Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (07/08/2015)

Student Success Act

(Sec. 6) Reauthorizes through FY2019 the programs under titles I-IV of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by this Act.

(Sec. 7) Expresses the sense of Congress that states and local educational agencies (LEAs) retain the rights and responsibilities of determining educational curricula, programs of instruction, and assessments.

TITLE I--AID TO LOCAL EDUCATIONAL AGENCIES

Subtitle A--In General

(Sec. 101) Replaces title I (Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged) of the ESEA with a new title I (Aid to Local Educational Agencies) composed of parts A (Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged), B (National Assessment), and C (General Provisions).

(Sec. 103) Gives states and LEAs flexibility in transferring funds among the programs under part A of title I. (This Act consolidates programs under part A of title I that are currently located in different parts of title I and in titles III, VI, and VII of the ESEA.)

(Sec. 104) Increases, from 4% to 7%, the percentage of school improvement funds (allocated by this Act to states under a new subpart 1 of part A of title I) that are to be set aside for reallocation to LEAs to carry out the state's system of school improvement.

(Sec. 105) Requires states to set aside 3% of their allocation of school improvement funds for a Direct Student Services program awarding grants to LEAs to cover high quality academic tutoring services or the transportation costs students incur in exercising public school choice.

Subtitle B--Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged

(Sec. 111) Amends the education accountability requirements under part A of title I of the ESEA and places them in a new subpart 1 (Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Educational Agencies) under part A (Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged) of title I of the ESEA.

(Sec. 112) Maintains the requirement conditioning a state's receipt of school improvement funds on states developing and implementing academic content and achievement standards that are applicable to all public schools and public school students in the state.

Requires those academic content and achievement standards to cover mathematics, reading or language arts, and science and to ensure that all public school students graduate from high school fully prepared for postsecondary education or the workforce.

Allows states to adopt standards in any other subject.

Requires states to implement a set of high-quality assessments of student progress toward those standards that measure the overall performance of students in each public school and the performance of their poor, minority, disabled, and English learner subgroups. Requires such assessments to enable results to be disaggregated within each state, LEA, and school to indicate the performance of students within various specified subgroups. Eliminates the requirement that student performance be judged as basic, proficient, or advanced.

Requires the assessments in mathematics and reading or language arts to be administered in each of grades 3 through 8 and at least once in grades 9 through 12.

Requires the assessments in mathematics, reading or language arts, and science to: (1) measure individual student academic proficiency and, at the state's discretion, growth; (2) be administered through a single annual summative assessment or multiple assessments during an academic year; and (3) include measures that assess higher-order thinking skills and understanding.

Allows states to develop and administer computer adaptive assessments that measure student proficiency against, and growth toward, the standards for the student's grade level.

Allows states to adopt alternate academic achievement standards and assessments for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.

Requires states to establish English language proficiency standards that are aligned with their academic content standards in reading or language arts. Requires the annual assessment of the English proficiency of English learners (currently referred to as "limited English proficient students") to be aligned with the English language proficiency standards.

Eliminates the requirement that LEAs and schools make adequate yearly progress (AYP) toward state academic performance standards or be subject to specified improvements, corrective action, or restructuring.

Requires, instead, that each state accountability system: (1) use the state's academic achievement standards and assessments in mathematics and reading or language arts to evaluate the academic performance of each public school on an annual basis, and (2) require LEAs to implement interventions that address the weaknesses in each low-performing school.

Gives states two years after this Act's enactment to adopt and implement their academic standards, assessments, and accountability system.

Prohibits this Act from being construed as affecting state laws granting parents authority over schools that repeatedly failed to make AYP.

Maintains the requirement that states and LEAs prepare and disseminate an annual report card regarding the performance of their students and schools, but adapts it to this Act's accountability provisions.

Requires states to report, for each of their public high schools, in the aggregate and disaggregated by student subgroup: (1) the school's four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate; and (2) if applicable, the school's extended-year adjusted cohort graduation rate, reported separately for students graduating in five years or less, six years or less, and seven or more years.

Prohibits the Department of Education (ED) from, directly or indirectly, attempting to influence or coerce state: (1) adoption of the Common Core State Standards, any other standards common to a significant number of states, or assessments tied to such standards; or (2) participation in any voluntary partnership with another state to develop and implement academic assessments and standards.

(Sec. 115) Amends schoolwide programs that allow LEAs to consolidate school improvement funds to upgrade the entire educational program of schools, to eliminate the requirement that such schools serve a high proportion of low-income families.

Allows the delivery of schoolwide reform strategies by nonprofit and for-profit external providers that have expertise in using effective strategies to improve student achievement.

(Sec. 116) Allows the elements of Targeted Assistance programs, which direct school improvement funds toward the children in a school that are failing or most at risk of failing, to be delivered by nonprofit and for-profit external providers that have expertise in using effective strategies to improve student achievement.

(Sec. 117) Eliminates the School Support and Recognition program.

