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112th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    112-180

======================================================================



 
                STATE AND LOCAL FUNDING FLEXIBILITY ACT

                                _______
                                

 July 25, 2011.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Kline, from the Committee on Education and the Workforce, submitted 
                             the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                             MINORITY VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 2445]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Education and the Workforce, to whom was 
referred the bill (H.R. 2445) to amend the Elementary and 
Secondary Education Act of 1965 to provide States and local 
educational agencies with maximum flexibility in using Federal 
funds provided under such Act, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment 
and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  The Act may be cited as the ``State and Local Funding Flexibility 
Act''.

SEC. 2. FLEXIBILITY TO USE FEDERAL FUNDS.

  (a) In General.--Subpart 2 of part A of title VI of the Elementary 
and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7305 et seq.) is amended 
to read as follows:

   ``Subpart 2--Funding Flexibility for State and Local Educational 
                                Agencies

``SEC. 6121. SHORT TITLE.

  ``This subpart may be cited as the `State and Local Funding 
Flexibility Act'.

``SEC. 6122. PURPOSE.

  ``The purpose of this subpart is to allow States and local 
educational agencies the flexibility to--
          ``(1) design flexible programs that use Federal funds to 
        support student achievement for all students, including 
        students most at risk of failing to meet the State's academic 
        achievement standards; and
          ``(2) extend and enhance the funding flexibility provided to 
        rural local educational agencies under section 6211 to all 
        State educational agencies and local educational agencies by 
        providing such agencies flexibility in using Federal formula 
        funds received to carry out authorized State or local 
        activities for other authorized or required State or local 
        activities.

``SEC. 6123. FLEXIBILITY TO USE FEDERAL FUNDS.

  ``(a) Alternative Uses of Federal Funds for State Educational 
Agencies.--
          ``(1) In general.--Subject to subsections (c) and (d) and 
        notwithstanding any other provision of law, a State educational 
        agency may use the applicable funding that the agency receives 
        for a fiscal year to carry out any State activity authorized or 
        required under one or more of the following provisions:
                  ``(A) Section 1003.
                  ``(B) Section 1004.
                  ``(C) Subpart 1 of part B of title I.
                  ``(D) Part C of title I.
                  ``(E) Part D of title I.
                  ``(F) Part A of title II.
                  ``(G) Part B of title II.
                  ``(H) Title III.
                  ``(I) Part B of title IV.
                  ``(J) Part A of title V.
                  ``(K) Subpart 1 of part A of title VI.
                  ``(L) Subpart 2 of part B of title VI.
                  ``(M) Subpart 2 of part A of title VII.
          ``(2) Notification.--Not later than June 1 of each year, a 
        State educational agency shall notify the Secretary of the 
        State educational agency's intention to use the applicable 
        funding for any of the alternative uses under paragraph (1).
          ``(3) Applicable funding defined.--
                  ``(A) In general.--Except as provided in subparagraph 
                (B), in this subsection, the term `applicable funding' 
                means funds provided to carry out State activities 
                under one or more of the following provisions:
                          ``(i) Section 1003(g)(2).
                          ``(ii) Section 1004.
                          ``(iii) Subpart I of Part B of title I.
                          ``(iv) Part C of title I.
                          ``(v) Part D of title I.
                          ``(vi) Part A of title II.
                          ``(vii) Part B of title II.
                          ``(viii) Part A of title III.
                          ``(ix) Part B of title IV.
                          ``(x) Part A of title V.
                          ``(xi) Title I of Public Law 111-226.
                  ``(B) Limitation.--In this subsection, the term 
                `applicable funding' does not include funds provided 
                under any of the provisions listed in subparagraph (A) 
                that State educational agencies are required by this 
                Act--
                          ``(i) to reserve, allocate, or spend for 
                        required activities;
                          ``(ii) to allot or award to local educational 
                        agencies or other entities eligible to receive 
                        such funds; or
                          ``(iii) to use for technical assistance or 
                        monitoring.
          ``(4) Disbursement.--The Secretary shall disburse the 
        applicable funding to State educational agencies for 
        alternative uses under paragraph (1) for a fiscal year at the 
        same time as the Secretary disburses the applicable funding to 
        State educational agencies that do not intend to use the 
        applicable funding for such alternative uses for the fiscal 
        year.
  ``(b) Alternative Uses of Federal Funds for Local Educational 
Agencies.--
          ``(1) In general.--Subject to subsections (c) and (d) and 
        notwithstanding any other provision of law, a local educational 
        agency may use the applicable funding that the agency receives 
        for a fiscal year to carry out any local activity authorized or 
        required under one or more of the following provisions:
                  ``(A) Section 1003.
                  ``(B) Part A of title I.
                  ``(C) Subpart 1 of part B of title I.
                  ``(D) Part C of title I.
                  ``(E) Part D of title I.
                  ``(F) Part A of title II.
                  ``(G) Part B of title II.
                  ``(H) Part A of title III.
                  ``(I) Part B of title IV.
                  ``(J) Part A of title V.
                  ``(K) Subpart 2 of part B of title VI.
                  ``(L) Part A of title VII.
                  ``(M) Section 613(f) of the Individuals with 
                Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1413(f)).
          ``(2) Notification.--A local educational agency shall notify 
        the State educational agency of the local educational agency's 
        intention to use the applicable funding for any of the 
        alternative uses under paragraph (1) by a date that is 
        established by the State educational agency for the 
        notification.
          ``(3) Applicable funding defined.--
                  ``(A) In general.--Except as provided in subparagraph 
                (B), in this subsection, the term `applicable funding' 
                means funds provided to carry out local activities 
                under one or more of the following provisions:
                          ``(i) Part A of title I.
                          ``(ii) Part C of title I.
                          ``(iii) Part D of title I.
                          ``(iv) Part A of title II.
                          ``(v) Part A of title III.
                          ``(vi) Part A of title V.
                          ``(vii) Part A of title VII.
                          ``(viii) Title I of Public Law 111-226.
                  ``(B) Limitation.--In this subsection, the term 
                `applicable funding' does not include funds provided 
                under any of the provisions listed in subparagraph (A) 
                that local educational agencies are required by this 
                Act--
                          ``(i) to reserve, allocate, or spend for 
                        required activities;
                          ``(ii) to allot or award to entities eligible 
                        to receive such funds; or
                          ``(iii) to use for technical assistance or 
                        monitoring.
          ``(4) Disbursement.--Each State educational agency that 
        receives applicable funding for a fiscal year shall disburse 
        the applicable funding to local educational agencies for 
        alternative uses under paragraph (1) for the fiscal year at the 
        same time as the State educational agency disburses the 
        applicable funding to local educational agencies that do not 
        intend to use the applicable funding for such alternative uses 
        for the fiscal year.
  ``(c) Rule for Administrative Costs.--A State educational agency or a 
local educational agency may only use applicable funding (as defined in 
subsection (a)(3) or (b)(3), respectively) for administrative costs 
incurred in carrying out a provision listed in subsection (a)(1) or 
(b)(1), respectively, to the extent that the agency, in the absence of 
this section, could have used funds for administrative costs with 
respect to a program listed in subsection (a)(3) or (b)(3), 
respectively.
  ``(d) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in this section shall be 
construed to relieve a State educational agency or local educational 
agency of any requirements relating to--
          ``(1) maintenance of effort;
          ``(2) use of Federal funds to supplement, not supplant, non-
        Federal funds;
          ``(3) comparability of services;
          ``(4) equitable participation of private school students and 
        teachers;
          ``(5) applicable civil rights requirements;
          ``(6) the selection of school attendance areas or schools 
        under subsections (a) and (b), and allocations to such areas or 
        schools under subsection (c), of section 1113;
          ``(7) section 1111;
          ``(8) section 1116; or
          ``(9) section 3122.''.
  (b) Conforming Amendment.--The table of contents of the Elementary 
and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq.) is amended 
by striking the items relating to subpart 2 of part A of title VI and 
inserting the following:

   ``Subpart 2--Funding Flexibility for State and Local Educational 
                                Agencies

``Sec. 6121. Short title.
``Sec. 6122. Purpose.
``Sec. 6123. Flexibility to use Federal funds.''.

