Summary: H.R.3941 — 97th Congress (1981-1982)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.3941. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (06/17/1981)

Education Consolidation and Improvement Act of 1981 - Expresses the sense of Congress, with respect to the education of handicapped children, that: (1) the Education of All Handicapped Children Act needs to be amended in the light of limited financial resources and questions of administration and application; and (2) it would not be advisable at this time to consolidate funds for the education of disadvantaged children.

Declares that the national interest in the education of handicapped children would be best served by the establishment of a national commission to study the operation of the Education of All Handicapped Children Act and to advise the President, the Secretary of Education, and the Congress on appropriate amendments to or restructuring of such Act by January 15, 1982.

Title I: Financial Assistance to Meet Special Educational Needs of Children - Declares it to be the policy of the United States to continue to provide financial assistance to State and local educational agencies to meet the special needs of educationally deprived children, on the basis of entitlements calculated under title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), in a manner which will eliminate burdensome and unproductive paperwork and free the schools of Federal supervision.

Directs the Secretary of Education, during fiscal years 1983 through 1987, to make payments to State educational agencies for grants made on the basis of entitlements created under title I of ESEA and calculated in accordance with provisions of such title in effect on September 30, 1982.

Directs the Secretary, in making such payments, to continue to utilize specified provisions of title I of such Act, with the exception of provisions relating to local program requirements and applications and to State and Federal administration of programs and projects.

Requires that State and local educational agencies use such payments for programs and projects (including the acquisition of equipment and the construction of school facilities) designed to meet the special educational needs of educationally deprived children. Requires that State agency programs be designed to serve those categories of children (migratory, handicapped, neglected and delinquent) counted for eligibility for grants under specified ESEA provisions in accordance with the requirements of this title. Requires that local educational agencies use ESEA funds received under this title only for programs and projects: (1) designed to meet the special educational needs of educationally deprived children identified in accordance with specified provisions of this title; and (2) included in an application for assistance approved by the State educational agency and containing specified assurances concerning such programs and projects.

Provides for the participation of children enrolled in private schools in special educational services and arrangements. Provides for appeals by State and local educational agencies of determinations by the Secretary that a local educational agency has substantially failed to provide for such participation on an equitable basis and that an alternative provider of such services should be sought.

Sets forth requirements relating to: (1) maintenance of effort; (2) use of funds limited to excess costs; (3) Federal funds to supplement, not supplant regular non-Federal funds; (4) comparability of services (and written assurances thereof by local agencies); (5) exclusion of special State and local program funds; and (6) allocation of funds in certain States.

Title II: Consolidation of Federal Programs for Elementary and Secondary Education - Declares it to be the purpose of this title: (1) to consolidate the program authorizations contained in titles II through IX of ESEA into a single authorization of grants to States for the same purposes set forth in such titles, but to be used in accordance with the educational needs and priorities of each State as determined by the State; and (2) to financially assist State and local educational agencies to improve elementary and secondary education (including preschool education) for public and private school children, in a manner which eliminates administrative and paperwork burdens on the schools.

Vests basic responsibility for the administration of funds made available under this title in State educational agencies. Admonishes such agencies to discharge such responsibility in a manner which will not impose an unreasonable administrative burden. Declares the intent of Congress that the responsibility for the design and implementation of programs assisted under this title is mainly that of local boards of education, school superintendents and principals, classroom teachers, and supporting personnel.

Authorizes appropriations for fiscal years 1983 through 1987.

Sets forth provisions for allotments to States and for State grant applications.

Requires that a State educational agency distribute at least 80 percent of the sums received as a State allotment to local educational agencies. Provides that such allocation be according to relative enrollments in public and nonpublic schools within the school districts of the local agencies, adjusted to provide higher per pupil allocations to agencies with the greatest numbers or percentages of children whose education imposes a higher average cost per child, such as children: (1) from low-income families; (2) of limited English proficiency; or (3) living in sparsely populated areas. Directs the Secretary to approve State agency criteria for such allocation adjustment if such criteria are reasonably calculated to produce an equitable distribution of funds.

Sets forth requirements for local educational agency applications to receive such allocations.

Requires that specified funds be used by State and local educational agencies to develop and implement a basic skills improvement program, as formerly authorized under title II of ESEA (Basic Skills Improvement).

Authorizes State educational agencies to provide leadership and support for the basic skills improvement program. Sets forth requirements for school level basic skills improvement programs which local educational agencies must meet in applying for program funds.

Authorizes State education agencies to carry out selected activities from among the full range of programs and projects formerly authorized under titles IV, V, VI, and VII of ESEA (Educational Improvement, Resources, and Support; State Leadership; Emergency School Aid; and Bilingual Education Programs) and titles III, VIII, and IX of ESEA (Special Projects; Community Schools; and Additional Programs for Gifted and Talented Children, Educational Proficiency Standards, and Women's Educational Equity), in accordance with requirements of this title, including a planned allocation of funds set forth in the State application. Sets forth authorized activities under such programs and projects.

Sets forth requirements relating to: (1) maintenance of effort; (2) Federal funds being supplementary to, and not supplanting, non-Federal funds; and (3) participation of children enrolled in private schools.

Authorizes the Secretary to use discretionary reserved funds for activities relating to the purposes of and programs under this Act, such as: (1) a national information source to assess program effectiveness and the needs of those served; (2) research and demonstrations; (3) teacher training improvement; and (4) implementation assistance for State and local educational agencies.

Directs the Secretary to fund, from such discretionary reserved funds, the inexpensive book distribution program (Reading Is Fundamental), the special mathematics program, the national programs of arts in education, and the national diffusion network, as formerly authorized in specified provisions of ESEA, at least in amounts necessary to sustain these activities at the level of operations during fiscal year 1981, and then use the remainder of such funds for other authorized activities.

Title III: General Provisions - Authorizes the Secretary to issue regulations relating to this Act: (1) on duties specifically assigned to the Secretary; (2) on proper fiscal accounting for appropriations and on the method of making payments authorized; and (3) which reasonably insure compliance with the specific requirements and assurances required.

Prohibits the Secretary from issuing regulations on all other matters relating to the details of planning, developing, implementing, and evaluating State and local educational agency programs and projects. Permits the Secretary to consult with appropriate State, local, and private educational agencies and to provide, upon request, technical assistance, information, and suggested guidelines. Provides that regulations issued pursuant to this Act shall not have the standing of a Federal statute for the purposes of judicial review.

Sets forth provisions for withholding of payments and for judicial review thereof.

Provides that specified provisions of the General Education Provisions Act (relating to "State Educational Agency Monitoring and Agency Applications") shall not: (1) apply to programs authorized under this Act except to the extent that such provisions relate fiscal control and fund accounting procedures; and (2) be construed to authorize the Secretary to require any reports or take any actions not specifically authorized by this Act.

Declares that the provisions of this Act shall take effect October 1, 1982.

Repeals the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA).

Provides that funds appropriated in fiscal year 1982 pursuant to authorizations repealed by this Act and intended for use in the school year 1982 through 1983 shall be used in accordance with, and to carry out the purposes of, this Act.