There is one summary. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (10/10/1990)

Urban Schools of America (USA) Act of 1990 - Title I: Urban School Improvement - Directs the Secretary of Education (the Secretary) to reserve specified funds for: (1) national activities to evaluate urban school improvement programs; and (2) competitive grant awards to exemplary school programs.

Directs the Secretary to allot, from remaining amounts, to each eligible local educational agency (LEA) with an approved application an amount based on relative numbers of students enrolled in the LEA's jurisdiction. Makes an LEA eligible if it: (1) serves the largest city in a State; or (2) enrolls 30,000 or more students as of October 1, 1987, and serves a city with a population of at least 200,000 in a metropolitan statistical area.

Requires LEAs to use such funds to: (1) increase the academic achievement of urban school children to at least the national average; (2) prepare all urban children for school; (3) increase the graduation rates of urban students to at least the national average; (4) prepare urban school graduates to enter higher education, pursue careers, and exercise their responsibilities as citizens; (5) recruit and retain qualified teachers; and (6) decrease the use of drugs and alcohol by urban students, enhancing their physical and emotional health.

Sets forth program requirements: (1) in general, for initial grants, renewal grants, and renewal of school participation; (2) for achievement, including demonstration of improvement; and (3) data collection.

Authorizes the Secretary to reserve funds for competitive awards to schools participating in projects assisted under this title that demonstrate exemplary progress in meeting program requirements.

Directs the Secretary, by January 1, 1991, to report on the effects of Federal and State education regulations on urban public schools.

Requires LEAs desiring to receive a grant under this Act to establish a local advisory group to: (1) design and conduct a needs assessment for participating schools; (2) assist in planning for community-wide collaboration in service delivery for youths in participating schools; (3) advise the LEA and the community on how they can work together to use multiple service providers; and (4) monitor program implementation and oversee program evaluation. Allows use of a comparable existing local advisory group to comply with such requirement.

Sets forth special rules relating to ranking of schools to determine relative needs, in general, on the basis of achievement, poverty, and number of minority students. Requires each LEA receiving a grant to serve between ten and 20 percent of its schools. Requires eligible LEAs to have flexibility to serve homeless children, desegrating students, immigrants, migrants, or other highly mobile populations, even if they do not attend a project school. Deems certain approved programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 for education of disadvantaged children to be sufficient to meet plan and criteria requirements of this Act.

Authorizes appropriations.

Title II: Repair and Renovation of Urban School Buildings - Authorizes the Secretary to make three-year grants to eligible LEAs for: (1) repair and renovation of school buildings; and (2) improvements related to environmental concerns and safety. Directs the Secretary to allocate funds for both such types of grants on the basis of the number of: (1) children from families below the poverty line; (2) school buildings used for instructional purposes; and (3) school buildings more than 25 years old used for instructional purposes. Requires annual grant review by the Secretary.

Authorizes appropriations.

Title III: Urban School Research - Directs the Secretary to reserve specified funds for the National Urban Research Center established under this title.

Allows programs and projects assisted under this title to include: (1) collaborative and coordinated research and evaluation of educational techniques or approaches in multiple cities served by eligible LEAs; (2) evaluation of projects assisted under title I; (3) dissemination of information on successful projects and approaches under title I; (4) design and implementation of programs for LEA provision of technical assistance to individual schools and teachers involved in title I projects; (5) data and information management services for schools participating in a title I program; (6) staff training in such schools; and (7) evaluation of progress in meeting national educational goals by LEAs receiving assistance under this Act.

Directs the Secretary to establish and operate a National Urban Research Center to: (1) evaluate, monitor, and disseminate activities assisted under this title; (2) conduct independent research in urban education; and (3) serve as a clearinghouse on urban education research fundings, policies, and practices.

Authorizes appropriations.

Title IV: Equalization of State Spending for Public Education - Requires any State, after January 1, 1996, in order to receive Federal assistance to support its public schools under any program administered by the Secretary: (1) to certify that the Secretary has reviewed and determined that the State's method of financing its public elementary and secondary schools is equitable; or, in the alternative, (2) to have in operation a State equalization plan that meets specified requirements.

Requires such State equalization plans to: (1) be submitted within one year after the State receives notice that its public school financing method is inequitable; (2) describe how the State will equalize such method within five years; and (3) be approved by the Secretary.

Directs the Secretary annually to: (1) review each State's public school financing method; and (2) certify each State determined to have an equitable method. Sets forth review standards, requiring consideration of: (1) relative numbers of children from families dependent on public assistance or with below poverty level income, with limited English proficiency, and with disabilities; (2) the municipal overburden of the residents of the eligible city in relation to the statewide average burden; and (3) the amount of taxes paid by residents within the LEA to support schools relative to their capacity to pay such taxes, as compared to the statewide average.

Mandates that Federal funds prohibited to a noncomplying State be distributed to LEAs within that State on a basis determined to carry out the purposes for which they were made available and to meet the equalized spending standards.

Title V: General Provisions - Establishes the Interagency Council on Urban Schools to: (1) review Federal programs to determine effects on urban schools' ability to meet national education goals; (2) track school progress toward such goals; (3) solicit advice and information for urban education experts and urban school representatives on improvement of Federal programs; (4) review Federal regulations for duplication or contradiction; (5) report annually to the Congress and the President on urban school progress; (6) review and recommend improvement or streamlining of Federal data collection in urban schools; and (7) conduct research to help urban school practitioners improve school performance.

Directs the President to conduct a White House Conference on Urban Education before October 30, 1992. Requires the Conference to advise on development of: (1) recommendations and strategies for improving urban education; (2) methods for combining forces of the private sector, governmental agencies at all levels, parents, teachers, communities, and education officials to assist urban schools in meeting national goals; and (3) a permanent national advisory commission on urban education. Requires a report to the President.

Authorizes appropriations.

Establishes a National Commission on Urban Education as an independent agency within the executive branch. Directs the Commission to: (1) study specified issues relating to urban schools; and (2) report, and recommend changes in Federal legislation, to the President and appropriate congressional committees. Terminates the Commission three years after its first meeting. Authorizes appropriations.

Requires eligible LEAs to use Federal funds received under this Act only to supplement but not supplant non-Federal funds.