                                Purpose

    H.R. 2445, the State and Local Funding Flexibility Act, 
amends Title VI, Part A, Subpart 2 of the Elementary and 
Secondary Education Act to provide states and school districts 
with maximum flexibility to use federal education dollars on 
programs that best serve the needs of students.

                            Committee Action

    This bill is the third in a series designed to reauthorize 
the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). H.R. 2445 
builds upon the Committee's efforts to examine the federal 
investment in education and reduce federal control over 
elementary and secondary education programs.

                             112TH CONGRESS

Hearings

    On February 10, 2011, the Committee on Education and the 
Workforce held a hearing in Washington, DC, on ``Education in 
the Nation: Examining the Challenges and Opportunities Facing 
America's Classrooms.'' The purpose of the hearing was to learn 
what challenges states face in developing a high-quality 
education system, explore innovative policies that are being 
proposed and implemented at the state and local level, and 
examine the federal investment in education and its limited 
effect on student achievement. Testifying before the Committee 
were: Dr. Tony Bennett, Superintendent of Public Instruction, 
Indiana Department of Education, Indianapolis, IN; Ms. Lisa 
Graham Keegan, Founder, Education Breakthrough Network, 
Phoenix, AZ; Mr. Andrew Coulson, Director, Center for 
Educational Freedom, CATO Institute, Seattle, WA; and Mr. Ted 
Mitchell, President and CEO, New Schools Venture Fund, San 
Francisco, CA.
    On March 1, 2011, the Committee on Education and the 
Workforce held a hearing in Washington, DC, on ``Education 
Regulations: Weighing the Burden on Schools and Students.'' The 
purpose of the hearing was to examine the burden of federal, 
state, and local regulations on the nation's education system 
and learn whether these time consuming and duplicative 
requirements ultimately improve student achievement. Testifying 
before the Committee were: Mr. Gene Wilhoit, Executive 
Director, Council of Chief State School Officers, Washington, 
DC; Dr. Edgar Hatrick, Superintendent, Loudoun County Public 
Schools, Ashburn, VA; Mr. Christopher B. Nelson, President, St. 
John's College, Annapolis, MD; and Ms. Kati Haycock, President, 
The Education Trust, Washington, DC.
    On March 9, 2011, the Committee on Education and the 
Workforce held a hearing in Washington, DC, on ``The Budget and 
Policy Proposals of the U.S. Department of Education.'' The 
purpose of the hearing was to discuss the Department's budget 
request for Fiscal Year 2012. Testifying before the Committee 
was The Honorable Arne Duncan, Secretary, U.S. Department of 
Education, Washington, DC.
    On March 15, 2011, the Committee on Education and the 
Workforce, Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and 
Secondary Education, held a hearing in Washington, DC, on 
``Education Regulations: Burying Schools in Paperwork.'' The 
purpose of the hearing was to hear from local officials 
representing elementary and secondary schools about the 
paperwork burden bureaucratic regulations impose on their 
schools and school districts. Testifying before the 
Subcommittee were: Mr. Robert P. ``Bob'' Grimesey, Jr., 
Superintendent, Orange County Public Schools, Orange, VA; Mr. 
James Willcox, CEO, Aspire Public Schools, Oakland, CA; Ms. 
Jennifer A. Marshall, Director of Domestic Policy Studies, 
Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC; and Mr. Chuck Grable, 
Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, Huntington County 
Community School Corporation, Huntington, IN.
    On April 7, 2011, the Committee on Education and the 
Workforce held a hearing in Washington, DC, on ``Education 
Reforms: Promoting Flexibility and Innovation.'' The purpose of 
the hearing was to discuss the appropriate federal role in K-12 
education and explore the work of state and local education 
leaders who are pushing for innovative approaches to education 
reform and greater state and local flexibility. Testifying 
before the Committee were: Dr. Janet Barresi, Oklahoma State 
Superintendent of Public Instruction, Oklahoma City, OK; Dr. 
Gary Amoroso, Superintendent, Lakeville Area Public Schools, 
Lakeville, MN; Mr. Yohance Maqubela, Chief Operating Officer, 
Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science, 
Washington, DC; and Dr. Terry Grier, Superintendent, Houston 
Independent School District, Houston, TX.

Legislative action

    On July 7, 2011, Rep. John Kline (R-MN) introduced H.R. 
2445, the State and Local Funding Flexibility Act. This bill 
strikes the State and Local Educational Agencies Funding 
Transferability program under the Elementary and Secondary 
Education Act and replaces it with a more flexible program 
allowing for improved use of federal education funds. H.R. 2445 
is cosponsored by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Rep. Howard P. 
``Buck'' McKeon (R-CA), Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Rep. Phil 
Roe (R-TN), Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA), Rep. Scott DesJarlais 
(R-TN), Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY), Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN), 
Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA), Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD), Rep. Martha 
Roby (R-AL), Rep. Joseph Heck (R-NV), Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL), 
and Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA).
    The Committee on Education and the Workforce considered 
H.R. 2445 in legislative session on July 13, 2011, and reported 
it favorably, as amended, to the House of Representatives by a 
vote of 23-17. The Committee considered and adopted the 
following amendment to H.R. 2445:
     Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) offered an Amendment in 
the Nature of a Substitute to make technical corrections to the 
legislation. The amendment also reiterates that states and 
school districts must comply with all civil rights requirements 
and school funding allocation requirements. The amendment was 
adopted by voice vote.
    The Committee further considered the following amendments 
to H.R. 2445, which were not adopted:
     Rep. George Miller (D-CA) offered an amendment to 
prohibit Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) from using funds 
allocated for Title I, Part A, for any other purpose. The 
amendment failed by a vote of 17-23.
     Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) offered an amendment to 
prohibit State Educational Agencies (SEAs) and LEAs from using 
funds allocated for English Language Acquisition, Language 
Enhancement, and Academic Achievement for any other purpose. 
The amendment failed by a vote of 17-23.
     Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX) offered an amendment to 
prohibit SEAs and LEAs from using funds allocated for the 
Education of Migratory Children for any other purpose. The 
amendment failed by a vote of 17-23.
     Rep. Robert ``Bobby'' Scott (D-VA) offered an 
amendment to prohibit SEAs and LEAs from using funds allocated 
for the Education of Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk Children 
for any other purpose. The amendment failed by a vote of 17-23.
     Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI) offered an amendment to 
prohibit LEAs from using funds allocated for Indian Education 
for any other purpose. The amendment failed by a vote of 17-23.
     Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) offered an amendment to add 
reporting requirements for SEAs and LEAs on how funds are used. 
The amendment failed by a vote of 17-23.
    The Committee received letters of support for H.R. 2445 
from the American Association of School Administrators (AASA); 
the National School Boards Association (NSBA); and several 
local school superintendents across the country.

