There is one summary for this bill. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (03/18/1999)

Educating America's Children for Tomorrow (ED-ACT) - Title I: Empowering Parents and Students - Requires the Secretary of Education to award the total amount of certain applicable education funding directly to local educational agencies (LEAs).

(Sec. 101) Requires such direct awarding of all the funds that are appropriated for the Department of Education for the fiscal year for programs or activities under specified provisions of: (1) the Goals 2000: Educate America Act; (2) the School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994; (3) the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA); and (4) the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act.

Sets deadlines for each LEA to conduct a census to determine, and report to the Secretary, the number of kindergarten through grade 12 students in the State for the academic year. Sets forth: (1) a formula for determination of such award amounts, based on relative numbers of such students and of educationally disadvantaged students in each LEA; and (2) penalties for false information.

Authorizes each LEA to use its allotment award for specified types of innovative assistance programs. Sets forth accountability requirements.

Requires direct award to eligible LEAs of ESEA title A part 1 funds for educationally disadvantaged students, for support of programs or activities that the LEAs deem appropriate.

Title II: Prohibition Regarding Funding for Developing or Implementing National Education Standards - Prohibits any Federal funds from being obligated or expended to develop or implement national education standards.

Title III: Troops-To-Teachers Program - Troops-To-Teachers Program Improvement Act of 1999 - Transfers from the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Transportation with respect to the Coast Guard to the Secretary of Education (Secretary) jurisdiction over a program to assist eligible members of the armed forces after their discharge, release, or retirement to: (1) obtain certification or licensing as elementary or secondary school teachers or vocational or technical teachers; and (2) facilitate the employment of such members by local educational agencies identified under this Act.

(Sec. 302) Requires the Secretary to provide information concerning the placement program, and make program applications available, to such members as part of their pre-separation counseling. Directs the Secretary to pay a stipend of $5,000 to each program participant, with a limit of 3,000 such stipends in a fiscal year. Authorizes the Secretary, in lieu of such stipend amount, to pay a bonus of $10,000 to each participant who agrees to accept full-time employment as a teacher for not less than four years in a high need school. Limits to 1,000 the number of such bonuses in a fiscal year.

Mandates that provision of assistance under such program shall not reduce or affect entitlement to benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill.

Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to States, or consortia of States, for operating offices for recruiting eligible members for program participation and facilitating employment of such participants in the schools of such States. Limits to $4 million the total amount of grants in a fiscal year.

Limits to five percent of program funds the amount authorized for management infrastructure.

Requires the Secretaries involved to complete the jurisdictional transfer of the program no later than October 1, 1999.

Requires program reports from the Secretary and the Comptroller General.

Authorizes appropriations to the Department of Education for FY 2000 through 2004.

Title IV: English Plus and Multilingualism - Expresses the sense of the Congress that our Nation must: (1) support literacy programs, including programs designed to teach English, as well as those dedicated to helping Americans learn and maintain languages in addition to English; (2) recognize the importance of English as the unifying language of the United States, and the importance of English fluency for individuals who want to succeed in U.S. society; (3) recognize that command of the English language is a critical component of the success and productivity of U.S. children, and should be encouraged at every age; (4) recognize that a skilled labor force is crucial to U.S. competitiveness in a global economy, and the ability to speak one or more languages in addition to English is a significant skill; and (5) recognize the benefits, both on an individual and a national basis, of developing the Nation's linguistic resources.

(Sec. 402) Directs the Comptroller General to study and report to the Congress on multilingualism in the United States.

Title V: Educational Opportunities for Disadvantaged Children - Establishes an educational choice demonstration program of competitive discretionary grants to State and local programs that give middle- and low-income families choices of all schools, public, private or religious.

(Sec. 502) Authorizes appropriations for such program for FY 2001 through 20003.

Authorizes the Secretary of Education (the Secretary, for this title) to award competitive grants to up to ten States or localities to carry out such educational choice programs.

