, while there are many technology-based projects and activities underway throughout America, most students and teachers still do not have access to sustained and comprehensive applications of telecommunications and educational technologies. The lack of knowledge or professional development on the part of both teachers and administrators often renders the most well-meaning equipment purchases less than useful. Computers stand in classrooms unused, in boxes unopened.
The technology products and systems in place are often not compatible with one another, making it almost impossible for teachers and learners to gain regular access to the world's information services. Further, there is no national vision for a telecommunications and educational technology infrastructure that will assure equal opportunity for all teachers and learners to take advantage of the nation's technology capacities and resources. It is time to develop such a vision congruent with efforts now underway to establish a National Information Infrastructure together with the nation's focus on setting high academic standards for all students through legislation such as Goals 2000: Educate America Act and similar initiatives in a number of States.
Title III, Part A--Educational Technology for All Students
In reviewing impediments to the goal of full integration of technology into the kindergarten through high school curriculum in order to increase student learning and achievement, the committee found three primary obstacles. First, many schools lack the resources to purchase updated equipment. Second, teachers and school administrators do not have access to quality and ongoing training programs to encourage the technology to be used for its maximum benefit. Third, high quality, curriculum-specific software and other technology resources are not readily available for use in the classroom.
Subpart 1--National programs in technology for education
The committee intends that the Office of Educational Technology take a leadership role both within the Department and on behalf of the Department with other Federal agencies and departments to coordinate and encourage the development and use of educational technology to improve student learning. The Director of the Office of Educational Technology is to report directly to the Secretary in order to assure that technology is accorded a high priority by the Department. The Secretary, through the Office, will prepare the national long-range technology plan and will act as a liaison with other Federal agencies and departments. $5 million is authorized for national leadership activities in the first fiscal year.
The bill authorizes a number of new programs for the purpose of providing leadership at the Federal level for the effective use of technology and to promote achievement of the National Education Goals. Specifically, the bill requires the development by the Secretary of a national long-range technology plan, and it authorizes support for a variety of activities, including research, development, demonstration, evaluation, dissemination of information about, and training to support the use of educational applications of existing and newly emerging technologies.
The committee understands that a major barrier to the realization of the benefits of educational technology in many schools is that many teachers and librarians have not been trained in the uses of computers, educational software or other technologies. Not only is training lacking in teacher preparation courses, there are inadequate opportunities for practicing teachers and librarians to learn about developments in educational technology. The bill, therefore, authorizes a fiscal year 1995 funding level of $50 million to regional educational technology assistance consortia to provide State and local educational agencies with technical assistance, professional development services, and information and resources to support implementation of State and local technology plans.
The consortia must use at least 80 percent of awarded funds for providing professional development to teachers and administrators.
The committee believes that support for professional development and technical assistance is critical to the success of programs funded through grants made to schools and school districts authorized in Subpart 2. For that reason, the committee intends to underscore the importance of funding professional development and technical assistance.
Additional authorities permit the Secretary to support the development of educational technology products and educational applications of advanced learning technologies. The committee intends for the Secretary to review the product development arrangements for fairness to the educational agencies, bearing in mind the need to provide private firms the incentive to develop the products described in this section. Fifty million dollars is authorized for product development and $20 million for educational applications for advanced technologies.
Finally, the Secretary is authorized to support the development of an electronic network program for the dissemination of educational information throughout the United States. Seven million five hundred thousand is authorized for this purpose. The committee intends that more than one grant be awarded and that the Secretary give due consideration in making such grants to diversity of grantees, both in terms of the type of organizations (profit and non-profit organizations) and to their geographic location.
Subpart 2--State and local programs for school technology resources, technical support, and professional development
The committee is aware that many schools have acquired computers over the last decade. However, the committee is also aware that many of those computers are out-dated and that students are not receiving the benefits of the new educational technologies now available. The committee also recognizes the important role school libraries and media centers can play in providing access to technologies.
The bill authorizes $200 million in formula grants to the States in support the acquisition of equipment and supporting resources, training, and maintenance of technology. Any State with an approved systemic statewide technology plan would award grants on a competitive basis to local educational agencies that have the highest numbers or percentages of children in poverty and demonstrate the greatest need for technology.
When the committee uses the term "greatest need for technology," it intends for the State (or the Secretary, when appropriate) to judge a local educational agency's need for technology based on criteria such as the extent to which a local educational agency is without access to affordable technology resources, such as fiber optic cable and long distance telephone service, because of rural location or other circumstances, the extent to which the LEA has access to other educational technologies and the extent to which a local educational agency has the capacity to raise revenues to purchase technology.
The purpose of the grants is to enable LEA's to purchase technology, install linkages, provide teachers with training, and to assist the community to provide literacy services. Funds would be distributed to States on the basis of title I Part A shares if the total funds available for this Subpart exceed $50 million. If funds available are less than $50 million, the Secretary will award grants on a competitive basis to local educational agencies, either separately or in cooperation with other local educational agencies and/or a State educational agency.
Subpart 3--Special rule applicable to appropriations
The bill requires that when the total appropriation for the various authorities under Subpart 1 together with the appropriation for Subpart 2 is less than $50 million, the Secretary must aggregate the separate appropriations and provide 50 percent for Subpart 1 and 50 percent for Subpart 2. When appropriations are equal to or greater than $50 million, the Secretary must aggregate the amounts and make available $25 million plus 35 percent of the amount in excess of $50 million to carry out Subpart 1 over $25 million plus 65 percent of the excess to carry out Subpart 2.
Title III, Part B--Star Schools Program
The bill reauthorizes the Star Schools program, which supports grants to telecommunications partnerships to enable them to provide distance education services, including facilities and equipment, programming, and technical assistance, designed to improve instruction in mathematics, science, and foreign languages as well as other subjects, such as literacy skills and vocational education. Changes in Star Schools program require that grants be awarded for a period of 5 years and permit grants to be renewed for one additional 5-year period provided services are expanded under the second grant. The bill permits the Secretary to set aside up to 5 percent of the amount appropriated each year for national leadership, evaluation, and peer review activities.
The committee considered the Administration's Star Schools reauthorization proposal and decided to make modifications in the existing Star Schools Program Assistance Act (20 U.S.C. 4081 et seq.), rather than make the dramatic shift in focus suggested by the Administration's proposal. The committee found the Administration's shift away from multi-State consortia to single State or community networks troublesome. The committee believes the economies of scale and diversity offered by distance service to be the heart of the existing Star Schools program and thus rejected this change.
Further, changes adopted as part of the Star Schools Amendments of 1991 broadened the target audience to include those with disabilities, limited English proficiency, and adults with literacy needs, while keeping the priority for schools serving a large number of percentage of Chapter 1 students. The committee believes that funding constraints dictate a targeting of Federal support rather than opening the program to all students, as recommended by the Administration. Thirty-five million dollars is authorized for the Star Schools program for the 1995-1996 fiscal year.
Title III, Part C--Ready-to-Learn Television
The bill reauthorizes the Ready-to-Learn Television program, which provides authority for the Secretary to enter into contracts, cooperative agreements, or grants with nonprofit entities (including public telecommunications entities) able to demonstrate a capacity for the development (directly or through contracting with producers) and distribution of high quality educational and instructional television programming for preschool and elementary school children. The purpose of the program is to support the development, production, and distribution of video programming for young children designed to foster their readiness for school.
The Secretary may also support special projects to address the learning needs of young children from limited-English proficient households and to increase English literacy skills and knowledge of children's development among parents of young children. Funds may be used for support materials as well as video programming.
Title III, Part D--Elementary Mathematics and Science Equipment Program
The bill authorizes a new program of formula grants to State educational agencies to enable them to award grants to local educational agencies for the purposes of providing elementary schools with equipment and materials necessary for hands-on instruction in mathematics and science. Funds may be used only to purchase science equipment, science materials, or mathematical manipulative materials, and may not be used for computers, computer peripherals, software, textbooks, or staff development.