                                Summary

    H.R. 2445, the State and Local Funding Flexibility Act, 
allows states and school districts to use certain funds 
received under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act 
(ESEA) for additional activities authorized under the law. This 
provides state and local officials with greater control over 
their education decisions, eliminates bureaucratic red tape, 
and encourages local innovation to reform public education.
    The legislation defines the list of programs states and 
districts may use for an alternative purpose.
    States may use funds from: 
     School Improvement Grants (State Administration)
     Aid for the Disadvantaged (State Administration)
     Migrant Education
     Neglected and Delinquent Programs
     Teacher Quality State Grants
     English Language Acquisition Grants
     21st Century Community Learning Centers
     Education Jobs Fund
    School districts may use funds from: 
     Aid for the Disadvantaged
     Migrant Education
     Neglected and Delinquent Programs
     Teacher Quality State Grants
     English Language Acquisition Grants
     Indian Education
     Education Jobs Fund
    Activities for which the funds may be used include: 
     School Improvement Grants
     Aid for the Disadvantaged (State Administration) 
(states only)
     Aid for the Disadvantaged (school districts only)
     Reading First
     Migrant Education
     Neglected and Delinquent Programs
     Teacher Quality Grants
     Math and Science Partnerships
     English Language Acquisition Grants
     21st Century Community Learning Centers
     Innovative Programs
     Grants for State Assessments (states only)
     Rural and Low-Income School Program
     Indian Education
     Early Intervening Services under Section 613(f) of 
the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (school 
districts only)
    Under the State and Local Funding Flexibility Act, if a 
state or school district receiving formula funds under the 
Teacher Quality State Grant program wanted to use those funds 
to purchase new computers or create a new literacy program for 
English Language Learners, it could do so unencumbered by 
federal spending requirements. The bill maintains monitoring, 
reporting, and accountability requirements for states and 
school districts under existing ESEA programs. This ensures 
states and school districts continue to focus on improving the 
academic achievement of special populations of students, 
including disadvantaged students, migrant students, at-risk 
students, and English Language Learners.
    The State and Local Funding Flexibility Act also includes a 
reasonable annual notification requirement. Under the bill, 
school districts will notify the state how they plan to use 
their federal funds and states will notify the Secretary of 
Education how they plan to use their federal funds. The bill 
does not require an application or approval process to utilize 
the flexibility. Further, the legislation ensures states and 
school districts intending to exercise funding flexibility will 
receive their allocations at the same time as those choosing 
not to utilize the authority, an assurance also included under 
the existing rural flexibility program.
    By maintaining a focus on student performance and enabling 
states and school districts to determine how best to deliver 
those results, the State and Local Funding Flexibility Act will 
help enhance our commitment to education by encouraging local 
innovation, restore state and local control of education, and 
reduce the federal role in public education.

                            Committee Views


Background

    The federal government currently operates a host of 
elementary and secondary education programs, each of which is 
governed by a separate set of eligibility requirements, 
reporting regulations, and strict rules dictating how federal 
funds may be spent. For example, if a local suburban elementary 
school wants to use Title I (Aid for the Disadvantaged) to 
create a literacy program targeted toward all 3rd graders, it 
can only do so if it meets federal requirements to administer a 
school-wide program in which 40 percent or more of its students 
come from low-income families. Similarly, if a local school 
district has completed hiring all of its highly qualified 
teachers for the year and still has remaining Title II (Teacher 
Quality State Grants) dollars, it has no choice but to spend 
the funding on an activity authorized under that program 
irrespective of need or other priorities. The Committee 
believes such siloed funding can severely limit states' and 
school districts' ability to apply federal funds toward local 
education priorities and innovative initiatives.
    Since passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act 
(ESEA), which was last reauthorized as the No Child Left Behind 
(NCLB), states, local superintendents, and teachers have widely 
criticized the law as an excessive expansion of the federal 
government into public education and pushed back against its 
most burdensome requirements. The Committee has heard from 
numerous states and school districts that federal requirements 
surrounding how educators spend federal dollars are too 
restrictive. Under the current structure, each of the federal 
ESEA programs have contradictory funding and use conditions and 
varying eligibility requirements, thus limiting flexibility to 
local school districts. The Committee believes this heavy-
handed approach empowers the federal government to dictate 
funding decisions of states and local school districts and 
inhibits their ability to foster innovation to improve public 
education.
    Current law includes a number of provisions that provide 
states and school districts with limited flexibility to tailor 
using federal dollars to support local priorities. The funding 
authorities include the following:
     Transferability: States and school districts can 
transfer up to 50 percent of their Teacher Quality Grants, 
Education Technology, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, 
and Innovative Program dollars between programs and/or into the 
Title I program. States and school districts that are in 
``School Improvement,'' ``Corrective Action,'' or 
``Restructuring'' status are limited to transferring 30 percent 
of their funds between programs. Approximately 12-16 percent of 
school districts take advantage of this flexibility option.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Congressional Research Service, ``RL31583:K-12 Education: 
Special Forms of Flexibility in the Administration of Federal Aid 
Programs.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     State-Flex Program: Up to seven states can apply 
to the Secretary of Education to consolidate all of its state 
administration and state activity funds. Currently, no states 
participate in the State-Flex program.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\U.S. Department of Education, State Flexibility Demonstration 
Program: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/stateflex/awards.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Local-Flex Program: Eighty school districts can 
apply to the Secretary of Education to consolidate all of their 
funds under Teacher Quality Grants, Education Technology, 21st 
Century Community Learning Centers, and Innovative Program 
programs. Seattle is the only school district currently 
participating, and is doing so under a Department of Education 
waiver.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\U.S. Department of Education, Local Flexibility Demonstration 
Program: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/localflex/awards.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP) Flex: 
The REAP Flex program allows eligible rural school districts 
flexibility in using funds for activities under a limited 
number of authorized ESEA programs. To participate in the 
program, an eligible school district simply must notify its 
state educational agency of its intent to do so by the 
notification deadline established by the state. More than 4,000 
districts nationwide are eligible, and more than 50 percent of 
those eligible districts use this flexibility option.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\U.S. Department of Education, ``Evaluation of Flexibility Under 
No Child Left Behind: Volume III--The Rural Education Achievement 
Program (REAP Flex): http://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/disadv/
flexibility/volIII-reap.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Since these funding authorities were created by Congress in 
2001, states and school districts have criticized the 
Transferability, State Flex, and Local Flex Programs as overly 
complex and burdensome. For example, in most cases, the 
authority to consolidate funds is limited to a small number of 
federal programs, many of which have received little to no 
funding by Congress. This dramatically limits the ability of 
school districts to maximize their use of funds. The Secretary 
has the authority to take flexibility away from states and 
school districts if they are found to be noncompliant with the 
authority and can also impose penalties. The approval process 
and requirements of a number of the programs are onerous, thus 
limiting the number of states and school districts that want to 
take advantage of this funding flexibility. The Committee 
believes these funding authorities, while important, are overly 
complex and need to be restructured to provide true funding 
flexibility to state and school districts.
    Despite record increases in federal spending, academic 
achievement has not improved, and academic achievement gaps 
persist. According to the National Assessment for Educational 
Progress (NAEP), the average math score for 13 year olds in 
2008 was only 15 points higher than in 1973 and reading scores 
in 2008 were only one point higher than in 1971.\5\ Today, only 
60 percent of students with disabilities,\6\ 57 percent of 
African Americans students, and 58 percent of Hispanic students 
graduate from high school.\7\ Additionally, the Secretary of 
Education has said that more than 80 percent of schools will 
fail to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) this year.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\``The Nation's Report Card: Long-Term Trend 2008.'' April 28, 
2009.
    \6\U.S. Department of Education, ``FY2010 Program Performance 
Reports/Special Education Grants To States,'' p.7. http://www2.ed.gov/
about/reports/annual/2010report/program.html.
    \7\EPE Research Center, 2011. http://www.edweek.org/media/dc11-
graduationintheunitedstates-2.pdf. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Despite national challenges, states and school districts 
are instituting and carrying out dramatic reforms to public 
education. Reform initiatives that address issues around 
teacher quality, accountability, and parental options are 
moving through state legislatures with great success. States 
with education reform agendas include: Alabama, Arizona, 
Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, 
Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, 
Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin. These states have embraced state-
led accountability efforts, signaling to Congress that they 
understand a quality education is critical to prepare today's 
students to compete in tomorrow's workforce.
    These statistics and state and local leadership demonstrate 
the need to re-evaluate the federal role in elementary and 
secondary education and restore education decisions to states 
and local school districts who should bear the primary 
responsibility for public education. H.R. 2445, the State and 
Local Funding Flexibility Act, is an important part of this 
effort to allow education leaders new freedom to use federal 
funds to develop comprehensive solutions to local education 
challenges.

