Text: H.R.1717 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (03/25/2009)


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[Congressional Bills 111th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 1717 Introduced in House (IH)]

111th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 1717

To allow a State to submit a declaration of intent to the Secretary of 
Education to combine certain funds to improve the academic achievement 
                              of students.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             March 25, 2009

  Mr. Hoekstra (for himself, Mr. Akin, Mrs. Bachmann, Mr. Barrett of 
 South Carolina, Mr. Bartlett, Mr. Bishop of Utah, Mrs. Blackburn, Mr. 
  Blunt, Mr. Bonner, Mr. Burton of Indiana, Mr. Broun of Georgia, Mr. 
Campbell, Mr. Cantor, Mr. Carter, Mr. Coffman of Colorado, Mr. Conaway, 
Mr. Culberson, Ms. Fallin, Mr. Flake, Ms. Foxx, Mr. Franks of Arizona, 
  Mr. Garrett of New Jersey, Mr. Gingrey of Georgia, Mr. Gohmert, Mr. 
Hensarling, Mr. Herger, Mr. Inglis, Mr. Issa, Mr. Jones, Mr. Kingston, 
Mr. Kline of Minnesota, Mr. Lamborn, Mr. Linder, Mr. Lucas, Mr. Daniel 
  E. Lungren of California, Mr. McHenry, Mr. Manzullo, Mrs. Miller of 
  Michigan, Mr. Miller of Florida, Mr. Moran of Kansas, Mr. Paul, Mr. 
  Pence, Mr. Pitts, Mr. Price of Georgia, Mr. Rogers of Michigan, Mr. 
Rohrabacher, Mr. Ryan of Wisconsin, Mr. Sensenbrenner, Mr. Shadegg, Mr. 
   Thornberry, Mr. Tiahrt, Mr. Westmoreland, and Mr. Wilson of South 
  Carolina) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
                    Committee on Education and Labor

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To allow a State to submit a declaration of intent to the Secretary of 
Education to combine certain funds to improve the academic achievement 
                              of students.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS; PURPOSE; DEFINITIONS.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Academic 
Partnerships Lead Us to Success Act'' or the ``A PLUS Act''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents; purpose; definitions.
Sec. 2. Declaration of intent.
Sec. 3. Transparency for results of public education.
Sec. 4. Maintenance of funding levels spent by States on education.
Sec. 5. Administrative expenses.
Sec. 6. Equitable participation of private schools.
    (c) Purpose.--The purposes of this Act are as follows:
            (1) To give States and local communities maximum 
        flexibility to determine how to improve academic achievement 
        and implement education reforms.
            (2) To reduce the administrative costs and compliance 
        burden of Federal education programs in order to focus Federal 
        resources on improving academic achievement.
            (3) To ensure that States and communities are accountable 
        to the public for advancing the academic achievement of all 
        students, especially disadvantaged children.
    (d) Definitions.--
            (1) In general.--Except as otherwise provided, the terms 
        used in this Act have the meanings given the terms in section 
        9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 
        U.S.C. 7801 et seq.).
            (2) Other terms.--In this Act:
                    (A) Declaration of intent.--The term ``declaration 
                of intent'' means a decision by a State made by State 
                Authorizing Officials or by referendum to assume full 
                management responsibility for the expenditure of 
                Federal funds for certain eligible programs for the 
                purpose of advancing on a more comprehensive and 
                effective basis the educational policy of such State.
                    (B) State.--The term ``State'' has the meaning 
                given such term in section 1122(e) of the Elementary 
                and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 
                6332(e)).
                    (C) State authorizing officials.--The term ``State 
                Authorizing Officials'' means the State officials who 
                shall authorize the submission of a declaration of 
                intent, and any amendments thereto, on behalf of the 
                State. Such officials shall include not less than 2 of 
                the following:
                            (i) The governor of the State.
                            (ii) The highest elected education 
                        officials of the State, if any.
                            (iii) The legislature of the State.
                    (D) State designated officer.--The term ``State 
                Designated Officer'' means the person designated by the 
                State Authorizing Officials to submit to the Secretary 
                on behalf of the State a declaration of intent, and any 
                amendments thereto, and to function as the point-of-
                contact for the State for the Secretary and others 
                relating to any responsibilities arising under this 
                Act.
                    (E) Accountability.--The term ``accountability'' 
                means that public schools are answerable to parents and 
                other taxpayers for the use of public funds and shall 
                report student progress to them regularly.

SEC. 2. DECLARATION OF INTENT.

