Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Conference report filed in House (04/20/1999)

Education Flexibility Partnership Act of 1999 - Authorizes the Secretary of Education to allow all States to participate in the Education Flexibility Partnership (Ed-Flex Partnership) program.

(Sec. 4) Requires Ed-Flex Partnership States to: (1) have in place approved challenging content and student performance standards, and aligned assessments, or have made substantial progress towards having an approved plan under title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA); (2) hold local educational agencies (LEAs) accountable for meeting the educational goals submitted in their local applications for waivers, and for providing technical assistance and taking corrective actions if they have not met such goals; and (3) waive State educational requirements while holding LEAs or schools affected by such waivers accountable for student performance.

Sets forth requirements for: (1) State educational agency (SEA) applications and approval by the Secretary; and (2) local applications and approval and monitoring by SEAs. Requires State applications to describe: (1) the State requirements to be waived; (2) clear educational objectives to be met; (3) how the educational flexibility plan is consistent with the State's comprehensive reform plan or is coordinated with State educational content and student performance standards under specified ESEA provisions; and (4) how the SEA will evaluate student performance in schools and LEAs affected by the waivers. Requires local applications to describe specific, measurable goals for each school year for each LEA or school affected by the waivers.

Prohibits State approval of a local waiver application unless: (1) the LEA or school has developed an applicable local reform plan; and (2) the waiver will help in meeting the LEA's or school's educational goals, particularly those relating to school and student performance. Limits Federal waivers to five years, unless the Secretary extends such period upon determining that such waiver authority has: (1) been effective in enabling such SEAs or affected LEAs or schools to carry out local reform plans; and (2) improved student performance.

Sets forth program oversight and annual reporting responsibilities of SEAs and the Secretary, including a performance review of SEAs by the Secretary to determine if their waiver program authority should be renewed after the first three years.

Authorizes the Secretary to carry out the Ed-Flex Partnership program for FY 2000 through 2004.

Requires State and local applications to assure that wide-spread public notice and opportunity for comment will be given.

Includes as statutory or regulatory requirements that may be waived under this Act those of programs under the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998, and of the following programs under ESEA: (1) title I Helping Disadvantaged Children Meet High Standards; (2) part B State and Local Activities under the title II Dwight D. Eisenhower Professional Development Program; (3) subpart 2 State and Local Programs for School Technology Resources (with specified exceptions), under part A Technology Education for All Students, of title III Technology for Education; (4) title IV Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities; (5) title VI Innovative Education Program Strategies; and (6) the part C Emergency Immigrant Education Program under title VII Bilingual Education, Language Enhancement, and Language Acquisition Programs.

Prohibits waivers for specified types of requirements, including the mandate to serve eligible school attendance areas in rank order under specified provisions of ESEA title I part A programs for disadvantaged children.

Provides that this Act shall not apply to any SEA that has been granted waiver authority under the Ed-Flex Demonstration program of the Goals 2000: Educate America Act and a provision referring to such program under the Department of Education Appropriations Act, 1996, except with respect to that SEA's application for extension of such authority.

(Sec. 5) Amends the Department of Education Appropriations Act, 1999 to allow an LEA that has a class size in grades one through three of 18 or fewer children to use funds made available for class-size reduction for professional development without entering into a consortium.

(Sec. 6) Amends the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to allow a school to place a child with a disability in an alternative educational setting for up to 45 days if the child possesses a weapon at school or a school function or on school premises (thus expanding current law which covers carrying a weapon to school or to a school function).