(Sec. 119) Repeals provisions that established deadlines by which teachers in basic programs operated by LEAs must be highly qualified.

(Sec. 120) Requires states to designate an ombudsman to ensure that private school children receive educational services and benefits that are equitable to those received by public school children under subpart 1.

Directs states, rather than LEAs, to provide or arrange for the provision of such services and benefits to private schools in certain circumstances.

(Sec. 124) Reserves 91.44% of the amounts authorized to be appropriated under subpart 1 of part A of title I for the Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Educational Agencies program.

(Sec. 126) Alters the percentages and numbers used in the formula allocating targeted grant funds to LEAs and makes those changes applicable beginning in FY2022 only if ED certifies that those changes will not harm any school district.

(Sec. 128) Alters the percentages and numbers used in the formula allocating education finance incentive grant funds to LEAs and makes those changes applicable beginning in FY2022 only if ED certifies that those changes will not harm any school district.

(Sec. 129) Authorizes states, to the extent permitted by state law, to allocate title I grant funds among their LEAs on the basis of the number of impoverished children enrolled in the public schools served by each LEA.

Subtitle C--Additional Aid to States and School Districts

(Sec. 131) Strikes parts B (Student Reading Skills Improvement Grants), F (Comprehensive School Reform), G (Advanced Placement Programs), and H (School Dropout Prevention) of title I of the ESEA.

Amends part C of the current title I and transfers it to a new subpart 2 (Education of Migratory Children) under part A of title I of the ESEA.

Alters the formula for allocating subpart 2 funds to states. Counts each state's: (1) average number of eligible full-time equivalent migratory children from the previous three years, and (2) number of migratory children who received services under summer or intercession programs the previous year.

Eliminates the program awarding competitive incentive grants to states that enter into a consortium with another state or entity that ED determines will improve the delivery of services to migratory children whose education is interrupted.

Reserves 2.45% of the amounts authorized to be appropriated under subpart 2 of part A of title I for the Education of Migratory Children program .

Amends part D of the current title I and transfers it to a new subpart 3 (Prevention and Intervention Programs for Children and Youth who are Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk) under part A of title I of the ESEA.

Requires states to place a priority on children in the program obtaining a regular high school diploma, if feasible.

Reserves 0.31% of the amounts authorized to be appropriated under subpart 3 of part A of title I for Prevention and Intervention Programs for Children and Youth who are Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk.

Amends part A of title III (Language Instruction for Limited English Proficient and Immigrant Students) and transfers it to a new subpart 4 (English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement) under part A of title I of the ESEA. (The program provides grants to states and, through them, grants to LEAs to improve the education of English learners.)

Changes the current references to "limited English proficient students" to "English learners."

Directs ED, for the purpose of determining each state's allotment, to determine the number of English learners in each state using: (1) data from the American Community Survey, conducted by the Department of Commerce; or (2) the number of students being assessed by the state for English language proficiency. Requires the number of immigrant youth in each state to be determined using data from that survey.

Removes English language proficiency standards requirements, which are now covered in subpart 1 of part A of title I. Requires the states to report to ED, and ED to report to Congress, annually, rather than biennially, on the effectiveness of the grant program in improving the education of English learners.

Includes public or private organizations with the experience and capacity to improve instruction for English learners as eligible grant recipients under the National Professional Development Project. Allows those grants to be used to disseminate effective practices in teaching English learners and to increase parent and community engagement in their education.

Eliminates the Improving Language Instruction Educational programs under part B of title III.

Transfers requirements for the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition and

Language Instruction Educational Programs under part C of title III to subpart 4 under part A of title I of the ESEA.

Reserves 4.6% of the amounts authorized to be appropriated under subpart 4 of part A of title I for the English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement program.

Amends part B (Rural Education Initiative) of title VI (Flexibility and Accountability) and transfers it to a new subpart 5 (Rural Education Achievement Program) under part A of title I of the ESEA.

Directs ED to reserve: (1) 0.6% of the amounts authorized to be appropriated under part A of title I to award grants to rural LEAs under the Small, Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program; and (2) 0.6% to award grants to states and, through them, rural LEAs under the Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) program.

Requires grant funds under both programs to be used for activities authorized under Part A of title I, title II, and title III of the ESEA.

Updates the locale codes used in determining whether schools are in a rural area.

Prohibits LEAs that are eligible to participate in the SRSA and RLIS programs from receiving funds under both programs.

Subtitle D--National Assessment

(Sec. 141) Amends part E (National Assessment) of title I and transfers it to a new part B of title I of the ESEA.

Repeals the Demonstrations of Innovative Practices grant program and the Close Up Fellowship program.

Requires ED, acting through the Director of the Institute of Education Sciences (Director), to conduct a national assessment of the success of the title I programs in helping all students graduate from high school prepared for postsecondary education or the workforce.

Transfers to the Director responsibility for carrying out: (1) the longitudinal study of schools receiving school improvement funds under subpart 1 of part A, and (2) the independent study of the assessments used for state accountability purposes.