Providing funding flexibility for every State and school district

    H.R. 2445, the State and Local Funding Flexibility Act, 
amends Title VI of ESEA to repeal the current Transferability 
authority, replacing it with new authority to allow all 50 
states and almost 14,000 school districts to use funds received 
under federal formula grants and Education Jobs Funds to 
support certain activities authorized under ESEA. Under the 
legislation, states and school districts will be able to use 
more than $20 billion in federal funds on their own state and 
local education priorities, thereby increasing the academic 
achievement of all students, including special populations.
    The Elementary and Secondary Education Act requires states 
and school districts to be accountable for the academic 
achievement of all students. Although funds are allocated to 
states and school districts, in part, based on the number of 
low-income students they serve, the law focused on helping all 
students excel academically. The Committee believes the current 
structure and use of federal funds must be updated to reflect 
existing realities and the needs of states and school districts 
to improve public education for all students.
    Under the State and Local Funding Flexibility Act, states 
and school districts could use federal education funds to 
bolster those activities that support all students, including 
low-income students, English Language Learners, migrant 
students, and other special populations. The legislation will 
help states and school districts meet the requirements of Title 
I (Aid for the Disadvantaged) and Title III (English Language 
Acquisition) programs, which hold all schools accountable for 
student performance, including student subgroups, and English 
proficiency, respectively. At the same time, the legislation 
preserves the current Title I and Title III provisions 
requiring states and local school districts to disaggregate 
data and measure student performance to ensure all students are 
excelling academically and achieving English proficiency. As 
such, states and school districts will still be held 
accountable for the academic achievement of special populations 
of students.
    Schools with a poverty level of at least 40 percent are 
currently able to use Title I funds for school-wide programs 
that benefit all students and consolidate a number of federal 
ESEA programs to meet their students' unique needs. This 
poverty threshold was lowered from 75 percent to 50 percent in 
the 1994 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary 
Education Act and was reduced again in the No Child Left Behind 
Act. There is a long-standing, bipartisan federal recognition 
that the best way to address the needs of the most at-risk 
students is to enable and encourage school-wide solutions. The 
Committee notes that H.R. 2445 builds on this consensus by 
expanding the flexibility provided through the Title I school-
wide program, as well as the REAP Flex program, to additional 
federal education programs.
    The State and Local Funding Flexibility Act will help put 
decisions about education priorities back in the hands of state 
officials and school administrators while maintaining 
accountability standards and protecting taxpayers. Lawmakers 
and bureaucrats in the nation's capital will never have the 
same integral understanding of the diverse needs of students in 
cities like New Orleans, Indianapolis, or Tampa Bay as the 
teachers, administrators, and parents who spend time with them 
every day. The bill provides states and school districts with 
additional flexibility to target federal dollars to the 
programs and initiatives that best meet the unique needs of 
their students.

Challenging erroneous myths

    While empowering states and local officials to take the 
lead on important education reform efforts, H.R. 2445 does not 
take money away from poor or disadvantaged children, migrant, 
neglected and delinquent, English Language Learners, and Native 
American students. The bill does not allow states or school 
districts to change formula allocations or allow states and 
school districts to ignore civil rights laws or neglect the 
academic achievement of all students.

                TITLE I--EDUCATION FOR THE DISADVANTAGED

    The Committee believes the best way to address the needs of 
at-risk students is to enable and encourage solutions that 
benefit all students. The State and Local Funding Flexibility 
Act leaves these decisions to states and school districts by 
providing the flexibility to redirect funds across federal 
programs. For example, if a LEA determines that more support is 
needed to serve disadvantaged students for Title I purposes, it 
could use Title II (Teacher Quality Grants) to support those 
important activities and programs under Title I. A local school 
district could also use Title I funds for new teacher 
preparation programs or to create new literacy initiatives that 
benefit all students. As noted, H.R. 2445 will not change the 
formula allocation for Title I Part A. Funds will continue to 
be distributed to each school district under existing formulas 
that take into consideration factors such as concentrations of 
poor students and the amount of state funding spent on 
education. Under current law, Title I schools that have 40 
percent or more students from low-income families are 
classified as `School-Wide Programs' and are allowed to spend 
Title I funds to support all students in the school, not just 
those who are disadvantaged. Today, more than 50 percent of 
Title I schools are `school-wide' and use funds to support all 
students. The bill attempts to expand this authority to all 
schools in the nation, allowing them to take advantage of this 
important flexibility.

                TITLE III--ENGLISH LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

    Many state and local activities required under the Title 
III program, such as increasing student academic achievement in 
core academic subjects, improving the achievement of English 
Language Learners, and providing professional development to 
classroom teachers, mirror similar provisions under Title I 
(Aid for the Disadvantaged) and Title II (Teacher Quality State 
Grant) programs. States and school districts use Title I and 
Title II funds--funds that benefit all students--to serve 
English Language Learners. The federal government should give 
state and local areas additional flexibility to consolidate 
funding streams so that all students can be served through a 
seamless education system. The Committee notes that states and 
school districts have not been meeting the annual performance 
targets for English Language Learners as established in current 
law. According to the Department of Education, just 10 states 
met all of their Title III Annual Measurable Achievement 
Objectives in the 2008-2009 school year and only 46 percent of 
school districts met them. The State and Local Funding 
Flexibility Act will allow states and school districts to use a 
different funding model to address the needs of English 
Language Learners while still being responsible for meeting the 
objectives under current law.

                      TITLE VII--INDIAN EDUCATION

    Contrary to false charges, H.R. 2445 does not jeopardize 
the sovereign rights of Indian students and does not alter the 
commitment or guaranteed funding provided to Indian 
reservations by the Bureau of Indian Education. The bill simply 
provides school districts with the flexibility to rededicate 
funds across federal programs. If a school district determines 
more support is needed for Title VII purposes, it could use 
funds from the Education Jobs Fund to support those important 
activities.

      EDUCATION FOR MIGRANT, AND NEGLECTED AND DELINQUENT STUDENTS

    Title I, Parts C and D provide grants to states to 
establish and improve programs for children of migrant workers 
and neglected and delinquent children. The State and Local 
Funding Flexibility Act does not change the accountability 
requirements that are in place for these students under the 
main Title I program. The bill merely allows states and school 
districts to consolidate funding streams across titles to 
improve academic programs for all students.

                         REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

    The Committee believes states and school districts are best 
suited to decide how funds should be used to serve their 
students. H.R. 2445 includes provisions requiring states to 
notify the Secretary of Education of their intention to use the 
flexibility authority under the bill by June 1 of each year. 
The bill also requires school districts to notify states of 
their intention to use funding flexibility, providing important 
information to federal and state policymakers and the public. 
Additionally, the bill maintains current mechanisms through 
which states and school districts report on the academic 
performance of their students and how they are using federal 
funds, including state or local plans, application processes, 
or annual reports.

Conclusion

    Our nation's education system is not properly educating our 
kids for future success; it is time for a new approach. H.R. 
2445, the State and Local Funding Flexibility Act, streamlines 
and simplifies the federal role in education, empowering 
states, school districts, teachers, and parents to pursue 
innovative reforms that meet the needs of their students. The 
Committee strongly supports this effort to provide states and 
school districts the flexibility to determine how they use 
federal funds at the local level to promote innovation and 
increase academic achievement for all children.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1--Short title

    States the short title as the ``State and Local Funding 
Flexibility Act.''

Section 2--Flexibility to use federal funds

    Specifies the new flexibility offered to states and school 
districts, including the funds that may be used and the 
activities that may be supported for funding flexibility.