In order to receive funds, a State educational agency must assure that every public elementary school in the State will be eligible to receive assistance once over the 5- year duration of the program, and that during the 5-year period, the State educational agency will evaluate its standards and programs for teacher preparation and in service professional development for elementary mathematics and science. Local educational agencies must make every effort to match on a dollar-for-dollar basis funds received under this program, but no application may be penalized or denied assistance based on a failure to provide matching funds. Thirty million dollars is authorized for this program in fiscal year 1995.
Title III, Part E--Elementary and Secondary School Library Media Resources Program
Many elementary and secondary school libraries throughout the United States are dependent on collections purchased in the mid-1960's under the original Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The ESEA has not included targeted funds for library materials since 1988 and, as a result, some school library collections are deteriorating.
Under this Part, the Secretary is authorized to set aside at least 10 percent but not more than 20 percent of the amount appropriated for Part A of title III to make awards to States for the acquisition of school library media resources for the use of students, library media specialists, and teachers in elementary and secondary schools. Funds are to be distributed on a competitive or formula basis, depending on the total amount of funds available.
Title III, Part F--Buddy System Computer Education
The bill authorizes a series of demonstration grants to 3 States to help middle school students develop skills critical to educational growth and success in the workplace through the use of computers both in the classroom and at home.
TITLE IV--MAGNET SCHOOLS ASSISTANCE
The Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) provides competitive grants to local educational agencies (LEA's) for magnet schools that are intended to reduce, eliminate, or prevent minority group isolation in elementary and secondary schools and to strengthen students' knowledge of academic or vocational subjects. In order to be eligible for a grant, an LEA must be participating in a court-ordered or voluntary desegregation plan. Magnet schools or education centers provide a special curriculum intended to be attractive to substantial numbers of students of different races.
In addition to providing funds to operate magnet programs designed to promote desegregation and student achievement, the MSAP can provide leverage to school districts in building local capacity to continue and expand the programs.
Provisions of S. 1513
Title IV of the bill reauthorizes the Magnet Schools Assistance program and includes several new elements designed to strengthen the focus on reducing minority group isolation; link magnet schools to systemic reform efforts; and enhance the quality of the program. One hundred twenty million dollars is authorized in fiscal year 1995.
The new findings section summarizes the program's accomplishments, specifies areas for improvement, and affirms the Federal Government's support of the program. The bill retains the existing statement of purpose--to eliminate, reduce or prevent minority group isolation and provide courses of instruction that will strengthen knowledge of academic and vocational subjects--and expands it by linking the program to systemic reform efforts. Applicants that demonstrate the greatest need for assistance would continue to receive priority.
Priority will also go to applicants that propose to carry out new or significantly revised magnet schools projects, serve a wide range of students by basing student selection on multiple criteria, rather than relying solely on academic examination, and draw on comprehensive community plans. The bill would allow grantees to use funds to make the magnet curriculum available to all students in the school, not just those enrolled in the magnet school program.
The committee recognizes that segregation is not always a problem confined to one school district. In regions with small school districts, patterns of segregation can extend across several districts. In recognition of this problem, the committee includes language clarifying that consortiums of local educational agencies are eligible to apply for magnet school grants.
As in current law, the bill prohibits grantees from using magnet school funds for transportation or any other activity that does not augment academic improvement; however, the ban on using funds for consultants has been removed. In order to give grantees adequate time to develop and implement new and innovative programs, the bill authorizes a 4-year project period and allows grantees to use funds for planning during the first 3 years of the grant period. By requiring grantees to contribute part of the cost of the project, the bill will help develop local capacity to continue projects after Federal funding ends.
Finally, a new provision establishes an Innovative Programs component, which will enable the Secretary to provide funds on a competitive basis for local innovative programs that fulfill the purposes of the Magnet School program. For example, the committee is aware that some school districts are developing Schools of Special Emphasis, which seek to strengthen neighborhood schools as part of the district's desegregation plan. Another promising approach involves Community Model Schools, which are comprehensive community schools developed with significant parent and community involvement and organized around special themes or concepts. The intent of this section is to foster meaningful interaction among students of different racial and ethnic backgrounds.
TITLE V--BETTER SCHOOLS FOR AMERICA
Title V, Part A--Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities
Title V reauthorizes the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1986 and expands its focus beyond drug and alcohol prevention to include violence prevention, in support of the National Education Goal that by the year 2000, every school in the United States will be free of drugs, violence, and the unauthorized presence of firearms and alcohol, and will offer a disciplined environment conducive to learning.
Findings and purpose
The findings and statement of purposes are revised to incorporate specific references to alcohol and tobacco, which are the most widely used drugs among young people, and violence, including violence related to prejudice and intolerance, consistent with the expanded scope of the program. The committee intends that anti-bias and prejudice reduction school and community-based programs should be part of the programmatic activities funded under this legislation to reduce and prevent school violence. The committee also recognizes that character education can be a valuable tool to combat the serious problems of drug abuse and violence.
Current national statistics regarding the use of drugs and violence in our Nation's schools paint a distressing picture. About 3 million thefts and violent crimes occur on or near a school campus each year, nearly 16,000 incidents per school day. About one in five high school students regularly carries a firearm, knife, razor, club, or other weapon. Many of these students carry those weapons to school. The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research's 1993 "Monitoring the Future" Survey, released in early 1994, reports that illicit drug use among American teenagers increased in the past year. More 8th, 10th, and 12th graders are using marijuana, LSD, inhalants, and stimulants.
The survey also found that, by the 8th grade, 67 percent of youngsters have tried alcohol and 26 percent say they have been drunk at lease once. Similarly, cigarettes have been tried by 45 percent of 8th graders.
Drugs and violence are related in many ways. Some drugs affect the user in ways that make violence more likely. Some drug users commit violent acts to get money to buy drugs. Violence is common in drug trafficking as a result of disagreements about transactions and because traffickers use violence as a way to gain competitive advantage.
Authorization of appropriations
The legislation authorizes the appropriation of $660 million in fiscal year 1995. Of the amount appropriated, up to 10 percent is allocated to subpart 2, National Programs. The remainder is for subpart 1, which includes State grants as well as set-asides for the Outlying Areas, programs for Indian youth and Native Hawaiians, and a national impact evaluation.
Funding for State and local programs
Funds for State and local programs would be allocated by formula, half on the basis of school-aged population and half on the basis of State shares of title I funding. Of the total allotted to each State, 80 percent would be allocated to State and local educational agencies, and 20 percent to the Governor. In order to target resources where they are most needed, SEA's would be required to allocate 30 percent of their LEA funding to high-need LEA's, which would be limited to five LEA's or 10 percent of the LEA's in a State, whichever is greater.
The committee understands that in some areas where data are not generally collected on the incidence of violence and drug and alcohol use, a State may have to use its discretion in determining which local educational agencies have the greatest need for additional funds.
The remaining 70 percent would be allocated to all eligible LEA's in the State, based on public and private school enrollment.
Governors funds would continue to support programs operated by parent groups, community action and job training agencies, community-based organizations, and other public and private nonprofit organizations. To reduce duplication with LEA programs, Governors would be required to give priority to programs and activities for children and youth who are not normally served by State or local educational agencies, or for populations that need special services or additional resources (such as preschoolers, youth in juvenile detention facilities, runaway or homeless children and youth, pregnant and parenting teens and dropouts).
To improve accountability, States will be required to conduct a needs assessment and both States and LEA's will be required to articulate measurable goals and objectives for their programs and describe how progress toward attaining those goals and objectives will be assessed and reported to the public. State and local applications will be developed in consultation and coordination with appropriate officials and others in the fields of health, criminal justice, social services, and education as well as parents, students, and community-based organizations. New provisions for the use of peer review or other methods of reviewing applications by SEA's will also improve the quality of applications and increase accountability.
Local drug and violence prevention programs, authorized activities
The legislation takes a comprehensive, integrated approach to drug and violence prevention by recognizing that drug use and violent behavior share many of the same causes and may be amenable to common solutions.