Subtitle E--Title I General Provisions

(Sec. 151) Amends part I (General Provisions) of title I and transfers it to a new part C of title I of the ESEA.

Sets forth the rulemaking procedure ED is to follow if a negotiated rulemaking process under title I is unnecessary or the individuals chosen to participate in the process fail to reach unanimous agreement.

Requires each state to identify any duplicative or conflicting requirements between state and federal rules or regulations, eliminate those state rules or regulations that are duplicative, and resolve conflicts.

Requires public charter school leaders and representatives of public charter school authorizers to be included on each state's committee of practitioners that advises the state on carrying out its responsibilities under title I.

Prohibits this Act from being construed to alter the rights afforded to school or LEA employees under collective bargaining agreements or other agreements between such employees and their employers.

TITLE II--TEACHER PREPARATION AND EFFECTIVENESS

(Sec. 201) Replaces title II (Preparing, Training, and Recruiting High Quality Teachers and Principals) of the ESEA with a new title II (Teacher Preparation and Effectiveness).

Directs ED, under part A (Supporting Effective Instruction) of title II, to make formula

grants to states and, through them, subgrants to LEAs that LEAs may use to:

  • develop and implement a teacher evaluation system;
  • implement a statewide teacher evaluation system if their state is implementing one;
  • train school leaders or other individuals to evaluate teachers or school leaders;
  • implement a statewide school leader evaluation system if their state is implementing one;
  • develop and implement a school leader evaluation system if a statewide system is not being implemented;
  • provide training to teachers and school leaders that is evidence-based, job-embedded, and continuous;
  • partner with public or private organizations to develop and implement the teacher evaluation system or administer professional development;
  • carry out activities under part B of title II; or
  • reduce class size, though they are not to use more than 10% of the subgrant to do so.

Provides that a teacher evaluation system developed and implemented by an LEA may: (1) use student achievement data derived from a variety of sources as a significant factor in determining a teacher's evaluation, with the weight given to such data defined by the LEA; (2) use multiple measures of evaluation; (3) use more than two categories for rating teachers; (4) be used by the LEA to make personnel decisions; and (5) be based on input from parents and school staff.

Allocates part A grants to states and, through them, subgrants to LEAs pursuant to a formula that apportions: (1) 50% of the funding to states and LEAs on the basis of their share of students aged 5-17 on the national and state level, respectively; and (2) 50% of such funding on the basis of their share of impoverished students in that age group.

Alters such formula for allotting funds to states for any fiscal year in which the amount allotted to LEAs that serve a high percentage of impoverished children falls below the amount allotted to such LEAs for FY2015.

Requires states to use 95% of their part A grant for subgrants to LEAs, with the remainder being used for specified state activities that include the provision of technical assistance and training to LEAs.

Requires ED to reserve 75% of title II appropriations for the part A program.

Requires LEAs that are implementing a teacher or school leader evaluation system to report annually to their state the results of such evaluation system.

Directs ED, under part B (Teacher and School Leader Flexible Grant) of title II, to make formula grants to states and, through them, competitive matching subgrants to LEAs, institutions of higher education, and business or nonprofit entities to develop, implement, and evaluate comprehensive programs and activities that may include:

  • initiatives to assist in recruiting, hiring, and retaining highly effective teachers and school leaders;
  • support for the establishment or expansion of teacher or school leader preparation academies;
  • the recruitment of qualified individuals from other fields;
  • model instructional programs;
  • evidence-based, job embedded, continuous professional development for teachers and school leaders;
  • programs that are based on the current science of learning; and
  • recruitment and training of teachers to teach dual credit, dual enrollment, Advanced Placement, or International Baccalaureate postsecondary-level courses to secondary school students.

Allots part B grants to states based on their proportion of the country's school-age population.

Requires states to use at least 92% of their part B grant for subgrants to LEAs.

Requires states to reserve up to 4% of their part B grant for innovative teacher and school leader activities that include: (1) certification, recertification, licensing, and tenure system reforms; (2) alternative routes for state certification or licensure; (3) pay incentives; and (4) induction, mentoring, and training programs.

Allows state to reserve up to 3% of their part B grant to support: (1) the establishment or expansion of teacher or school leader preparation academies; and (2) state authorizers for such academies.

Requires the state to evaluate periodically the effectiveness of those academies and part B subgrantees.

Requires ED to reserve 25% of title II appropriations for the part B program.

Directs ED to: (1) provide technical assistance to states and subgrantees in carrying out activities under parts A and B of title II, and (2) conduct national evaluations of those activities through the Institute of Education Sciences.

Preserves the teacher liability protection provisions under part C (Innovation for Teacher Quality) of title II, but eliminates the other programs under part C.

Replaces part D (Enhancing Education through Technology) of title II with a new part D (General Provisions).

Treats charter schools as LEAs under title II.