                       Explanation of Amendments

    The amendments, including the amendment in the nature of a 
substitute, are explained in the body of this report.

              Application of Law to the Legislative Branch

    Section 102(b)(3) of Public Law 104-1 requires a 
description of the application of this bill to the legislative 
branch. H.R. 2445 amends Title VI, Part A, Subpart 2 of the 
Elementary and Secondary Education Act to provide states and 
school districts with maximum flexibility to use federal 
education dollars on programs that best serve the needs of 
students.

                       Unfunded Mandate Statement

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act (as amended by Section 101(a)(2) of the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act, P.L. 104-4) requires a statement of 
whether the provisions of the reported bill include unfunded 
mandates. This issue is addressed in the CBO letter.

                           Earmark Statement

    H.R. 2445 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of House Rule XXI.

                             Rollcall Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee Report to include for 
each record vote on a motion to report the measure or matter 
and on any amendments offered to the measure or matter the 
total number of votes for and against and the names of the 
Members voting for and against.


         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause (3)(c) of House Rule XIII, the 
goal of H.R. 2445 is to streamline the federal role in 
education and spur local innovation by providing states and 
school districts with maximum flexibility to use federal 
education dollars on programs that best serve the needs of 
students. The Committee expects the Department of Education to 
comply with these provisions and implement the changes to the 
law in accordance with these stated goals.

  Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the Committee

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
2(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives, 
the Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in the body of this report.

               New Budget Authority and CBO Cost Estimate

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect 
to requirements of clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives and section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has received 
the following estimate for H.R. 2445 from the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, July 14, 2011.
Hon. John Kline,
Chairman, Committee on Education and the Workforce,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 2445, the State 
and Local Funding Flexibility Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Justin 
Humphrey.
            Sincerely,
                                      Douglas W. Elmendorf,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 2445--State and Local Funding Flexibility Act

    H.R. 2445 would amend title VI of the Elementary and 
Secondary Education Act of 1965 to permit state and local 
education agencies to use federal funds appropriated for 
specific educational activities to carry out other federal 
authorized education programs specified in the bill.
    CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 2445 would have no net 
effect on discretionary spending. The underlying authorizations 
for the specified programs for which funds may be used under 
H.R. 2445 have expired. Thus, enacting the bill would provide 
flexibility for using appropriated funds to the extent that 
those programs are reauthorized in subsequent legislation.
    In addition, enacting the bill would have no impact on 
mandatory spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures do not apply.
    H.R. 2445 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Justin Humphrey. 
This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison of the 
costs that would be incurred in carrying out H.R. 2445. 
However, clause 3(d)(2)(B) of that rule provides that this 
requirement does not apply when the Committee has included in 
its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the bill 
prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office 
under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION ACT OF 1965

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS.

  The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                TITLE VI--FLEXIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY

                 Part A--Improving Academic Achievement

     * * * * * * *

  [Subpart 2--Funding Transferability for State and Local Educational 
                                Agencies

[Sec. 6121. Short title.
[Sec. 6122. Purpose.
[Sec. 6123. Transferability of funds.]

 Subpart 2--Funding Flexibility for State and Local Educational Agencies

Sec. 6121. Short title.
Sec. 6122. Purpose.
Sec. 6123. Flexibility to use Federal funds.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                TITLE VI--FLEXIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY

PART A--IMPROVING ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


  [Subpart 2--Funding Transferability for State and Local Educational 
                                Agencies

[SEC. 6121. SHORT TITLE.

  [This subpart may be cited as the ``State and Local 
Transferability Act''.

[SEC. 6122. PURPOSE.

  [The purpose of this subpart is to allow States and local 
educational agencies the flexibility--
          [(1) to target Federal funds to Federal programs that 
        most effectively address the unique needs of States and 
        localities; and
          [(2) to transfer Federal funds allocated to other 
        activities to allocations for certain activities 
        authorized under title I.

[SEC. 6123. TRANSFERABILITY OF FUNDS.

  [(a) Transfers by States.--
          [(1) In general.--In accordance with this subpart, a 
        State may transfer not more than 50 percent of the 
        nonadministrative State funds (including funds 
        transferred under paragraph (2)) allotted to the State 
        for use for State-level activities under the following 
        provisions for a fiscal year to one or more of the 
        State's allotments for such fiscal year under any other 
        of such provisions:
                  [(A) Section 2113(a)(3).
                  [(B) Section 2412(a)(1).
                  [(C) Subsections (a)(1) (with the agreement 
                of the Governor) and (c)(1) of section 4112 and 
                section 4202(c)(3).
                  [(D) Section 5112(b).
          [(2) Additional funds for title i.--In accordance 
        with this subpart and subject to the 50 percent 
        limitation described in paragraph (1), a State may 
        transfer any funds allotted to the State under a 
        provision listed in paragraph (1) to its allotment 
        under title I.
  [(b) Transfers by Local Educational Agencies.--
          [(1) Authority to transfer funds.--
                  [(A) In general.--In accordance with this 
                subpart, a local educational agency (except a 
                local educational agency identified for 
                improvement under section 1116(c) or subject to 
                corrective action under section 1116(c)(9)) may 
                transfer not more than 50 percent of the funds 
                allocated to it (including funds transferred 
                under subparagraph (C)) under each of the 
                provisions listed in paragraph (2) for a fiscal 
                year to one or more of its allocations for such 
                fiscal year under any other provision listed in 
                paragraph (2).
                  [(B) Agencies identified for improvement.--In 
                accordance with this subpart, a local 
                educational agency identified for improvement 
                under section 1116(c) may transfer not more 
                than 30 percent of the funds allocated to it 
                (including funds transferred under subparagraph 
                (C)) under each of the provisions listed in 
                paragraph (2) for a fiscal year--
                          [(i) to its allocation for school 
                        improvement for such fiscal year under 
                        section 1003; or
                          [(ii) to any other allocation for 
                        such fiscal year if such transferred 
                        funds are used only for local 
                        educational agency improvement 
                        activities consistent with section 
                        1116(c).
                  [(C) Additional funds for title i.--In 
                accordance with this subpart and subject to the 
                percentage limitation described in subparagraph 
                (A) or (B), as applicable, a local educational 
                agency may transfer funds allocated to such 
                agency under any of the provisions listed in 
                paragraph (2) for a fiscal year to its 
                allocation for part A of title I for that 
                fiscal year.
          [(2) Applicable provisions.--A local educational 
        agency may transfer funds under subparagraph (A), (B), 
        or (C) of paragraph (1) from allocations made under 
        each of the following provisions:
                  [(A) Section 2121.
                  [(B) Section 2412(a)(2)(A).
                  [(C) Section 4112(b)(1).
                  [(D) Section 5112(a).
  [(c) No Transfer of Title I Funds.--A State or a local 
educational agency may not transfer under this subpart to any 
other program any funds allotted or allocated to it for part A 
of title I.
  [(d) Modification of Plans and Applications; Notification.--
          [(1) State transfers.--Each State that makes a 
        transfer of funds under this section shall--
                  [(A) modify, to account for such transfer, 
                each State plan, or application submitted by 
                the State, to which such funds relate;
                  [(B) not later than 30 days after the date of 
                such transfer, submit a copy of such modified 
                plan or application to the Secretary; and
                  [(C) not later than 30 days before the 
                effective date of such transfer, notify the 
                Secretary of such transfer.
          [(2) Local transfers.--Each local educational agency 
        that makes a transfer of funds under this section 
        shall--
                  [(A) modify, to account for such transfer, 
                each local plan, or application submitted by 
                the agency, to which such funds relate;
                  [(B) not later than 30 days after the date of 
                such transfer, submit a copy of such modified 
                plan or application to the State; and
                  [(C) not later than 30 days before the 
                effective date of such transfer, notify the 
                State of such transfer.
  [(e) Applicable Rules.--
          [(1) In general.--Except as otherwise provided in 
        this subpart, funds transferred under this section are 
        subject to each of the rules and requirements 
        applicable to the funds under the provision to which 
        the transferred funds are transferred.
          [(2) Consultation.--Each State educational agency or 
        local educational agency that transfers funds under 
        this section shall conduct consultations in accordance 
        with section 9501, if such transfer transfers funds 
        from a program that provides for the participation of 
        students, teachers, or other educational personnel, 
        from private schools.]