The legislation authorizes a broad range of prevention activities, including drug prevention education; comprehensive health education; early intervention, counseling, mentoring, and rehabilitation referral; professional development of school personnel, parents, law enforcement officials, and others; the implementation of strategies such as conflict resolution and peer mediation to combat school violence and other forms of disruptive behavior such as sexual harassment and abuse; before- and after-school recreational, instructional, cultural, and artistic programs in supervised community settings. Character education programs, which teach non-controversial values such as democracy, self-discipline, and personal and civic responsibility, are examples of violence ed. programs.
Character education programs are tailored by communities, parents and schools to reinforce at school the efforts that parents make in the home. Funds for metal detectors, security officers and law enforcement personnel, and for "safe zones of passage" for students between home and school would be limited to 10 percent of an LEA's grant, and would be permitted only if the LEA does not receive funding for such activities from another Federal agency.
Evaluation and reporting
A National Impact Evaluation is required to assess the effectiveness of the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act in preventing substance abuse and violence among youth and in schools and communities. The evaluation is to be conducted biennially by the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and the Attorney General. Consultation should include coordinating with other similar evaluation activities at the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Funds for National Programs would support national leadership activities that complement the State, local, and Governor's programs, and would include training, rigorously evaluated demonstrations, research and program evaluation, direct services to school systems with severe problems, and the development and dissemination of curricula and instructional materials. Funds would also be authorized for grants to institutions of higher education for programs to prevent violent behavior and the illegal use of alcohol and other drugs by students attending such institutions.
Title V, Part B--Assistance to Address School Dropout Problems
The committee recognizes the importance of dropout prevention as an important component of providing a world-class education to students as well as a means to assist in achieving the second National Education Goal, that by the year 2000, the high school graduation rate will increase to at least 90 percent.
This part reauthorizes the current Dropout Prevention Demonstration Assistance program as a permanent program. The purpose of this program is to reduce the number of children who do not complete their elementary and secondary education. It authorizes grants to local educational agencies (LEA's), community-based organizations (CBO's), and educational partnerships for programs to (1) identify potential dropouts and prevent them from leaving school early, (2) identify students who already have dropped out and encourage them to return, (3) identify at-risk students in elementary and early secondary school, and (4) establish model systems for collecting and reporting information on dropouts.
The bill authorizes the Secretary to reserve up to $2 million of each year's appropriation for a national evaluation of the program. The remaining funds are to be used for grant to the following categories: 25 percent to LEA's enrolling at least 100,000 students, 40 percent to LEA's with between 20,000 and 100,000 students, 30 percent to LEA's with fewer than 20,000 students, and 5 percent to community-based organizations. Within each of these categories, the Secretary is to give special consideration to awarding funds to partnerships of LEA's, private businesses, COB's, and other public and private nonprofit entities. Federal funds may account for 90 percent of the total cost of a project for the first year and 75 percent for the second and subsequent years.
The bill authorizes a wide variety of educational, occupational, and basic skills testing services and activities, including extended day or summer basis skills programs, work-study and apprenticeship programs, training for school staff to identify children at risk of dropping out and to intervene in the educational program of such children with support and remedial services, testing services and activities, summer employment and occupational training programs, career opportunity, job skills counseling, and job placement services, mentoring programs, and various studies.
TITLE VII--LANGUAGE ENHANCEMENT AND ACQUISITION PROGRAMS
Title VII, Part A--Bilingual Education Programs Background
Originally enacted in 1968, title VII has always been a program to increase the capacity of LEA's and SEA's to provide special instruction to limited- English proficient students. Given the changing demographics of our student population, where now one in seven children comes to school speaking a language other than English, the committee intends to insure the inclusion of limited-English proficient students in national education reform, as the bill recasts the bilingual education program to support achievement of the National Education Goals and related school reform efforts.
The committee recognizes that the primary purpose of bilingual education programs is the learning of English in all areas of the curriculum, while strengthening the development of the language and cultural skills necessary for the United States to compete effectively in a global economy.
Provisions of S. 1513
The Secretary is authorized to make four types of grants under Subpart 1 for the provision of bilingual education services: Development and enhancement grants for developing new bilingual education programs as well as enhancing or expanding existing programs; comprehensive school grants for the purpose of implementing schoolwide bilingual education programs; and comprehensive district grants to local educational agencies for implementing district-wide bilingual education programs.
Comprehensive School and District grants are limited to a five-year period, except that the Secretary will terminate grants if the 2-year program evaluation indicates students in the program are not being taught to and achieving challenging State content standards and challenging State student performance standards or if a program intended to promote dual-language facility is not meeting that intent.
The Bilingual Education program also develops a new system of research and local program evaluation to promote the use of English and native language assessments that measure achievement of the same high standards expected of all students, and integrate title VII project evaluations with those of other Federal, State or local programs. The committee recognizes that while bilingual instruction by a teacher who knows a student's native language may be desirable, it is not always feasible or practicable. Little is known about effective practices of instruction in classrooms where children speak several different languages, and where the teacher does not know a student's native language.
Therefore, the committee bill authorizes the Secretary, through the Office of Educational Research and Improvement if appropriate, to conduct research on effective instruction practices in these instances and to disseminate the findings.
The bill strengthens the State role by requiring that the SEA's review of the LEA applications include a determination of whether the proposed program is consistent with the State's plans for systemic reform. Provisions also include an enhanced State education agency grants program. Grants to States will support State assistance to LEA's with program design, assessment of student performance, and project evaluation.
The bill also redesigns the professional development program to help create a highly trained cadre of school staff who will serve LEP students, and ensure that programs for LEP students are integrated with the general school curricula and form an integral part of school reform efforts.
The committee bill clarifies that migrant children whose native language is not English and who come from an environment where another language is dominant shall be considered "limited-English proficient," and therefore are eligible for services under the bilingual education program.
The committee intends that the Secretary shall, to the extent possible, take into account significant increases in limited-English proficient children and youth in areas with low concentrations of such children and youth. The committee recognizes that for many rural districts, the enrollment of a few children who do not speak English may justify a greater need for assistance than the enrollment of many limited-English proficient children in districts with established bilingual education programs.
It is the intent of the committee that limited-English proficient students served under the Bilingual Education program may be served with other students with similar educational needs if it would be beneficial to the students, and it would be more efficient to do so. Students should not be labeled and segregated by Federal categorical programs for audit purposes alone. If it makes sense to serve students together and it will improve the academic performance of the students, it is not prohibited in this or any other program under this act. Two hundred fifteen million dollars is authorized in fiscal year 1995.
Title VII, Part B--Foreign Language Assistance Background
As the U.S. moves towards the global economy of the 21st century, there is a growing need for Americans to acquire a global perspective. Foreign language proficiency is crucial to the Nation's economic competitiveness and national security. In addition, the committee acknowledges that multilingualism enhances cognitive and social growth and understanding of diverse people and cultures and that the optimum time to begin learning a second language is in elementary school. Proficiency in 2 or more languages should be promoted for all American students and therefore, foreign language instruction offered in the Nation's elementary and secondary schools needs to be significantly improved and expanded so that all students have the opportunity to study it at the elementary level.
Provisions of S. 1513
The committee has chosen to reauthorize the foreign Language Assistance Program as a discretionary grant program within title VII, rather than the current formula-driven program in Part B of title II. Thirty-five million dollars is authorized in fiscal year 1995.
The Secretary is authorized to make three types of grants. First, grants to State educational agencies shall support programs that promote systemic improvements to foreign language instruction in the State. Second, grants to local educational agencies shall support programs that show promise of continuing beyond the grant period, which can be used as dissemination models for other local education agencies and which promote professional development for foreign language teachers. Third, incentive grants may be made by the Secretary to elementary schools that offer programs leading to communicative competitive competency in another language.
TITLE VIII--PROGRAMS OF NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE
Title VIII, Part A--Arts in Education
The purpose of this program is to support States, LEA's, or other public or private agencies to strengthen instruction in and improve student learning through the arts. The Departments Education's efforts are to be better coordinated with the efforts of other agencies and it will continue to support arts education programs offered by the Kennedy Center and by Very Special Arts.