Requires LEAs receiving grants under title II to notify parents, at the beginning of each school year, of the availability of the results of the evaluations of their children's teachers.

Requires state applications for part A grants to include specified information with respect to policies and procedures regarding background checks for school employees and contractors.

Makes a state or LEA ineligible for ESEA funds if it knowingly facilitates the transfer of an employee that it knows or has probable cause to believe has engaged in sexual misconduct with a student.

TITLE III--PARENTAL ENGAGEMENT AND LOCAL FLEXIBILITY

(Sec. 301) Replaces title III (Language Instruction for Limited English Proficient and Immigrant Students) of the ESEA with a new title III (Parental Engagement and Local Flexibility).

Expresses the sense of Congress that charter schools are a critical part of the education system and that the opening of more quality charter schools must be supported.

Amends subparts 1 (Charter School Programs) and 2 (Credit Enhancement Initiatives to Assist Charter School Facility Acquisition, Construction, and Renovation) of part B of title V (Promoting Informed Parental Choice and Innovative Programs) and moves them to a new subpart 1 (Charter School Program) under part A (Parental Engagement) of title III.

Replaces the current charter school grant program with a program awarding grants to state entities (state educational agencies, state charter school boards, governors, or charter school support organizations) and, through them, subgrants to charter school developers to open new charter schools and expand and replicate high-quality charter schools.

Requires grantees to use at least 7% of the grant funds to: (1) provide technical assistance to subgrantees and authorized public chartering agencies, and (2) work with those agencies to improve the charter school authorization process.

Prohibits grantees from reserving more than 3% of the grant funds for administrative costs.

Directs the Comptroller General (GAO) to submit a report to ED and Congress, within three years of this Act's enactment, examining the appropriateness of that level of authorized funding for administrative costs.

Limits the duration of charter school grants and subgrants to no more than five years. Gives subgrantees no more than 18 months to plan and design their programs.

Prohibits ED from awarding a charter school grant to a state entity if such award would result in more than one charter school grant being carried out in a state at the same time. Limits subgrantees to no more than one subgrant per charter school over a five-year period, unless the subgrantee demonstrates at least three years of improved educational results for students enrolled in the applicable charter school.

Requires ED and each grantee to use a peer review process to review applications for charter school grants and subgrants.

Requires grantees to award subgrants in a manner that ensures that subgrants: (1) are distributed to different areas, and (2) assist charter schools representing a variety of educational approaches.

Permits ED to waive certain statutory or regulatory requirements if the waiver is requested by a grant applicant and promotes the purpose of the Charter School program without tampering with what is definitionally required of charter schools.

Directs ED to give priority to grant applicants to the extent that they are from states that:

  • have a quality authorized public chartering agency that is not an LEA, if the state allows entities other than LEAs to be authorized public chartering agencies;
  • have an appeals process for the denial of a charter school application, if LEAs are the only authorized public chartering agencies;
  • do not impose any limitation on the number or percentage of charter schools that may exist or the number or percentage of students that may attend charter schools;
  • ensure equitable financing, as compared to traditional public schools, for charter schools and students in a prompt manner; and
  • use charter schools and best practices from charter schools to help improve struggling schools and LEAs.

Directs ED to give priority to grant applicants also to the extent that they:

  • partner with an organization experienced in developing management organizations to support charter school development,
  • support charter schools that support at-risk students,
  • authorize all their charter schools to serve as school food authorities,
  • take steps to ensure that all authorizing public chartering agencies implement best practices for charter school authorizing, and
  • demonstrate that their state provides charter schools with specified assistance in acquiring or accessing charter school facilities.

Revises the program awarding grants to public entities and private nonprofit entities to demonstrate innovative means of enhancing credit to finance the acquisition, construction, or renovation of charter schools.

Requires ED to award credit enhancement grants to applicants that have the highest-quality applications after considering the diversity of such applications. (Currently, ED is required to award at least three grants, including at least one to a public entity, one to a private nonprofit entity, and one to a consortium of such entities, provided an application from each merits approval.)

Prohibits grant recipients from using more than 2.5% (currently, 0.25%) of their grant for administrative costs.

Revises the per-pupil facilities aid program (under which ED makes competitive matching grants to states to provide per-pupil financing to charter schools) to allow states to: (1) partner with organizations to provide up to 50% of the state share of funding for the program, and (2) receive more than one program grant so long as the amount of the grant funds provided to charter schools increases with each successive grant.

Allows states that are required by state law to provide charter schools with access to adequate facility space to qualify for a grant under the program even if they do not have a per-pupil facilities aid program for charter schools specified in state law, provided they agree to use the funds to develop such a program.

Directs ED to conduct national activities that include:

  • providing state entities with technical assistance in awarding subgrants to charter school developers;
  • providing technical assistance to grantees under the credit enhancement and per-pupil facilities aid programs;
  • disseminating best practices;
  • evaluating the charter school program's impact, including its impact on student achievement; and
  • awarding competitive grants directly to charter school developers (in states that have not applied for or received a charter school grant) and to charter management organizations to open, replicate, and expand charter schools.