(Sec. 503) Includes among grant eligibility requirements for States and localities, their: (1) having taken significant steps to provide a choice of schools to families with school children residing in the program area, including those families who are not eligible for scholarships under this title; (2) assuring they will provide scholarships to parents of eligible children that may be redeemed for elementary or secondary education for their children at a broad variety of public and private schools, including religious schools, if any, serving the area; (3) agreeing to match 50 percent of the Federal funds provided for the scholarships; and (4) allowing lawfully operating public and private schools, including religious schools, if any, serving the area to participate in the program.

(Sec. 504) Requires each State or locality awarded a grant under this title to provide scholarships to the parents of eligible children. Sets the value of each scholarship at the sum of: (1) $2,000 from funds provided under this title; (2) $1,000 in matching funds from the State or locality; and (3) an additional amount, if any, of State, local, or nongovernmental funds.

Provides that such scholarships awarded shall not be considered income of the parents for Federal income tax purposes or for determining eligibility for any other Federal program.

(Sec. 505) Requires that a child eligible for such a scholarship: (1) resides in the program area; (2) will attend a public or private or school participating in the program; and (3) be from a low-income family, as determined by the State or locality in accordance with regulations of the Secretary. Prohibits the maximum family income for scholarship eligibility under this title from exceeding the State or national median family income adjusted for family size, whichever is higher. Provides for continuing awards to scholarship recipients for each year of the program, except under specified individual circumstances. Gives priority to providing scholarships to eligible children from the lowest income families.

(Sec. 508) Directs the Secretary to award up to ten grants annually, taking specified factors into consideration. Limits the award period of each grant to a maximum of three years.

(Sec. 509) Allows funds under this title to be used: (1) first for the payment of tuition and fees at the school selected by the parents of the child for whom the scholarship was provided, and for the reasonable costs of the child's transportation to the school, if the school is not in the school district to which the child would be assigned in the absence of a program under this title; (2) next, if the parents so choose, to obtain supplementary academic services for the child, at a cost of not more than $500, from any provider chosen by the parents, that the State or locality, in accordance with regulations of the Secretary, determines is capable of providing such services and has an appropriate refund policy; and (3) lastly, if any funds remain, for educational programs that help eligible children achieve high levels of academic excellence in the school attended by the eligible children for whom a scholarship was provided, if the eligible children attend a public school, or by the State or locality for additional scholarships in the year or the succeeding year of its program, if the child attends a private school.

(Sec. 510) Provides that this title shall not affect funding under other State or local programs, or under other Federal programs, including specified programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Declares that scholarships under this title are to aid families, not institutions, and that a parent's expenditure of such scholarship funds at a school or for supplementary academic services shall not constitute Federal financial aid or assistance to that school or to the provider of supplementary academic services.

Requires, as a condition of participating and receiving scholarship funds on under this title, a school or provider of supplementary academic services to comply with specified antidiscrimination provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

(Sec. 511) Directs the Inspector General of the Department of Education to conduct a national evaluation of such program, including certain assessments and comparisons.

(Sec. 512) Prohibits any provision or requirement of this title from being enforced through a private cause of action.

Title VI: Tax Provisions - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to establish a nonrefundable personal tax credit of up to $500 ($250 for a married individual filing a separate return) for qualified charitable contributions to schools.

(Sec. 602) Increases (from $500 to $1,000) the annual contribution limit for education individual retirement accounts.

Title VII: Developing Better Education Tools - Directs the Comptroller General to conduct a study, collect data, make recommendations, and report on the education of minority students, including Native American students, Asian American students, and all other students who are often combined in statistical data under the category of other. Directs the Secretary of Education to make funds available to the Comptroller General for such purpose, from available funds for salaries and expenses at the Department of Education.

(Sec. 702) Directs the Comptroller General to conduct a study to determine whether requiring teacher training in a specific subject matter or at least a minor degree in a subject matter (such as mathematics, science, or English) results in improved student performance.

(Sec. 703) Expresses the sense of the Senate urging State and local testing, evaluating, and rewarding of teachers for their expertise and teaching in specific subject areas.

Title VIII: Empowering Students - Directs the Secretary of Education to gradually reduce the sum of the costs for employees and administrative expenses at the Department of Education as of the date of enactment of this Act incrementally each year until such sum is reduced by 35 percent, by October 1, 2004.