Title VIII, Part B--Inexpensive Book Distribution Program
This program is designed to motivate children to read by providing free books and organizing activities that encourage reading. Reading is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF), a national nonprofit organizations, is the sole contractor for this program and the vehicle through which the program purchases and distributes books to local projects These local projects are administered by schools, public agencies and non-profit organization, and utilize thousands of volunteers. In funding new projects, RIF gives priority to projects serving special needs population, including low-income children.
Provisions of S. 1513
Part B of title XVIII authorizes the Secretary to enter into a contract with Reading is Fundamental (RIF) to support and promote programs, including the distribution of inexpensive books, that motivate children to read. The committee's bill gives priority to new projects serving a significant number of disadvantaged children The contractor enters into subcontracts with local private or public nonprofit organizations or agencies. The contractor also would provide technical assistance to these subcontractors.
Title VIII, Part C--Public Charter Schools
Charter schools are public schools that are frequently exempt from input- oriented mandates, but are still accountable to a public entity through a contract that commits the schools to achieving specified academic or other results. Although the State laws very, charter schools must be non-sectarian, may not charge tuition and may not discriminate in admitting students.
This bill includes a new $15 million Federal grant program proposed by the Administration for public charter schools. The House version of this legislation limits the program in one important way--only charter schools in partnership with local education agencies are eligible for grants.
The grant programs, as set forth in the Senate bill, allows grants to flow either directly from the Secretary to States (whereupon the State awards grants to eligible applicants) or, where a State doesn't apply for a grant, directly from the Secretary to eligible local education agencies or other public entities authorized under State law in partnership with a charter school.
Funds may be used for up to 18 months for planning and program design and for no more than two years for initial implementation of charter schools. Applications may be for one charter school or for a cluster of charter schools, which may include a secondary school and its feeder elementary and middle schools. A particular school may not receive more than one grant. Grantees may use funds to: refine desired educational results and methods for measuring progress toward achieving those results; inform the community about the school; acquire necessary equipment, materials and supplies; make minor renovation or remodeling needed to meet health and safety laws or regulations, or acquire or develop curriculum materials.
States receiving grants may retain 20 percent of the funds to establish a revolving loan fund to ease the cash flow of new charter schools until State and local operating funds begin flowing.
The Secretary may evaluate charter schools and engage in other activities designed to assist States, local communities and others authorized to establish charter schools including technical assistance in drafting legislation and charters, establishing and monitoring measurable outcomes and using publications, conferences and telecommunications technology.
Applications will be judged on the basis of their quality, including such factors as the flexibility afforded to the school; community support; and the likelihood the school will meet its objectives. Applications must specify waivers and exemptions granted by the State.
Title VIII, Part D--Civic Education
The bill creates a new Civic Education part consisting of two programs. The first program authorizes continued support of the Center for Civic Education for its "We the People . . . The Citizen and the Constitution" program. The second program authorizes grants and contracts to assist State and local educational agencies and other public and private nonprofit agencies, organizations, and institutions to improve students' achievement of challenging State content and student performance standards in civics, government, and the law. It provides grants to teach about the Bill of Rights, "values and principles" which underlie citizenship, and "the use of non-violent means of conflict resolution".
The committee intends that programs receiving grants under this provision include activities to promote respect for cultural diversity and acceptance of cultural differences. Funds are to be used to support new and ongoing programs in elementary and secondary schools, including development and implementation of new curricula, professional development for teachers, outside-thee-classroom experiences for students, participation of community leaders in the schools, and technical assistance. Priority is to be given to statewide programs, and grants are to be awarded for a period of two or three years. Of the funds appropriated for Civic Education each year, one-half is to be allocated to each of the two programs authorized.
Title VIII, Part E--Allen J. Ellender Fellowship Program
The bill reauthorizes the Ellender Fellowship Program, administered by the Close-Up Foundation of Washington, DC, which provides financial assistance to enable students and their teachers to participate in week-long seminars in Washington to increase their understanding of the Federal Government. A separate program is authorized, also administered by the Close-Up Foundation, to increase understanding of the Federal Government among economically disadvantaged older Americans, recent immigrants, and students of migrant families. Changes in the program are designed to increase opportunities for children from low-income families to participate in the program.
Title VIII, Part F--Gifted and Talented Children
The bill reauthorizes the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education program to provide financial assistance to State and local educational agencies, institutions of higher education, and other public and private agencies and organizations for a coordinated program of research, demonstration projects, personnel training, and other activities designed to enhance the capability of elementary and secondary schools to meet the special educational needs of gifted and talented students.
Funds may be used for professional development of teachers; model projects for serving gifted and talented students; implantation of innovative strategies such as cooperative learning, peer tutoring, and service learning; strengthening the capability of State educational agencies and institutions of higher education to help local educational agencies and nonprofit private schools serve gifted and talented students; technical assistance and information dissemination; and research on serving gifted and talented students and using gifted and talented programs and methods to serve all students.
A National Center for Research and Development in the Education of Gifted and Talented Children and Youth, to be funded to no more than $1,750,000 each year, is to be established to carry out research activities. In administering the program, the Secretary must give priority to services for gifted and talented students who may not be served through traditional assessment methods (including economically disadvantaged students, students of limited-English proficiency, and students with disabilities).
It is the committee's intent that the first $20 million authorized for the Javits program be spent on activities designed to enhance programs to serve gifted and talented students. Maintaining the integrity of this program is especially important considering that the unique needs of our most talented young people have not been adequately met. According to a report by the Department of Education only two cents of every $100 spent on K-12 education go to serve the special needs of the gifted and talented.
However, the committee also recognizes that the methods and materials developed to serve the gifted and talented can be used to encourage the development of rich and challenging curricula for all students. The legislation provides that 40 percent of funds appropriated above $20 million be used to develop methods to serve all students. In this way, the committee maintains its commitment to the needs of this special population while recognizing the benefits that can be provided to all students.
It is the intent of the committee that students served under the Gifted and Talented program may be served with students not served under the program with similar educational needs and abilities. For example, gifted and talented students may be served with students not identified as gifted and talented if the school determines that it would be beneficial to the students, and it would be more efficient to do so. Students should not be labeled and segregated by Federal categorical program for audit purposes alone. If it makes sense to serve students together and it will improve the academic performance of the students, it is not prohibited in this or any other program under this act.
Title VIII, Part G--Women's Educational Equity
The Women's Educational Equity Act (WEEA) was enacted in 1974 to promote the letter and spirit of title IX, the Federal statute barring sex discrimination in Federally funded education programs. Since that time, WEEA has funded research and development, training programs, guidance and testing activities, and other projects to promote educational equity for women and girls. The WEEA Publishing Center has disseminated quality materials related to gender equity in the classroom.
Although women have made strides in education and the workplace since the enactment of WEEA, they have by no means achieved equity in either arena. Some research shows that a pattern of gender inequity often persists in school practices. In addition, educational materials often do not sufficiently reflect the experiences, achievements and concerns of women.
Provisions of S. 1513
The bill expands the scope of the Women's Educational Equity grants to public agencies, private nonprofit organizations and individuals to support demonstration programs and local implementation projects, such as gender equity training for teachers, counselors, and other school personnel, school- to-work transition programs, and leadership training for women and girls.
The bill also authorizes research and development activities, coordinated with the Department of Education's Office of Educational Research and Improvement, designed to advance gender equity through the development of model curricula, textbooks, software and other educational materials that are free of gender stereotypes, and through the development of high-quality nondiscriminatory assessments and teacher training. Applications for funding under this program must be submitted to the Secretary and include information on its evaluation component, linkages to systemic reform efforts, including the National Education Goals, and the School-to-Work Opportunities Act, provisions for parental involvement, and partnerships with other recipients of Federal funds.
The bill gives special consideration to applicants that have not previously received funding under this program and that draw on a variety of resources and use a comprehensive approach for achieving gender equity. Two million dollars is authorized for fiscal year 1995.