    (a) In General.--Each State is authorized to submit to the 
Secretary a declaration of intent permitting the State to receive 
Federal funds on a consolidated basis to manage the expenditure of such 
funds to advance the educational policy of the State.
    (b) Programs Eligible for Consolidation and Permissible Use of 
Funds.--
            (1) Scope.--A State may choose to include within the scope 
        of its declaration of intent any program for which Congress 
        makes funds available to the State if the program is for a 
        purpose described in section 1001 of the Elementary and 
        Education Secondary Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6301). A State may 
        not include any program funded pursuant to the Individuals with 
        Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.).
            (2) Uses of funds.--Funds made available to a State 
        pursuant to a declaration of intent under this Act shall be 
        used for any educational purpose permitted by State law of the 
        State submitting a declaration of intent.
    (c) Contents of Declaration.--Each such declaration shall contain--
            (1) a list of eligible programs that are subject to the 
        declaration of intent;
            (2) an assurance that the submission of the declaration of 
        intent has been authorized by the State Authorizing Officials, 
        specifying the identity of the State Designated Officer;
            (3) the duration of the declaration of intent shall not 
        exceed 5 years;
            (4) an assurance that the State will use fiscal control and 
        fund accounting procedures;
            (5) an assurance that the State will meet the requirements 
        of applicable Federal civil rights laws in carrying out the 
        declaration of intent and in consolidating and using the funds 
        under the declaration of intent;
            (6) an assurance that in implementing the declaration of 
        intent the State will seek to advance educational opportunities 
        for the disadvantaged; and
            (7) a description of the plan for maintaining direct 
        accountability to parents and other citizens of the State.
    (d) Review and Recognition by the Secretary.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary shall review the declaration 
        of intent received from the State Designated Officer within 60 
        days of the date of receipt, and shall recognize such 
        declaration of intent unless it fails to meet the requirements 
        of subsection (c).
            (2) Recognition by operation of law.--If the Secretary 
        fails to take action within the time specified in paragraph 
        (1), the declaration of intent, as submitted, shall be deemed 
        to be approved.
    (e) Amendment to Declaration of Intent.--
            (1) In general.--The State Authorizing Officials may direct 
        the State Designated Officer to submit amendments to the 
        declaration of intent which is in effect. Such amendments shall 
        be submitted to the Secretary and considered by such officer 
        pursuant to subsection (d).
            (2) Amendments authorized.--A declaration of intent in 
        effect may be amended to--
                    (A) expand the scope of such declaration of intent 
                to encompass additional eligible programs;
                    (B) reduce the scope of such declaration of intent 
                by excluding coverage of a Federal program included in 
                the original declaration of intent;
                    (C) modifying the duration of such declaration of 
                intent; or
                    (D) such other modifications that the State 
                Authorizing Officials deem appropriate.
            (3) Effective date.--The amendment shall specify an 
        effective date. Such effective date shall provide adequate time 
        to assure full compliance with Federal program requirements 
        relating to an eligible program that has been removed from the 
        coverage of the declaration of intent by the proposed 
        amendment.
            (4) Treatment of program funds withdrawn from declaration 
        of intent.--Beginning on the effective date of an amendment 
        executed under paragraph (2)(B), each program requirement of 
        each program removed from the declaration of intent shall apply 
        to the State's use of funds made available under the program.

SEC. 3. TRANSPARENCY FOR RESULTS OF PUBLIC EDUCATION.

    (a) In General.--Each State operating under a declaration of intent 
pursuant to under this Act shall inform parents and the general public 
regarding the student achievement assessment system, demonstrating 
student progress relative to the State's determination of student 
proficiency, for the purpose of public accountability to parents and 
taxpayers.
    (b) Accountability System.--The accountability system shall be 
determined by the State.
    (c) Report on Student Progress.--Not later than 1 year after the 
effective date of the declaration of intent, and annually thereafter, a 
State shall disseminate widely to parents and the general public a 
report that describes student progress. The report shall include--
            (1) student performance data disaggregated in the same 
        manner as data are disaggregated under section 
        1111(b)(3)(C)(xiii) of the Elementary and Secondary Education 
        Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311(b)(3)(C)(xiii)); and
            (2) a description of how the State has used Federal funds 
        to improve academic achievement, reduce achievement disparities 
        between various student groups, and improve educational 
        opportunities for the disadvantaged.

SEC. 4. MAINTENANCE OF FUNDING LEVELS SPENT BY STATES ON EDUCATION.

    (a) In General.--For each State consolidating and using funds 
pursuant to a declaration of intent under this Act, for each school 
year of the declaration of intent, the aggregate amount of funds spent 
by the State on elementary and secondary education shall be not less 
than 90 percent of the aggregate amount of funds spent by the State on 
elementary and secondary education for the school year that coincides 
with the date of enactment of this Act.
    (b) Exception.--The requirement of subsection (a) may be waived by 
the State Authorizing Officials if the State having a declaration of 
intent in effect makes a determination, supported by specific findings, 
that uncontrollable or exceptional circumstances, such as a natural 
disaster or extreme contraction of economic activity, preclude 
compliance for a specified period, which may be extended. Such 
determination shall be presented to the Secretary by the State 
Designated Officer and action shall be taken in the manner prescribed 
by section 2(d).

SEC. 5. ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES.

    (a) In General.--Except as provided in subsection (b), the amount 
that a State with a declaration of intent may expend for administrative 
expenses shall be limited to 1 percent of the aggregate amount of 
Federal funds made available to the State through the eligible programs 
included within the scope of such declaration of intent.
    (b) States Not Consolidating Funds Under Part A of Title I.--If the 
declaration of intent does not include within its scope part A of title 
I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311 
et seq.), the amount spent on administrative expenses shall be limited 
to 3 percent of the aggregate amount of Federal funds made available to 
the State pursuant to such declaration of intent.

SEC. 6. EQUITABLE PARTICIPATION OF PRIVATE SCHOOLS.

    Funds made available by a State pursuant to a declaration of intent 
under this Act shall be distributed in a manner that provides for the 
equitable, as determined by the State, participation of private 
schools, and the students and professional staff of such schools.
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