Subpart 2--Funding Flexibility for State and Local Educational Agencies

SEC. 6121. SHORT TITLE.

  This subpart may be cited as the ``State and Local Funding 
Flexibility Act''.

SEC. 6122. PURPOSE.

  The purpose of this subpart is to allow States and local 
educational agencies the flexibility to--
          (1) design flexible programs that use Federal funds 
        to support student achievement for all students, 
        including students most at risk of failing to meet the 
        State's academic achievement standards; and
          (2) extend and enhance the funding flexibility 
        provided to rural local educational agencies under 
        section 6211 to all State educational agencies and 
        local educational agencies by providing such agencies 
        flexibility in using Federal formula funds received to 
        carry out authorized State or local activities for 
        other authorized or required State or local activities.

SEC. 6123. FLEXIBILITY TO USE FEDERAL FUNDS.

  (a) Alternative Uses of Federal Funds for State Educational 
Agencies.--
          (1) In general.--Subject to subsections (c) and (d) 
        and notwithstanding any other provision of law, a State 
        educational agency may use the applicable funding that 
        the agency receives for a fiscal year to carry out any 
        State activity authorized or required under one or more 
        of the following provisions:
                  (A) Section 1003.
                  (B) Section 1004.
                  (C) Subpart 1 of part B of title I.
                  (D) Part C of title I.
                  (E) Part D of title I.
                  (F) Part A of title II.
                  (G) Part B of title II.
                  (H) Title III.
                  (I) Part B of title IV.
                  (J) Part A of title V.
                  (K) Subpart 1 of part A of title VI.
                  (L) Subpart 2 of part B of title VI.
                  (M) Subpart 2 of part A of title VII.
          (2) Notification.--Not later than June 1 of each 
        year, a State educational agency shall notify the 
        Secretary of the State educational agency's intention 
        to use the applicable funding for any of the 
        alternative uses under paragraph (1).
          (3) Applicable funding defined.--
                  (A) In general.--Except as provided in 
                subparagraph (B), in this subsection, the term 
                ``applicable funding'' means funds provided to 
                carry out State activities under one or more of 
                the following provisions:
                          (i) Section 1003(g)(2).
                          (ii) Section 1004.
                          (iii) Subpart I of Part B of title I.
                          (iv) Part C of title I.
                          (v) Part D of title I.
                          (vi) Part A of title II.
                          (vii) Part B of title II.
                          (viii) Part A of title III.
                          (ix) Part B of title IV.
                          (x) Part A of title V.
                          (xi) Title I of Public Law 111-226.
                  (B) Limitation.--In this subsection, the term 
                ``applicable funding'' does not include funds 
                provided under any of the provisions listed in 
                subparagraph (A) that State educational 
                agencies are required by this Act--
                          (i) to reserve, allocate, or spend 
                        for required activities;
                          (ii) to allot or award to local 
                        educational agencies or other entities 
                        eligible to receive such funds; or
                          (iii) to use for technical assistance 
                        or monitoring.
          (4) Disbursement.--The Secretary shall disburse the 
        applicable funding to State educational agencies for 
        alternative uses under paragraph (1) for a fiscal year 
        at the same time as the Secretary disburses the 
        applicable funding to State educational agencies that 
        do not intend to use the applicable funding for such 
        alternative uses for the fiscal year.
  (b) Alternative Uses of Federal Funds for Local Educational 
Agencies.--
          (1) In general.--Subject to subsections (c) and (d) 
        and notwithstanding any other provision of law, a local 
        educational agency may use the applicable funding that 
        the agency receives for a fiscal year to carry out any 
        local activity authorized or required under one or more 
        of the following provisions:
                  (A) Section 1003.
                  (B) Part A of title I.
                  (C) Subpart 1 of part B of title I.
                  (D) Part C of title I.
                  (E) Part D of title I.
                  (F) Part A of title II.
                  (G) Part B of title II.
                  (H) Part A of title III.
                  (I) Part B of title IV.
                  (J) Part A of title V.
                  (K) Subpart 2 of part B of title VI.
                  (L) Part A of title VII.
                  (M) Section 613(f) of the Individuals with 
                Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1413(f)).
          (2) Notification.--A local educational agency shall 
        notify the State educational agency of the local 
        educational agency's intention to use the applicable 
        funding for any of the alternative uses under paragraph 
        (1) by a date that is established by the State 
        educational agency for the notification.
          (3) Applicable funding defined.--
                  (A) In general.--Except as provided in 
                subparagraph (B), in this subsection, the term 
                ``applicable funding'' means funds provided to 
                carry out local activities under one or more of 
                the following provisions:
                          (i) Part A of title I.
                          (ii) Part C of title I.
                          (iii) Part D of title I.
                          (iv) Part A of title II.
                          (v) Part A of title III.
                          (vi) Part A of title V.
                          (vii) Part A of title VII.
                          (viii) Title I of Public Law 111-226.
                  (B) Limitation.--In this subsection, the term 
                ``applicable funding'' does not include funds 
                provided under any of the provisions listed in 
                subparagraph (A) that local educational 
                agencies are required by this Act--
                          (i) to reserve, allocate, or spend 
                        for required activities;
                          (ii) to allot or award to entities 
                        eligible to receive such funds; or
                          (iii) to use for technical assistance 
                        or monitoring.
          (4) Disbursement.--Each State educational agency that 
        receives applicable funding for a fiscal year shall 
        disburse the applicable funding to local educational 
        agencies for alternative uses under paragraph (1) for 
        the fiscal year at the same time as the State 
        educational agency disburses the applicable funding to 
        local educational agencies that do not intend to use 
        the applicable funding for such alternative uses for 
        the fiscal year.
  (c) Rule for Administrative Costs.--A State educational 
agency or a local educational agency may only use applicable 
funding (as defined in subsection (a)(3) or (b)(3), 
respectively) for administrative costs incurred in carrying out 
a provision listed in subsection (a)(1) or (b)(1), 
respectively, to the extent that the agency, in the absence of 
this section, could have used funds for administrative costs 
with respect to a program listed in subsection (a)(3) or 
(b)(3), respectively.
  (d) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in this section shall be 
construed to relieve a State educational agency or local 
educational agency of any requirements relating to--
          (1) maintenance of effort;
          (2) use of Federal funds to supplement, not supplant, 
        non-Federal funds;
          (3) comparability of services;
          (4) equitable participation of private school 
        students and teachers;
          (5) applicable civil rights requirements;
          (6) the selection of school attendance areas or 
        schools under subsections (a) and (b), and allocations 
        to such areas or schools under subsection (c), of 
        section 1113;
          (7) section 1111;
          (8) section 1116; or
          (9) section 3122.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                             MINORITY VIEWS

    Committee Democrats strongly and unanimously oppose H.R. 
2445. Under the guise of flexibility, H.R. 2445 dismantles the 
federal role in education--exacerbating achievement gaps and 
funding inequities, and it does nothing to address the concerns 
raised by education stakeholders. H.R. 2445 does not address 
the core issues of No Child Left Behind that must be revised: 
it does nothing to address standards and assessment; it does 
nothing to address Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP); it does 
nothing to address school improvement; and it does nothing to 
improve application processes or reporting requirements. In 
fact, it does nothing at all to improve student achievement.
    H.R. 2445 allows school districts to use taxpayer dollars 
arbitrarily, for purposes other than that for which the money 
was intended; dismantling the fundamental role of the federal 
government in education. H.R. 2445 attacks children's civil 
rights. It endangers our schools, our economic stability and 
our global competitiveness. It deliberately hurts the students, 
families, communities, and schools that need help the most. It 
amounts to a raid on the funding for disadvantaged schools and 
students.
    Specifically, the bill allows funds from formula programs 
within the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, including 
formula programs targeting specific disadvantaged student 
populations, to be spent on nearly any purpose under the Act, 
thereby undermining federal efforts to increase educational 
equity for disadvantaged students and jeopardizing our national 
competitiveness.