Requires ED and each state to ensure that every charter school receives the federal funding for which it is eligible within five months after it first opens and within five months of expanding its enrollment.

Directs ED to consult with administrators, teachers, and other individuals directly involved in the operation of charter schools in developing rules and regulations relating to charter schools.

Requires states and LEAs to ensure that a student's records and, if applicable, individualized education program are transferred as quickly as possible to a charter school or another public school when the student transfers from one such school to the other.

Allows charter schools to serve prekindergarten or postsecondary school students.

Defines a "charter management organization" as a nonprofit organization that manages a network of charter schools linked by centralized support, operations, and oversight.

Directs ED to use: (1) 12.5% of subpart 1 funding for credit enhancement grants and the per-pupil facilities aid program, (2) up to 10% of such funding for ED's national activities, and (3) the remaining funds for the charter school grant program.

Amends part C of title V of the ESEA and transfers it to a new subpart 2 (Magnet Schools Assistance) of part A of title III.

Directs ED, when using appropriations for subpart 2 that exceed a specified amount, to give grant priority to LEAs or consortia of LEAs that did not receive a grant under the program for the preceding fiscal year.

Establishes a subpart 3 (Family Engagement in Education Programs) of part A of title III.

Authorizes ED to award grants to statewide organizations to establish Statewide Family Engagement Centers that provide comprehensive training and technical assistance to states, LEA, schools, and organizations that support family engagement in education.

Requires grantees to use: (1) at least 65% of their part A grant to serve LEAs, schools, and community-based organizations that serve high concentrations of disadvantaged students; and (2) at least 30% of their grant to establish or expand technical assistance for evidence-based parent education programs.

Directs the Department of the Interior to establish, or enter into agreements with local Indian nonprofit parent organizations to establish and operate, Family Engagement Centers.

Establishes a part B (Local Academic Flexible Grant) of title III under which ED allots funds to states, based on their proportion of the school improvement funds awarded to all states under title I of the ESEA, for: (1) specified state activities; (2) competitive grants to LEAs, community-based organizations, businesses, and IHEs to improve student academic achievement and student engagement through student support programs; and (3) competitive matching grants to nongovernmental entities to improve academic achievement and student engagement.

Includes among those state activities: (1) developing, administering, auditing, or improving the state educational assessments and standards required under title I of the ESEA; (2) awarding grants for the creation and distribution of open access textbooks and open educational resources; and (3) awarding no more than 5% of grant funds as competitive subgrants to LEAs, charter schools, or consortia of such entities to carry out blended learning projects. Defines a "blended learning project" as a formal education program that:

  • includes an element of online learning and instructional time in a supervised location away from home;
  • includes an element of student control over time, path, or pace; and
  • connects the elements of the education program to provide an integrated learning experience.

Requires the grant-funded student support programs to focus on: (1) supplemental student support activities, such as before, after, or summer school activities, tutoring, and expanded learning time; and (2) activities designed to support students, such as academic subject specific programs, adjunct teacher programs, extended learning time programs, dual enrollment programs, and parent engagement.

Requires states to reserve: (1) at least 75% of their part B grant for the competitive grants to LEAs, community-based organizations, and businesses; (2) at least 8% of the grant for the competitive matching grants to nongovernmental entities; and (3) no more than 17% of the grant for the state activities.

TITLE IV--IMPACT AID

(Sec. 401) Repeals title IV (21st Century Schools) and replaces it with the Impact Aid program currently under title VIII of the ESEA. (The Impact Aid program compensates LEAs for the financial burden of federal activities affecting their areas.)

Amends the Impact Aid program to alter methods used and considerations made in determining whether LEAs are eligible for Impact Aid payments, as well as formulae used in determining the amounts they are owed.

(Sec. 402) Allows ED to use original records or, if those records are unavailable due to unintentional destruction, other records to determine the assessed value of federal property within an LEA.

Allows LEAs to be eligible for Impact Aid due to federal ownership of property within their jurisdiction if records to determine that eligibility were destroyed prior to FY2000 and the LEA received Impact Aid funds on that basis in the previous year.

Allows certain LEAs formed by the consolidation of two or more former school districts to have their eligibility for Impact Aid payments due to federal ownership of property within their jurisdiction determined on the basis of one or more of those former school districts if at least one of those school districts was eligible for such payments for the fiscal year preceding that consolidation.

(Sec. 403) Alters the formula for determining the payments due LEAs for eligible federally connected children.

Includes not only federally connected children in average daily attendance, but also those enrolled pursuant to a state open enrollment policy. Excludes children engaged in a distance education program at an LEA but residing outside the LEA's area.

Alters eligibility requirements for heavily impacted LEAs, which are those that serve high percentages of military, Native American, or other federally connected children.