Title VIII, Part H--Fund for the Improvement of Education
The bill authorizes $35 million in fiscal year 1995 for a new Fund for the Improvement of Education, replacing the former Fund for Innovation in Education. The Secretary may use the Fund to support nationally significant programs and projects to improve the quality of education, assist all students to meet challenging State content and student performance standards, and contribute to achievement of the National Education Goals. Activities may be carried out directly or through grants or contracts with State and local educational agencies, institutions of higher education, and other public and private agencies, organizations, and institutions.
Funds may be used for activities that will promote systemic reform; demonstrations that will yield nationally significant results; joint activities with other Federal agencies; and activities to promote a variety of educational programs, approaches, and strategies. The Secretary may make awards on the basis of announced competitions and support meritorious unsolicited proposals. Peer review is to be used in reviewing applications.
Title VIII, Part I--Blue Ribbon Schools
The bill reauthorizes the Blue Ribbon Schools program, which permits the Secretary to carry out programs to recognize elementary and secondary schools or programs for their standards of excellence and demonstrated quality. The Secretary must select public and private schools and programs through competition, with awards to be made solely on the basis of merit, without regard to whether they are representative of the States. No award can be made unless the local educational agency submits an application to the Secretary. One million dollars is authorized for fiscal year 1995.
Title VIII, Part J--National Student and Parent Mock Election
The bill authorizes $125,000 in each fiscal year 1995-99 for the award of grants in every election year to national, nonpartisan organizations that work to promote voter participation in American elections to enable such organizations to carry out simulated national elections that permit participation by students and parents in all 50 States. The voter education activities may include school forums, local cable call-in shows, speeches and debates, mock press conferences and speech writing competitions, and school and neighborhood campaigns to increase voter turnout.
Title VIII, Part K--Elementary School Counseling Demonstration
The committee finds that elementary school children are being subjected to unprecedented social stresses, including fragmentation of the family, drug and alcohol abuse, child abuse, poverty, and violence. As these problems intensify, an increasing number of young children are exhibiting symptoms of distress. Although experts believe that intervention at an early age is the most beneficial, there are very few school counselors, psychologists and social workers available to elementary school children.
This new program would authorize grants to local educational agencies to enable them to initiate or expand school counseling programs for elementary school children. Programs would have to be comprehensive in addressing the personal, social, emotional, and educational needs of the students. Ten million dollars is authorized for fiscal year 1995.
The committee recommends that the program ensure a team approach to school counseling by maintaining a ratio in the elementary schools of the local educational agency that does not exceed 1 school counselor to 250 students, 1 school worker to 800 students and 1 school psychologist to 1,000 students.
Title VIII, Part L--21st Century Community Learning Centers
The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program authorizes $20 million for the Secretary to make grants to schools, or a consortia of schools, to plan and implement activities to coordinate the education, recreation and social service needs of its community. Modeled after successful programs throughout the country, this program will provide seed money for schools to collaborate with businesses, cultural and human services providers to maximize community access to essential educational and human services. The goal of this program is to expand the use of the school building beyond regular school hours to serve the needs of children and the community at large.
Studies indicate that parent and non-parent community involvement within the school building fosters lifelong learning, encourages greater community support for schools and creates a more conducive learning environment for children. Demographic and economic changes require communities to examine cost effective means of serving the needs of all residents; this program encourages one such example.
Title VIII, Part M--Model Education Projects
This new program authorizes $5 million in grants to cultural institutions for model projects for at-risk children in the institutions' communities. The projects are intended to integrate an institution's cultural program with other disciplines, including environmental, mathematics and science programs.
Title VIII, Part N--Extending Time for Learning
Increasing amounts of research, including a report by the Commission on Time and Learning, indicate that the new content and performance standards for what all students should know and be able to do will require students and teachers to spend more--and better quality--time working together. The third National Education Goal states that all students shall be competent in challenging subject matter in the common core of subjects. Realizing this goal will require considerably more common core learning time for students, as well as professional development time for teachers.
The Extending Time for Learning Act would encourage enable schools to develop and implement strategies for extending and enriching common core learning time. The program would make grants to local educational agencies to support outreach to and consultation with community members, including teachers, parents, students and other stakeholders, as well as public housing authorities, libraries, businesses and other community organizations to coordinate the operation of high quality educational activities during and beyond the school day, both on and away from the school site. Funds may also be used to provide professional development for school staff in innovative teaching methods that increase the productivity of common core and extended learning time.
Twenty million dollars is authorized in fiscal year 1995.
Title VIII, Part O--Creating Smaller Learning Communities
Recent efforts to reduce class or learning community size in large schools, when coupled with innovations and improvements in teaching and learning, have been successful in contributing to increases in student achievement, grade promotion and attendance, as well as decreases in violence and disruptions.
The Creating Smaller Learning Communities Act would promote the development and implementation of strategies to create smaller learning communities, such as schools-within-schools, as well as effective and innovative changes in curriculum and instruction to be used in the new learning community or communities. Professional development would be provided for teachers involved in the new learning community or communities. Parents, business, community groups and organizations could also participate in and facilitate the development of smaller learning communities. Students will be placed in the smaller learning communities at random or by their own choice, not according to tests or other judgments.
TITLE IX--SPECIAL PROGRAMS
Title IX, Part A--Impact Aid
The committee reported bill reauthorizes and revises the Impact Aid program. Section 9003 retains the current section 2 program, which compensates school districts that experience a financial burden due to the acquisition of otherwise taxable property by the Federal Government. A significant change made to the section 2 program requires that the assessment of financial burden on a district be valued according to the highest and best use of any land that directly borders Federal acquired property.
Section 9004 retains the current section 3 program to provide financial assistance to school districts that educate large numbers of children connected to a Federal activity. The section 3 program is revised to better reflect district need for assistance. A weight is assigned each class of eligible children in the program. Children who reside on Federal property and also have a parent employed on Federal property ("a" children under current law) are assigned a weight of 1.0. Children who reside on Indian land are assigned a weight of 1.25. Children who reside in low-rent housing or have a parent on active duty in the uniformed armed services, but do not reside on Federal property ("b" children under current law) are assigned a weight of .10.
Lastly, children who do not live on Federal property, but have a civilian parent employed on Federal property, are assigned a weight of .05. In each district, the sum total of these weights is multiplied by another need calculation based on the degree of impaction and percentage of budget that Impact Aid payments comprise. Although still complicated, the committee believes these provisions are significant steps in further simplifying and basing the program more on district need as compared to current law.
Section 9004 also contains several provisions for groups of especially needy districts, including (1) heavily impacted districts (known as 3(d)2(B) districts under current law); (2) districts with children with disabilities; and (3) districts with children with severe disabilities whose placement results from a "compassionate post assignment." In particular, the committee notes that 6 percent of total program funds are dedicated for heavily impacted districts. These districts with little to no tax base are among the neediest.
Section 9004(g) provides that financial assistance to local school districts for Federally connected children from sources other than the Department of Education, such as the Department of Defense, be considered as part of a district's Impact Aid payment. If the sum total financial assistance to a district from these other sources and the Impact Aid program exceeds the maximum Impact Aid entitlement for a particular district, then the Impact Aid payment from the Department of Education to that district shall be reduced by the amount in excess of the district's Impact Aid entitlement.
The reduction is to ensure that no district receive financial assistance for Federally connected children in excess of its maximum Impact Aid entitlement while other especially needy districts are receiving financial assistance in amounts less than their maximum Impact Aid entitlement. Funds made available due this reduction are to be distributed first to districts that educate severely disabled Federally connected children as a result of a "compassionate post assignment" of military personnel by the Secretary of Defense and second to other districts that educate Federally connected children with disabilities.
Sections 9008 and 9009 authorize construction, facilities, and repair assistance for heavily impacted districts, districts with heavy concentrations of children living on Indian land and districts with bases undergoing realignment. Section 9010 extends the current law treatment of payments by States in determining State aid.
Finally, two provisions are included in the committee reported bill to assist those districts adversely affected by military base realignment. First, section 9007 authorizes funds for districts who experience a 100 student or 10 percent increase in military connected enrollment in any given year. Second, section 9004 provides for a 90 percent hold harmless applicable in every district for a maximum of two consecutive years. The committee emphasizes that the hold harmless authority in addition to required use of prior-year data in making allocations has the effect of ensuring that over a three year period, districts will be held harmless for 100 percent, 90 percent, and 90 percent of their previous year's payment.