           H.R. 2445 DISMANTLES THE FEDERAL ROLE IN EDUCATION

    The modern federal role in the nation's K-12 education 
system arose out of two significant events--Brown v. Board of 
Education and Sputnik. In 1954, the Supreme Court declared in 
Brown v. Board of Education that every child in this country 
has a right to equal access to education--a separate education 
for black and white students cannot be considered equal.\1\ In 
1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the world's first 
venture into outer space, igniting a national concern that our 
education system was not sufficient to keep up with new global 
competitors.\2\ As a result, Congress passed the National 
Defense Education Act in 1958 which focused on improving 
science, math, and foreign language instruction in our 
elementary and secondary schools. Seven years later, the 
Elementary and Secondary Education Act would follow.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).
    \2\U.S. Department of Education. (2011). The Federal Role in 
Education. Retrieved from: http://www.2.ed.gov/about/overview/fed/
role.htlm
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Although progress has been made since then, the need 
remains for our education laws to remedy inequality and 
increase student achievement. In a nation of growing income 
disparity, a state and local tax structure that allows 
education funding inequities, and a legacy of racial 
segregation, education inequalities will persist, or even grow, 
without an updated education law and a reordering of national 
priorities.
    While equity in education is a moral and constitutional 
issue, it is also inextricably tied to economic 
competitiveness. Students that graduate high school today are 
entering a labor market that is more globalized and more 
competitive than ever. Of 34 industrialized countries, in 2009, 
the U.S. ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science, and 25th in 
math.\3\ These rankings are directly linked to the United 
States tolerating achievement gaps within its population. Our 
top 10 percent of students perform equally with the students 
from top countries internationally, but there are significant 
discrepancies between the performance of students in those 
other countries and the rest of our population, especially poor 
and minority children.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\OECD (2011), Lessons from PISA for the United States, Strong 
Performers and Successful Reformers in Education, OECD Publishing. 
Retrieved from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1878/9789264096660-en.
    \4\Ibid.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Many of the primary formula programs under the Elementary 
and Secondary Education Act are driven by a focus on specific 
students--such as students from low-income families, migrant 
students, neglected and delinquent students, English language 
learners, and American Indian students--that have been 
traditionally underserved in education. These programs were 
created to promote equity and to ensure resources were focused 
on these traditionally underserved populations. While these 
programs require that funding be spent on the designated 
population, they offer considerable flexibility to districts in 
how those districts spend funds to improve services to the 
students for which they are intended.
    Instead of targeting funds to the schools and students most 
in need, H.R. 2445 would allow formula funds from programs to 
be moved around and spent for nearly any purpose under the 
Elementary and Secondary Education Act. States and districts 
would get federal funds for specific purposes, but be permitted 
to spend those funds elsewhere. Districts would only be 
required to notify the state of their intent to change the use 
of funds, and states would only need to notify the Secretary. 
Neither would need to report on how they changed their uses of 
funds.

            H.R. 2445 DOES NOT IMPROVE NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND

    H.R. 2445 does nothing to fix the problems with No Child 
Left Behind, it does nothing to respond to the requests of 
education stakeholders, and it does not provide real solutions 
for the burdens of current law. Last year, the Committee 
received thousands of recommendations on how to reauthorize 
ESEA, including some on flexibility. The Committee has also 
heard testimony on the need for flexibility within certain 
requirements of ESEA. The following section outlines a summary 
of recommendations the Committee received with regard to 
flexibility over the past two years.
     Standards and Assessments: In reauthorization, 
stakeholders have requested Congress provide states with 
flexibility, funding, and incentives to collaborate with other 
states and develop state college- and career-ready standards 
and higher-quality more-flexible assessments.
     Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP): In 
reauthorization, stakeholders have requested that ESEA provide 
greater flexibility in developing statewide accountability 
systems. They have requested flexibility in determining metrics 
for such accountability systems--including examining student 
growth--and in determining how to identify schools in need of 
improvement.
     School Improvement: One of the major complaints 
associated with current law is the mandated ``one-size-fits-
all'' approach once schools fail to make AYP. LEAs are unable 
to differentiate services based on data indicating their 
specific needs. In addition, many LEAs say that 20 percent set-
aside prohibits local flexibility and creates more burdens.
     Funding and Competitive Grant Programs: In 
reauthorization, stakeholders have requested program 
consolidation around common purposes to encourage data-based 
decision-making, create greater efficiencies and reduce burdens 
for schools and districts. This consolidation creates a more 
streamlined system for states and districts in applying for 
funding as they would have fewer required applications.
    H.R. 2445 does nothing to address any of these requests for 
improved flexibility.
    The Majority argues that funds are not diverted from 
disadvantaged students under their bill because formulas are 
not changed; however, they neglect to mention that once the 
money is distributed to states and districts, funds can be 
siphoned from the very populations (ie. poor, migrant, English 
language learners, neglected or delinquent children, and Indian 
children) that drive the formulas and that the law intended to 
serve. The Majority also argues that the bill maintains 
accountability and reporting, but, if H.R. 2445 were to be 
enacted, accountability and reporting become irrelevant because 
there will be no information on how the money is spent. Lastly, 
the Majority argues they have maintained civil rights 
requirements by including those words in the bill. The words, 
however, are meaningless when the actions of the bill open a 
floodgate to increase inequity in education.
    Committee Democrats believe funding allocated based on the 
number of children from poor families, the number of migrant 
students, the number of neglected or delinquent students, the 
number of English Language Learners, or the number of Indian 
students should be used for services for those students to 
increase educational opportunity. Rather than fixing No Child 
Left Behind, this bill fails our students and puts our economic 
future and global competitiveness at risk.

TITLE I, PART A: BASIC PROGRAMS FOR IMPROVING THE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT 
                          OF THE DISADVANTAGED

    Title I, part A provides grants to school districts for the 
stated purpose of ``meeting the educational needs of low-
achieving children in our Nation's highest poverty schools.'' 
H.R. 2445 allows districts to siphon money away from the low-
achieving children in our highest poverty schools.\5\ With this 
bill, the Majority permits districts to spend Title I funding 
on wealthier schools for activities such as CPR training or 
developing charter schools and threatens the services and 
supports to over 21 million low-income students across the 
nation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Barbour, E., C. & Skinner, R. (July 12, 2011). The potential 
effect of H.R. 2445 on Selected Provisions in Section 1113 of the 
Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Congresssional Research 
Service: Washington, DC.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Over the past 45 years, the Title I, part A program, 
primarily directed toward elementary schools with low-income 
and minority students, has resulted in academic gains for 
students. In fact, since 1973, 4th grade scores on the National 
Assessment on Education Progress have shown dramatic increases 
on both reading and math assessments, and the increases for 
minority students have outpaced the increases of their peers, 
helping to narrow the achievement gap. As depicted in the 
charts below, since the 1970s, math scores for 4th grade White 
students have improved by 25 points, while scores for 4th grade 
Black students have improved by 34 points and Hispanic students 
by 32. In reading, since the 1970's, the average score for 
White students is 14 points higher, while the score for Black 
students is 34 points higher and for Hispanic students 25 
points higher.