(Sec. 406) Makes heavily impacted LEAs eligible for Impact Aid construction payments.

Makes LEAs that are eligible for payments due to federally connected children eligible for emergency school repair and modernization grants if at least 10% of the property in their area is exempt from state and local taxation under federal law.

(Sec. 413) Amends the Impact Aid Improvement Act of 2012 to make permanent the amendments that Act made to the Impact Aid program that:

  • require the valuation of the federal property located within the boundaries of an LEA by calculating the valuation, for property tax purposes, of all property within the LEA's boundaries and then multiplying that value by the proportion of that property that is federal property;
  • alter the formula for determining the foundation payments due LEAs for federal ownership of property when appropriations for a fiscal year are insufficient to provide them with full compensation;
  • alter the formula for determining the payments due LEAs for eligible federally connected children who are displaced from federal property or Indian lands due to housing renovation or rebuilding; and
  • direct ED to complete Impact Aid payments to eligible LEAs within three fiscal years of their appropriation.

TITLE V--THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S TRUST RESPONSIBILITY TO AMERICAN INDIAN, ALASKA NATIVE, AND NATIVE HAWAIIAN EDUCATION

(Sec. 501) Revises the programs currently under title VII (Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native Education) of the ESEA and places them under parts A (Indian Education), B (Alaska Native Education), and C (Native Hawaiian Education) of a new title V.

Amends subpart 1 (Formula Grants to Local Educational Agencies) of part A to allow Indian tribes, Indian organizations, and Alaska Native organizations to receive those formula grants if an eligible LEA fails to establish a committee of Indian and Alaska Native students and their family members and teachers to participate in the development of an Indian education program. Allows Indian and Alaska Native community-based organizations to apply for such grants if those entities do not.

Requires LEA grantees to directly involve tribes, Indian organizations, and Alaska Native organizations in the development of the comprehensive Indian education programs and ensure that they play an active, meaningful, on ongoing role in the programs.

Adds to the activities that may be supported by those grants: (1) Native American language immersion programs and Native American language restoration programs, (2) violence and suicide prevention education activities, (3) dropout prevention strategies, and (4) activities that address the educational needs of at-risk Indian and Alaska Native students who are in correctional facilities or transitioning from those facilities to schools.

Amends subpart 2 (Special Programs and Projects to Improve Educational Opportunities for Indian Children and Youth) of part A to include Alaska Native organizations as eligible recipients of grants under that subpart.

Authorizes an Indian tribe to enter into written cooperative agreements with states and LEAs to assume the role of the state or LEA with respect to schools on Indian land. Requires the burdens assumed by the tribe to be commensurate with the benefit conveyed to all parties to the agreement.

Establishes a new program under subpart 3 (National Activities) of part A requiring ED to award grants to states, LEAs, and Indian entities for: (1) Native American language programs, and (2) Native American language restoration programs.

Omits from that subpart programs: (1) funding in-service training for teachers of Indian children, (2) awarding fellowships to Indian students, (3) establishing two centers for gifted and talented Indian students and demonstration projects addressing the needs of such students, and (4) supporting the improvement of educational opportunities for adult Indians.

Amends the Alaska Native Educational Equity, Support, and Assistance Act under part B (entitled the "Alaska Native Educational Equity, Support, and Assistance Act") to make the following entities eligible for Alaska Native education grants only if they are partnered with an Alaska Native organization: (1) states, (2) LEAs, (3) educational entities with experience in developing or operating Alaska Native educational programs or instructional programs conducted in Alaska Native languages, and (4) cultural and community-based organizations with experience in developing or operating Alaska Native education programs.

Limits Alaska Native education grant activities to those provided specifically in the context of elementary and secondary education.

Requires grant recipients to: (1) develop and implement plans, methods, and strategies to improve the educational outcomes of Alaska Natives; and (2) collect data to assist in the evaluation of Alaska Native education programs.

Adds as permissible uses of grant funds:

  • training programs that lead to the certification and licensing of Alaska Native teachers, principals, and superintendents;
  • student enrichment programs that prepare Alaska Native children to excel in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics while recognizing and supporting their unique cultural and educational needs;
  • activities to increase the graduation rates and college and career readiness of Alaska Native students, such as remedial, enrichment, and culturally based education programs;
  • statewide on-site exchange programs, for both students and teachers, to facilitate cultural relationships between urban and rural Alaskans;
  • education programs for at-risk urban Alaska Native students in kindergarten through grade 12;
  • statewide programs providing schools and communities with technical assistance and support to engage adults in promoting the academic progress and overall well-being of Alaska Natives;
  • regional leadership academies that promote Alaska Natives' completion of higher education or career training; and
  • strategies designed to increase the involvement of parents in their children's education.

Removes the development and operation of home instruction programs for Alaska Native preschool children from the list of permissible grant activities.

Gives grant priority to Alaska Native organizations.

Requires those organizations to have a meaningful role in the development, implementation, and evaluation of the grant programs.