The committee believes that this mitigates the potential financial effects of the reauthorization and provides sufficient time to meet longstanding district obligations, such as teacher contracts.
Title IX, Part B--Emergency Immigrant Education Program
The Emergency Immigrant Education Program provides funds to states on a formula basis to assist local educational agencies that experience unexpectedly large increases in their student population due to immigration. Funds are used to assist local education agencies in their efforts to provide quality instruction to immigrant children and youth which will ease their transition into American society and help them meet the same challenging State performance standards expected of all children and youth.
Provisions of S. 1513
S. 1513 maintains the formula grant structure of the Emergency Immigration Act makes the program part of title IX, Special Programs. The bill contains provisions to simplify the distribution of State allocations, but maintains current law eligibility for local educational agencies. For the purposes of the act, "immigrant" is defined as a child who was not born in any State and has not attended school in the United States for more than 2 full academic years.
Once the appropriation for the program reaches $50 million, the Secretary is authorized to reserve the excess amount to award grants on a competitive basis to local educational agencies to help meet the needs of areas with especially high immigrant populations--areas in which immigrant youth represent at least 10 percent of the LEA's total enrollment. Uses of funds include: parent outreach and training; salaries of personnel; tutorials and career counseling; acquisition of curricular materials; basic instructional services which are directly attributable to the presence in the school district of immigrant children.
This includes the costs of providing additional classroom supplies, overhead costs, costs of construction, acquisition or rental of space, costs of transportation; and other related activities authorized by the Secretary.
It is the intent of the committee that students served under the Emergency Immigrant Education program may be served with other students with similar educational needs if the school determines it would be beneficial to the students, and it would be more efficient to do so. Students should not be labeled and segregated by Federal categorical program for audit purposes alone. If it makes sense to serve students together and it will improve the academic performance of the students, it is not prohibited in this or any other program under this act.
Title IX, Part C--Education for Native Hawaiians
The committee version of "Improving America's Schools Act" includes a reauthorization of education programs serving Native Hawaiians. The Native Hawaiian Family-Based Education Centers and programs for Native Hawaiian Higher Education, Gifted and Talented, and Special Education have been continued without substantial modification. The Native Hawaiian Model Curriculum program has been expanded to include a teacher training and teacher recruitment component, and a Native Hawaiian Community-Based Education section has been developed to address the educational needs of remote native communities.
Finally, the committee recognizes the need to coordinate the provision of educational and related services and programs available to Native Hawaiians State-Wide, and the bill authorizes the establishment of a Native Hawaiian Education Council to better effectuate the purposes of this part.
This reauthorization and the accompanying modifications are consistent with the goal of raising the educational status of native Hawaiians to national parity. A recently released ten-year update of the Native Hawaiian Educational Assessment Project" has found that despite the successes of the programs established under the Native Hawaiian Education Act, many of the same educational needs still exit--for example, Native Hawaiian students continue to large behind other students in terms of readiness factors such as vocabulary test scores, and Native Hawaiian students continue to score below national norms on standardized education achievements test at all grade levels.
In recognition of the continuing educational needs of Native Hawaiians, this committee supports the reauthorization of supplemental education programs for Native Hawaiians.
Fifteen million dollars is authorized in fiscal year 1995.
Title IX, Part D--Territorial Assistance
This Part of the bill reauthorizes the program of General Assistance to the Virgin Islands. The General Assistance to the Virgin Islands program was established in 1979 to compensate the Virgin Islands for the impact of Federal immigrant legislation (P.L. 91-225) and a 1970 U.S. District Court ruling (Hosier v. Evans, V.I.R. 27) that require the Virgin Islands to educate non-citizen children of school age residing in the Virgin Islands. The ruling contributed to increased enrollment in Virgin Islands schools resulting in a severe burden to the existing classroom space. Historically, most of the funds for this program have been used to expand, repair, or remodel classroom and other educational facilities in the Virgin Islands public schools.
Five million dollars is authorized in fiscal year 1995.
TITLE X--GENERAL PROVISIONS
The bill provides for a new title X of ESEA which contains general definitions, fiscal requirements, SEA, and LEA application consolidation, waivers, other uniform provisions, and an evaluation provision.
Parts B and C are designed to enhance flexibility in State and local program administration, as well as encourage comprehensive and cross-program State and local planning. State and local agencies would be permitted to consolidate administrative funds under specified ESEA programs in order to reduce record keeping burden and to submit consolidated State and local applications for specified State administered programs. The committee agrees with the Administration's proposal to allow consolidation of plans and applications. This should reduce the paperwork burden on teachers and administrators. The committee agrees with the Administration's proposal to encourage greater coordination of programs.
These provisions illustrate the committee's intent that States and school districts should think comprehensively about how Federal education programs work with each other and with the general education program to address the needs of students.
The committee recognizes the need for greater local flexibility in the administration of Federal education programs and supports the use of waivers for the purpose of improving services and student performance. Administrative ease is not, in and of itself, a sufficient justification for a waiver of Federal requirements. In addition in order for Federal waivers to be granted, States must be willing to provide waivers of similar State requirements.
Parts E and F of title X provide for uniform provision for certain key requirements, and includes an authorization for State programs to recognize exemplary performance. With respect to section 10604 Prohibition of Federal Control within Part F, it is the intent of the committee that nothing in this legislation supersedes Section 103 of the Department of Education Organization Act. Nothing in this act would authorize the Federal Government to impose mandates on states, local educational agencies, and schools. Such mandates include but are not limited to class size limitations, a Federal teacher certification system, teacher instructional practices, equalized per pupil spending and curriculum content.
Part G provides for evaluation. It is the committee's intent that the Secretary reserve up to one-half of 1 percent of funds from each program authorized by this act to carry out rigorous evaluations of each of those programs and demonstration projects. When applicable, the committee expects the Department to use funds which are set aside in specific programs and does not intend for the Department to reserve an extra 0.5 percent on top of funds which are already set aside for evaluation purposes.
The committee has found that current evaluations and studies conducted by the Department of Education have been inconsistent across programs. Thus, the committee intends for future evaluations to be consolidated and coordinated through the Office of Policy and Planning when possible in order to provide more useful information concerning the short- and long-term effects of program participation on students and to assess the effectiveness of various programs in helping to meet the national education goals. Whenever feasible, the committee intends for the Department to conduct these evaluations using rigorous methodological designs, including control groups, random assignment, and longitudinal studies in a manner which is least burdensome to grantees.
TITLE XI--CULTURAL PARTNERSHIPS FOR AT-RISK CHILDREN AND YOUTH
This title establishes a National Committee on Cultural Partnerships for At-Risk Children and Youth, which will be responsible for providing coordinated educational and cultural programs for in-school or out-of-school at-risk children and youth. The committee will be comprised of 8 members, of whom 2 will be appointed by the Secretary of Education, 2 by the Chairperson of the National Endowment for the Humanities, 12 by the Chairperson of the National Endowment of the Arts, and 2 by the Director of the Institute of Museum Services.
The committee will carry out it mandate by awarding sub-grants to partnerships formed by local educational agencies (or individual schools that are eligible to participate in schoolwide program under title I) and at least one institution of higher education, museum, local arts agency, or cultural entity that has a history of providing quality services to the community.
This Cultural Partnerships Committee structure is designed to bring the full expertise of each of the agencies to bear in serving the needs of at- risk youth.
The committee envisions that a wide range of projects will be eligible for funding under this act, so long as they are targeted specifically to the needs of at-risk young people. For this reason, the consortium established between the Department of Education, the Humanities Endowment, the Arts Endowment and the Institute of Museum Services is an ideal construct for bringing the Nation's rich cultural resources into the educational experience of young people.
The committee notes further that although NEH, HEA, and IMS have considerable experience in supporting programs for school-age audiences, the scope of this new program far surpasses their content funding capabilities. It is the intent, therefore, that support for this program supplement existing programs at these agencies, and will be supported with funds designated by the Department of Education.
