Text: S.1210 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (06/20/2013)


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[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[S. 1210 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

113th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                S. 1210

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 SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             June 20, 2013

  Mr. Cornyn (for himself, Mr. Coburn, Mr. Grassley, Mr. Inhofe, Mr. 
  Rubio, Mr. Scott, Mr. Johnson of Wisconsin, Mr. Cruz, Mr. Lee, Mr. 
Wicker, and Mr. Boozman) introduced the following bill; which was read 
 twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and 
                                Pensions

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 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) 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 parents and taxpayers 
                regularly.
                    (B) Declaration of intent.--The term ``declaration 
                of intent'' means a decision by a State, as determined 
                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.
                    (C) 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)).
                    (D) 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 official 
                        of the State, if any.
                            (iii) The legislature of the State.
                    (E) 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.

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 the State's declaration of intent any program for which 
        Congress makes funds available to the State if the program is 
        for a purpose described in 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 declaration of intent 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;
            (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) Duration.--The duration of the declaration of intent shall not 
exceed 5 years.
    (e) Review and Recognition by the Secretary.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary shall review the declaration 
        of intent received from the State Designated Officer not more 
        than 60 days after the date of receipt of such declaration, and 
        shall recognize such declaration of intent unless the 
        declaration of intent fails to meet the requirements under 
        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.
    (f) Amendment to Declaration of Intent.--
            (1) In general.--The State Authorizing Officials may direct 
        the State Designated Officer to submit amendments to a 
        declaration of intent that is in effect. Such amendments shall 
        be submitted to the Secretary and considered by the Secretary 
        in accordance with subsection (e).
            (2) Amendments authorized.--A declaration of intent that is 
        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) modify 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.--
            (1) Informing the public about assessment and 
        proficiency.--Each State operating under a declaration of 
        intent 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, as described in paragraph 
        (2), for the purpose of accountability.
            (2) Assessment and standards.--Each State operating under a 
        declaration of intent under this Act shall establish and 
        implement a single system of academic standards and academic 
        assessments, including the development of student proficiency 
        goals. Such State may apply the academic assessments and 
        standards described under section 1111 of the Elementary and 
        Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311) or establish 
        and implement different academic assessments and standards.
    (b) Accountability System.--The State shall determine and establish 
an accountability system to ensure accountability under this Act.
    (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.--
            (1) State waiver claim.--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.
            (2) Action by the secretary.--The Secretary shall accept 
        the State's waiver, as described in paragraph (1), if the State 
        has presented evidence to support such waiver. The Secretary 
        shall review the waiver received from the State Designated 
        Officer not more than 60 days after the date of receipt. If the 
        Secretary fails to take action within that time frame, the 
        waiver, as submitted, shall be deemed to be approved.

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 by the State 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.

    Each State consolidating and using funds pursuant to a declaration 
of intent under this Act shall provide for the participation of private 
school children and teachers in the activities assisted under the 
declaration of intent in the same manner as participation is provided 
to private school children and teachers under section 9501 of the 
Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7881).
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