Amends the Native Hawaiian Education Act under part C to revise the duties and composition of the Native Hawaiian Education Council. (The Council coordinates the educational and related services and programs available to Native Hawaiians.)

Requires the Council to be composed of 15 members who: (1) are from certain educational, governmental, Trust, and grant-making entities; and (2) demonstrate at least five years of experience as consumers or providers of Native Hawaiian education or cultural activities.

Directs the Council, in addition to its existing duties, to: (1) serve as a clearinghouse for the educational and related services and programs available to Native Hawaiians, and (2) provide technical assistance to Native Hawaiian organizations that apply for or receive Native Hawaiian Education program grants.

Requires the Council to hold at least one community consultation each year on each of the islands of Hawaii, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Oahu, and Kauai regarding Native Hawaiian education program grants and other education issues. Eliminates the requirement that the council meet at least four times each year with an island council composed of parents, students, and other Native Hawaiian education stakeholders.

Includes charter schools as eligible recipients of Native Hawaiian Education program grants, in addition to Native Hawaiian education organizations, Native Hawaiian community-based organizations, and public and private nonprofit entities.

Removes the provision of scholarships for undergraduate or graduate studies from the list of authorized grant activities.

Gives grant priority to programs that: (1) meet the educational priorities established by the Council; (2) repair and renovate public schools that serve high concentrations of Native Hawaiian students; (3) meet the unique cultural and language needs of Native Hawaiian students in order to help them meet challenging state academic achievement standards; and (4) involve states, LEAs, or institutions of higher education in partnerships or consortia.

Requires ED to use funds made available for Native Hawaiian Education program grants before this Act's enactment to support: (1) the repair and renovation of public schools that serve high concentrations of Native Hawaiian students; (2) access to Hawaiian culture and history through digital archives; (3) informal education programs that connect traditional Hawaiian knowledge, science, astronomy, and the environment through state museums or learning centers; and (4) public charter schools serving high concentrations of Native Hawaiian students.

Authorizes FY2016-FY2019 appropriations for the title V programs.

TITLE VI--GENERAL PROVISIONS FOR THE ACT

(Sec. 601) Replaces title VI (Flexibility and Accountability) of the ESEA with a new title VI (General Provisions). Amends title IX (General Provisions) and transfers it to the new title VI.

Repeals the ESEA's definition of "core academic subjects."

Requires ED to establish a multi-disciplinary peer review team to review requests for waivers of statutory or regulatory requirements under the ESEA. Allows ED to approve a waiver request without conducting a peer review, but requires such review before a request can be disapproved.

Requires peer reviewers to review waiver requests in their totality, in deference to state and local judgment, and with the goal of promoting state and local innovation.

Prohibits ED from imposing, directly or indirectly, new or additional requirements that are not specified in the ESEA on states, LEAs, or Indian tribes in exchange for the receipt of a waiver. Sets a three-year limit on waivers, but authorizes ED to extend those that are effective.

Prohibits states from considering payments under the ESEA, other than under title IV, in determining an LEA's eligibility for state aid or the amount of that aid.

Requires the services and benefits provided to public school children and educational personnel under subparts 2 and 4 of part A of title I, parts A and B of title II, and part B of title III to be equitably provided to private school children and educational personnel. Requires states to use the ombudsman designated under subpart 1 of part A of title I to ensure that occurs.

Requires states to determine, in a timely manner, the proportion of funds to be allocated to LEAs for private school children and notify the LEAs and private school officials of such allocation. Requires funds allocated to an LEA for private school students to be obligated in the fiscal year for which the LEA received the funds.

Gives private school officials a process to appeal for services directly from their state when their LEA fails to meet consultation or service requirements.

Gives states 45 days to resolve complaints regarding violations of private school participation requirements before an appeal may be made to ED.

Removes the prohibition on LEAs receiving funds for an ESEA program if the applicable state and LEA do not maintain their funding of free public education at not less than 90% of their funding for the second preceding fiscal year.

Prohibits the federal government from directly or indirectly mandating, directing, incentivizing, or controlling a state, LEA, or school's specific instructional content, academic standards and assessments, curricula, or program of instruction.

Prohibits the use of this Act's funding on materials or programs that normalize teen sexual activity as an expected behavior.

Prohibits any state that opts out of receiving funds, or that has not been awarded funds, under one or more of the ESEA's programs from being required to carry out any of the requirements of such program or programs.

Prohibits ED from: (1) imposing any requirements or exercising any authority over school administration that is not explicitly authorized under the ESEA, (2) issuing any regulations or non-regulatory guidance without first consulting with local stakeholders and fairly addressing their concerns, or (3) denying any LEA the right to object to any administrative requirement.

Prohibits the use of funds by a state or LEA that contracts with a school-based health center that fails to certify that the center will neither perform an abortion nor provide abortion-related information to any student.