References to cultural services, activities and programs in the Community Arts Partnership provisions of this legislation pertain to teaching and/or demonstrations that support the educational process. Professional presentations of concerts, dance programs, plays, operas, lectures, chautauquas, humanities programming, musical theater productions, etc, that involve the student in the learning experience are included.
TITLE XII--DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS
This new title is designed to improve the quality of information provided to students and their parents about government study programs and other education programs offered to minors for a fee. The bill requires the disclosure of certain specific information by educational organizations that, for a fee, provide honors programs, seminars, government study programs, or other educational experiences, if those programs are directed at minors, are offered away from a student's regular place of school attendance, and include at least one night away from home. (Title XII does not apply to such programs offered by SEA's or LEA's, elementary or secondary schools, institutions of higher education, or organizations sponsored by recreational, entertainment, sports, or social organizations.)
Title XII requires an educational organization to disclose in writing, before enrolling a student and accepting payment, information about the organization's recruitment and selection practices, costs and fees, contractors, and its relationships to those contractors. In addition, title XII also requires affected organizations to include in all their enrollment and recruitment materials a verifiable statement that they do not discriminate in the employment and enrollment policies with respect to race, disability, or residence in a low-income area. These disclosure requirements are intended to ensure that students and their parents have all the facts necessary to make an informed decision before paying to participate in an educational program.
The Secretary of Education will widely disseminate information about the disclosure requirements of this title to State and local officials and parents, require educational organizations to submit appropriate information or assurances regarding their compliance, and take whatever other steps are necessary to enforce this title.
TITLE XIII--TARGETED ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
The committee bill reauthorizes, as title XIII, the program for State and local educational improvement currently authorized under chapter 2 of title I of the ESEA. State and local educational agencies use chapter 2 funds for a variety of programs and activities that improve elementary and secondary education for students in public and private schools. These programs are carried out with a minimum of paperwork, freeing State and local school officials to concentrate on the education of children.
Provisions of S. 1513
The committee bill would authorize the appropriation of $325 million for this program for fiscal year 1995 and "such sums" for fiscal years 1996 through 1999. The committee believes that this program can continue to provide much-needed support, in a flexible fashion, to States and local communities as they pursue educational reform and innovation. The committee rewrote a list of eligible uses under this program and targeted the focus of the activities on activities that will improve student achievement including: acquisition and use of instructional, educational, and technology materials used to improve student achievement; programs to improve higher order thinking skills of economically disadvantaged students; programs to prevent students from dropping out of school.
Also programs to combat illiteracy; programs for gifted and talented students; school facility, repair, renovation, and construction; school reform activities consistent with the Goals 2000 Act; and school improvement activities under Part A of title I. Title XIII support will be particularly valuable to States and communities as they strive to meet the National Education Goals and carry out their improvement plans under the Goals 2000 Act, and the committee bill expressly authorizes as one of the authorized uses the use of program funds for Goals 2000-type activities by communities that do not receive funding under that Act.
TITLE XIV--NATIONAL EDUCATION STATISTICS
The bill reauthorizes the National Center for Education Statistics, including the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which it administers, in a free-standing statute, the "National Education Statistics Act of 1994."
Changes permit the Commissioner of Education Statistics more flexibility in determining the timing and design of data collection programs, with requirements stated in terms of the types of data and information to be reported to the Nation. Membership of the Advisory Council on Education Statistics is expanded to include practitioners and researchers to help ensure the relevance of Center data to educational improvement efforts and to enhance the ability of the Commissioner to establish cooperative statistics systems is expanded to include data on postsecondary education, and a specific study related to administrative spending at the school and school district level is required.
The purpose of the National Assessment of Educational Progress is to provide information about student achievement in reading, writing, mathematics, science, English, history, geography, civics and government, arts, and foreign languages. Changes permit the Commissioner greater flexibility to determine the assessment schedule, but data on one or more subjects must be collected and reported at least once every 2 years. State assessments are authorized on a continuing basis, but are not required and must be evaluated when they are conducted. As in the past, participation in all assessments is strictly voluntary, and States must continue to pay the costs of administering assessments within the State when they choose to participate.
In the future, however, the non-Federal share of the cost of State assessments may also include other reasonable costs specified by the Secretary. Another change permits the Secretary, upon the request of a State or local educational agency, to make National Assessment test instruments available for assessing aggregate student achievement at the school or school district level, providing the agency assures that it will comply with the security requirements and testing protocols prescribed by the Commissioner. The committee intends that the Commissioner only release such test instruments to schools or local educational agencies of sufficient size to render meaningful results. The bill reauthorizes the National Assessment Governing Board with the duties it currently performs.
Attempts to maximize the impact of increasingly limited resources are often frustrated by lack of information about current spending practices. While there is often a public perception that too many resources are expended on overhead and not enough on activities directly involving student learning, there is little data on exactly how funds are spent because most school accounting is done at the district, rather than the school, level. Furthermore, the collection of data at the district level is not directed to distinguishing categories of expenses to focus on administration as opposed to student-centered activities.
Section 14010(b) addresses this concern by requiring the Center to work through the cooperative education statistics to study, design and pilot a model data system that will yield information about administrative expenses at the school and district levels. Upon completion of the study, the Secretary of Education will report to Congress on the potential for the reduction of administrative expenses at the school and local educational agency level, the possible usefulness of a data system for that purpose, and any other methods that might be employed voluntarily by schools, States and districts to reduce administrative overhead, so that funds can be directed to functions that directly affect student learning.
One hundred dollars is authorized for this title in fiscal year 1995.
TITLE XV--EDUCATION INFRASTRUCTURE
The committee believes that improving the quality of public elementary and secondary school libraries, media centers and facilities will help our nation meet the National Education Goals established in Goals 2000. The challenges facing our Nation's public elementary and secondary schools require the concerted and collaborative efforts of all levels of government and all sectors of the community. To date, however, Federal, State, and local funding for the repair, renovation, alteration and construction of public elementary and secondary school libraries, media centers and facilities has not adequately reflected the overwhelming need that exists throughout the nation. The dilapidated condition of the majority of the nation's public school children.
In order to overcome these barriers, the committee has created title XV, which is to be cited as the Education Infrastructure Act of 1994.
To be eligible for funding, an LEA must demonstrate urgent repair, renovation, alteration and construction needs for facilities, public elementary and secondary school libraries, and media centers used for academic or vocational instruction. An LEA must also demonstrate it serves large numbers or percentages of disadvantaged students. The committee recognizes that the Nation's poorest children overwhelmingly attend the Nation's most dilapidated schools, and that the improvement of their educational environment can greatly contribute to increased focus, learning, willingness to attend school, and overall self-esteem.
To carry out the purposes of this section, the committee authorizes for appropriations $400 million for fiscal year 1995 to provide grants to eligible LEA's for infrastructure needs. Eligible LEA's may submit applications to the Secretary, and each application shall contain an assurance that it was developed in consultation with parents and classroom teachers, and include (1) a description of each architectural, civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, or telephone line, deficiency to be corrected with funds under this title, including the priority for the repair of the deficiency; (2) a description of the criteria used by the applicant to determine the type of corrective action necessary to meet the purposes of this title;
(3) a description of the corrective action to be supported with funds provided under this title; (4) a cost estimate of the proposed corrective action; (5) an identification of the total amount and percentage of such agency's budget used in the preceding fiscal year for the maintenance, repair, renovation, alteration, or construction supported with funds provided under this title; (7) a description of how activities supported with funds provided under this title will promote energy conservation; (8) a description of the extent to which the repair, renovation, alteration, or construction will help the Secretary meet the goals of this title; and (9) such other information as the Secretary may reasonably require.
The Secretary is authorized to award grants under this title on the basis of the extent to which the grant is needed to address conditions that compromise learning, health or safety and the extent to which the eligible LEA lacks the fiscal capacity, including the ability to raise funds, to undertake the project without Federal assistance. The Secretary may only award grants under this title if the Secretary determines that sufficient funds will be provided either under this title or from other sources to carry out the activities for which assistance is sought.
