Text: H.R.719 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (01/27/2017)

 
[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 719 Introduced in House (IH)]

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115th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 719

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

                            January 27, 2017

 Mr. Walker (for himself, Mr. Duncan of South Carolina, Mr. Brat, Mr. 
 DeSantis, Mr. Budd, Mr. Hudson, Mr. Gohmert, Mr. Buck, Mr. Grothman, 
Mr. Palmer, and Mr. Sensenbrenner) introduced the following bill; which 
      was referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 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.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Academic Partnerships Lead Us to 
Success Act'' or the ``A PLUS Act''.

SEC. 2. PURPOSES.

    The purposes of this Act are as follows:
            (1) To give States and local communities added 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.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) In general.--Except as otherwise provided, the terms 
        used in this Act have the meanings given the terms in section 
        8101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 
        U.S.C. 7801 et seq.).
            (2) 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.
            (3) 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.
            (4) 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)).
            (5) 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:
                    (A) The governor of the State.
                    (B) The highest elected education official of the 
                State, if any.
                    (C) The legislature of the State.
            (6) 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. 4. 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.
            (3) Removal of fiscal and accounting barriers.--Each State 
        educational agency that operates under a declaration of intent 
        under this Act shall modify or eliminate State fiscal and 
        accounting barriers that prevent local educational agencies and 
        schools from easily consolidating funds from other Federal, 
        State, and local sources in order to improve educational 
        opportunities and reduce unnecessary fiscal and accounting 
        requirements.
    (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;
            (7) a description of the plan for maintaining direct 
        accountability to parents and other citizens of the State; and
            (8) an assurance that in implementing the declaration of 
        intent, the State will seek to use Federal funds to supplement, 
        rather than supplant, State education funding.
    (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) achieve such other modifications as 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. 5. TRANSPARENCY FOR RESULTS OF PUBLIC EDUCATION.

    (a) In General.--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 
for the purpose of public accountability to parents and taxpayers.
    (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)(2)(B)(xi) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act 
        of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311(b)(2)(B)(xi)); 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. 6. 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. 7. 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 8501 of the 
Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7881).
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