Requires LEAs to notify each secondary school student's parent of the option to submit a written request to the LEA that the student's name, address, and telephone listing not be released to military recruiters or IHEs without the parent's prior written consent. Gives students this option when they reach age 18.

Establishes requirements regarding the peer review panels used under the ESEA to review program applications. Prohibits federal employees from participating in, or working to influence, the peer review process.

Gives ED one year after this Act's enactment to eliminate those staff positions associated with programs eliminated or consolidated by this Act.

Directs ED, acting through the Institute of Educational Sciences, to contract with an economist to issue an annual report on the reduced level of federal funding and Department of Education employees needed to comply with ESEA provisions, as amended by this Act.

Prohibits ED from forcing a state to satisfy any requirement imposed as a condition of receiving assistance under an ESEA grant program.

Prohibits ED from releasing assistance to a state under an ESEA grant program unless the state's legislature has by law expressly approved the program. Allows that approval to be accomplished by a vote to affirm a state budget that includes the use of such federal funds, but requires that budget to expressly include any requirement imposed as a condition on the state's receipt of those funds.

Prohibits ESEA funds that are not allocated to a state due to the state's failure to affirmatively agree to their receipt from being reallocated among the other states.

Expresses the intent of Congress that control over public education and parental rights to control their children's education is vested exclusively within the authority reserved to the states and individual Americans by the Constitution, except when states expressly approve federal terms or conditions on educational assistance or the federal government is obliged to enforce minimum federal equal protection or due process standards.

Directs ED to ensure that grantees understand the importance of student privacy protections and are aware of their responsibilities with respect to such protections.

Directs ED, acting through the Institute of Educational Sciences, to develop a comprehensive, multi-year plan for the periodic evaluation of the major categorical programs authorized under the ESEA and, as resources permit, the smaller categorical programs.

Places the gun-free school requirements in part A (Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities) of title IV of the ESEA in the new title VI.

TITLE VII--HOMELESS EDUCATION

(Sec. 701) Amends the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act's program of grants to states and, through them, subgrants to LEAs for the education of homeless youth. Includes amendments that: (1) require student-centered factors to be considered before an LEA places a homeless youth in a school, (2) require schools to enroll homeless youth immediately despite missed application or enrollment deadlines, (3) protect the privacy of information about a homeless youth's living situation, and (4) focus on the identification of homeless youth.

Requires states to develop and implement professional development programs for LEA personnel and liaisons for homeless youth to assist them in identifying homeless youth and satisfying their needs.

Requires the LEA liaisons to ensure that: (1) school personnel providing services to homeless youth receive professional development and other support; and (2) unaccompanied youth are enrolled in school, have opportunities to meet the same state academic standards to which other students are held, and are informed of their status as independent students for financial aid purposes.

Requires states, through their Coordinator for Education of Homeless Children and Youths, to inform homeless youth and their parents or guardians of the duties of the LEA liaisons and to annually publish an updated list of the liaisons.

(Sec. 703) Allows LEAs to use subgrant funds: (1) on activities designed to increase the meaningful involvement of parents or guardians in the education of homeless youth, or (2) to address the particular needs of homeless youth that may arise from parental mental health or substance abuse problems.

(Sec. 704) Directs ED to provide support and technical assistance to states in areas in which barriers to a free appropriate public education persist.

(Sec. 706) Authorizes appropriations for that program for FY2016-FY2019.

TITLE VIII--MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

(Sec. 801) Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) confidentiality agreements between LEAs or schools and suspected child sex abusers should be prohibited, (2) the practice of transferring employees after suspected or proven sexual misconduct should stop, (3) states should require LEAs and schools to report sexual conduct between an employee and a minor to law enforcement, and (4) Congress should work to protect children and stop these unacceptable practices in our schools.

(Sec. 802) Directs ED to take specified actions to stop or prevent the improper use of taxpayer funds.

(Sec. 804) Prohibits a state from requiring an LEA to use funds for excess payments to a teacher retirement or pension system.

(Sec. 805) Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) students, teachers, and administrators retain the right to free exercise of religion during the school day or while on school grounds; and (2) schools should examine their policies to ensure that such individuals are able to fully participate in activities related to their religious freedom while on school grounds.

TITLE IX--SCHOOLS OF THE FUTURE ACT

Schools of the Future Act

(Sec. 903) Authorizes ED to award competitive grants to eligible partnerships to implement and evaluate the results of technology-based learning practices, strategies, tools, or courses.

(Sec. 905) Dedicates at least 50% of grant funding to rural schools.

(Sec. 906) Authorizes an eligible partnership to use grant funds to: (1) develop or implement the technology for technology-based learning, (2) purchase hardware or software (though such purchases may not exceed 50% of total grant funds), (3) address the particular needs of student subgroups, (4) provide technology-related professional development, and (5) address issues of cost and capacity in rural areas and shortage subjects.

(Sec. 907) Requires each eligible partnership to complete a publicly available program evaluation after the third year of grant implementation.

Directs ED to evaluate program implementation and identify best practices.