An LEA receiving funds under this title may use the funds for a variety of activities. Authorized activities include (1) the inspection of a facility, library, or media center; (2) repairing such library, facility, or media center that poses a health or safety risk to students, (3) upgrading of and alteration of a facility, library or media center; (4) meeting the requirements of section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; (5) removal or containment of severely hazardous material such as asbestos, lead, and radon using a cost- effective method;
(6) meeting Federal, State, or local codes related to fire, air, light, noise, waste disposal, building height, or other codes passed since the initial construction of the facility, library or media center; and (7) replacing an old facility, library or media center that is most cost- effectively torn down rather than renovated.
The Secretary is authorized to make grants under this title for any fiscal year to an eligible LEA only if the aggregate expenditures for the fiscal year for which the determination is made is at least 90 percent of what such expenditure was for the preceding fiscal year. An eligible LEA shall use funds received under this title only to supplement, not supplant, the amount of funds that would, in the absence of Federal funds, be made available from non-Federal sources for the repair and construction of school facilities used for educational purposes.
No part of any grant funds under this title shall be used for the acquisition of any interest in property, nor shall anything in this title be construed to authorize the payment of maintenance of costs in connection with any projects constructed in whole or in part with Federal funds provided under this title. Moreover, all projects carried out with funds provided under this title shall comply with all relevant Federal, State, and local environmental laws and regulations.
All laborers and mechanics employed by contractors or subcontractors in the performance of a contract or subcontract under this title shall be paid wages not less than those determined by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with the Davis-Bacon Act, as amended at 40 U.S.C. 276a-276a-5. The committee also intends that the Secretary establish goals for the participation of small business concerns as contractors or subcontractors that meet or exceed the governmental goals established pursuant to section 15(g)(1) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 644(g)(1) for the participation of such concerns in contracts supported with funds under this title. The Secretary is encouraged to establish an evaluation process for such participation that gives weight to these goals.
TITLE XVI--URBAN AND RURAL EDUCATION
The Secretary is authorized to award formula grants to hard-pressed city and rural school systems to conduct programs to help them to achieve education goals and higher standards. School districts receiving these funds would work closely with their communities, and have broad flexibility to design a plan to help improve their education system. Continued funding will be provided only to those schools that demonstrate progress in improving education performance. The Secretary is authorized to make inventive awards to schools that make exceptional progress. And, the President is authorized to call two separate White House Conferences on Rural and Urban education.
Fifty million dollars is authorized to be appropriated, half of which is to be made available for urban schools and half for rural schools.
TITLE II--AMENDMENTS TO THE GENERAL EDUCATION PROVISIONS ACT
Title II of the bill updates the provisions of the General Education provisions Act (GEPA), eliminates obsolete or unneeded provisions and includes some new provisions. Of particular note is the section 211 redefinition of "applicable program" to include all programs administered by the Secretary of Education. Accordingly, general provisions, such as the continent extension of authorization of appropriations, joint funding, and rulemaking, will now uniformly apply to all programs in the Department of Education (ED).
Section 241 contains new authority permitting the Secretary to enter into joint funding arrangements with other Federal agencies to fund and carry out interagency projects, consistent with the acts from which funds are taken.
The bill contains a number of other GEPA provisions designed to enhance flexibility, reduce burden, or ensure more timely awards. Section 246 of the bill amends section 431 of GEPA to provide for greater flexibility in the procedures relating to the development of regulations by ED in the interest of more timely awards of financial assistance and a wider opportunity for priority setting by ED.
The Secretary would continue to be required to promulgate regulations in accordance with chapter 5 of title 5 of the United States Code, except that the exemption in section 553(a)(2) of chapter 5 for public property, loans, grants, and benefits would apply only to regulations that govern a grant competition for the first year of a new program or where the Secretary determines that the requirement will cause extreme hardship to the intended beneficiaries of the program.
Section 250 amends GEPA to provide for application procedures to assist the Department in implementing its mission to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the Nation by ensuring equal opportunities to participate for all eligible students, teachers, and other program beneficiaries in any project or activity carried out under an applicable program.
TITLE III--AMENDMENTS TO OTHER ACTS
Title III, Part A--Amendments to the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act
Title III-A amends Parts B and H of IDEA to ensure that States, State agencies, and State-operated and supported schools and programs which received chapter 1 Handicapped funds in 1994 are not adversely affected by the merger of the program with IDEA. Sections 311(b) and 313(a) guarantee States no less in 1995, 1996, and 1997 than they received in total in 1994 under IDEA and the Chapter 1 Handicapped program; for 1998 and 1999, if the child count decreases, the amount a State receives is reduced by the percentage the number declined from the 1994 count.
Section 311(a) increases the cap on the percentage of 3-17 or 5-17 year olds in the general population who can be counted for funding under Grants to States in order to include children counted in 1994 under the chapter 1 Handicapped program, if the combined percentage of children counted in 1994 exceeds 12 percent. In distributing Grants to States funds, section 311(d) requires States to provide State agencies the same share per child they received in 1994 under the chapter 1 Handicapped program for each 6-21 year old served, up to the number of 321 year olds counted in 1994; it requires States to provide this share per child to local educational agencies for children who had transferred from State-operated or supported schools or programs.
Section 312 requires States to treat State agencies as local educational agencies for the purposes of distributing Grants to States and Preschool Grants funds.
Section 313(a) authorizes distribution to States of $34 million of the funds appropriated in 1995 for Grants for Infants and Families based on the actual number of children served, with distribution of the remaining funds based on population.
Title III, Part B--Amendments to McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, Education for Homeless Children and Youth
The Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Association Act requires that each State educational agency (SEA) ensure each child of a homeless individual and each homeless youth access to a free and appropriate education. Under the act, SEA's are to gather data on the number and location of homeless children and youth in their State and develop a State plan for meeting the Federal Government guidelines. In addition, SEAs are to collaborate with the local educational agencies (LEA's) in designing and implementing local programs that are consistent with their State plans.
The complexity of access, placement, transportation and instructional issues involved in educating the homeless population underscores the significant challenges confronting SEA's and LEA's. Because homeless children and youth, by definition, lack permanent shelter, and typically have limited access to adequate clothing, nutrition, and health services, their capacity to benefit from schooling is often impaired. It is clear, therefore, that providing an appropriate education to homeless children and youth is a significant SEA and LEA responsibility, one that must involve collaboration with other community organizations that are actively providing services to homeless families and individuals.
Provisions of S. 1513
The bill reauthorizes educational programs for homeless children under the McKinney Act. The legislation requires States to provide services to homeless children, including preschool-aged children and homeless youth, that enable them to enroll in, attend, and succeed in school; establish or designate an Office of Coordinator of Education of Homeless Children and Youth; and develop and implement professional development programs for school personnel.
The bill raises the State minimum allocation to $100,000, up from $50,000 in current law, and requires the Office of the Coordinator to estimate the number of homeless children and youth in the State and the number served under this program, eliminating the current requirement to gather data in this population, using statistical methods, once every 2 years. Each State plan must describe the dispute resolution procedures in place regarding educational placement of homeless children and youth, and describe procedures that ensure that homeless children will have equal access to preschool programs provided to other children.
Each State plan must also address problems with respect to the education of homeless children and youth, including problems caused by transportation issues and enrollment delays. The bill also stipulates that homeless children and youth should receive services comparable to those offered to other students, including transportation and educational service, such as title I. Each local education agency receiving assistance under this subtitle shall designate a homeless liaison to ensure that homeless children and youth enroll in the schools of that agency, and that they and their families receive educational services for which they are eligible.
Among other activities, section 723 authorizes the use of funds to defray the cost of transporting homeless children and youth and to pay the fees incurred to obtain documentation, such as birth certificates and immunization records, required for school enrollment.
Source: Senate Report 103-292. IMPROVING AMERICA'S SCHOOLS ACT OF 1994, June 24, 1994, to accompany S. 1513]