    Current law already permits considerable flexibility in how 
districts and schools spend Title I, part A funding as long as 
the supports are targeted to the low-achieving children in the 
highest poverty schools. Districts rank and fund their schools 
based on their poverty levels. Schools with poverty levels 
higher than 40% are permitted to operate schoolwide programs. 
Approximately two-thirds of all Title 1-receiving schools meet 
this threshold. The school conducts a needs assessment and then 
has considerable flexibility in developing strategies to 
improve the academic achievement of their students. The funds 
can be used for schoolwide activities because the concentration 
of poverty in these schools is so high that most of these 
students attending these schools are disadvantaged. Schools 
with poverty levels below 40% operate targeted assistance 
programs. In these schools, Title I funds are intended to be 
used to improve the academic achievement of those students 
furthest behind. Again, the school has flexibility in how to 
spend the funds to improve their outcomes, but the services 
must be provided to those students. There is not a specific 
percentage that must go from the district to the schools, but 
if the districts reserve funds they must be spent in low-income 
communities. Under H.R. 2445, districts would no longer be 
required to spend this money on the highest poverty schools or 
in high-poverty areas.
    With passage of H.R. 2445, the Majority undermines the 
progress that targeted assistance made through Title I, part A 
has achieved in increasing equity in our schools and improving 
educational opportunity for low-income and minority students.

            TITLE I, PART C: EDUCATION OF MIGRATORY CHILDREN

    Title I, Part C provides additional funding to states and 
school districts to support migrant students. With this bill, 
the Majority permits states and school districts to use funding 
they receive based on the number of migrant students they have 
in their schools on other students and for other purposes.
    Migrant children are an especially disadvantaged, hard-to-
serve group. In addition to being highly mobile, migrant 
students are more likely to live in poverty, have limited 
English proficiency, and have unstable living conditions.\6\ 
School-aged migrant workers are particularly at risk for poor 
educational outcomes. According to a National Agricultural 
Workers Survey, only three percent of these students were in 
school and performing at grade level.\7\ The educational needs 
of migrant children go well beyond those traditionally 
supported by state and local budgets and, due to their high 
mobility, no single state or district is responsible for their 
education.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\U.S. Department of Education. (2011a). FY2011 Department of 
Education Justifications of Appropriation Estimates to the Congress: 
Accelerating Achievement and Ensuring Equity. Washington, DC.
    \7\U.S. Department of Labor. (2000). Finding from the National 
Workers Survey 1997-1998: A Demographic and Employment Profile of 
United States Farmworkers: Finding from the National Agricultural, 
Research Report No. 8. Washington, DC.
    \8\U.S. Department of Education. (2011a).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Through the Migrant Education Program, states and districts 
receive funds to support the educational needs of migratory 
students. In 2010, nearly 500,000 students were eligible for 
federal support under the migrant education program, and in 
2009, the program supported approximately 7,000 programs. As a 
result of the program, the percent of migrant children 
performing at or above proficient on state assessments is 
growing. From 2008 to 2009, the percent of 4th grade migrant 
students scoring proficient in reading rose by five percent and 
three percent in math. Additionally, 8th grade proficiency 
scores increased. While these gains are promising, only about 
half of migrant children are currently scoring proficient or 
higher. Committee Democrats believe continued support for 
migrant students is essential so that they can continue these 
improvements.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\Ibid.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Current law also permits considerable flexibility in how 
states and districts spend Title I, part C funding as long as 
the supports are targeted to migrant students. With passage of 
H.R. 2445, the Majority is setting our nation back from these 
academic gains and further improvements in educational 
opportunity for migrant students.

TITLE I, PART D: PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN AND 
    YOUTH WHO ARE NEGLECTED, DELINQUENT, OR AT RISK OF DROPPING OUT

    Authorized over 40 years ago, Title I, part D creates both 
a state and local programs intended to improve educational 
services for students who are neglected, delinquent, or at risk 
of dropping out of school. With H.R. 2445, the Majority permits 
states and school districts that receive funding based on the 
number of neglected and delinquent students they have in their 
schools to use those dollars on other students and for other 
purposes.
    Studies show that incarcerated youth struggle with literacy 
and have a history of high academic failure rates and low 
school attendance rates.\10\ Additional research has shown that 
increasing educational skills for these youth is extremely 
beneficial for preventing future delinquency and reentry to the 
corrections system.\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\Harris, P.J., Baltodano, H.M., Bal, A., Jolivette, K., & 
Malcahy, C. (2009). Reading Achievement of Incarcerated Youth in Three 
Regions. Journal of Correctional Education, 60(2), 120-145.
    \11\U.S. Department of Education. (2011a).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The state neglected and delinquent program provides grants 
for the education of children and youth in state institutions 
for the neglected or delinquent with funds allocated on the 
basis of the number of those children and youth in the state. 
The local program provides aid for districts with high 
percentages of youth in correctional facilities to help 
transition youth back to the school and prevent future 
delinquency. Over 100,000 youths are currently served by this 
program.
    Presently, the program offers flexibility in how states and 
districts can use these funds, including through professional 
development, curricula, and supplemental educational services, 
to support the goal of facilitating successful transition for 
neglected and delinquent students and helping them graduate 
high school. H.R. 2445 undermines the educational opportunities 
of these students by allowing once targeted funds to be used 
for other students and for other purposes.

 TITLE III, PART A: ENGLISH LANGUAGE ACQUISITION, LANGUAGE ENHANCEMENT 
                        AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT

    Title III, part A provides funding to states and districts 
to improve the education of English language learners. H.R. 
2445's shortsighted approach jeopardizes the rights of English 
language learner and immigrant students--the rights confirmed 
by the Supreme Court decision in Lau v. Nichols.\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \12\Lau v. Nichols, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In Lau, certain Chinese speaking students in the San 
Francisco Unified School District filed suit because they were 
denied supplemental English language courses. The case was 
taken to the Supreme Court where it found that, based on the 
Civil Rights Act of 1964, the San Francisco Unified School 
District was in violation of the law. Because the District 
received substantial federal financial assistance, the school 
system was required to ensure that students of a particular 
race, color, or national origin are not denied the same 
opportunities to obtain an education generally obtained by 
other students in the same school system. Title III, part A was 
later created to ensure that English language learners attain 
English proficiency and improve their academic achievement.
    According to the Census Bureau's ACS data, the number of 
English language learners has risen from less than 1 million in 
1980 to nearly 4.6 million in 2008 in the states, DC, and 
Puerto Rico.\13\ Nationally, in 4th grade mathematics, the 
achievement gap between English language learners and non-
English language learners in 2009 was 24 points. In 8th grade 
mathematics, the achievement gap was 41 points. Nationally, in 
4th grade reading the achievement gap between English language 
learners and non-English language learners in 2009 was 35 
points. In 8th grade reading, the achievement gap was 46 
points.\14\ As this population grows and achievement gaps 
continue to exist, targeted federal assistance is necessary to 
help states and districts improve effective instructional 
practices and support effective educators to serve the English 
Language Learner population so that recipients of federal 
funding use their resources in the most efficient and effective 
manner possible.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \13\U.S. Department of Education. (2011b). FY2011 Department of 
Education Justifications of Appropriation Estimates to the Congress: 
English Learner Education. Washington, DC.
    \14\http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/lttdata/. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Current law permits considerable flexibility in how states 
and districts spend Title III, part A funding as long as the 
supports are targeted toward improving the academic achievement 
of English language learners. H.R. 2445 interferes with our 
nation's obligations established under Lau v. Nichols, to 
increase equity in our schools and improve educational 
opportunity for English language learners.

                  TITLE VII, PART A: INDIAN EDUCATION

    Title VII, part A provides grants to districts to address 
the educational and culturally related academic needs of 
American Indian and Alaska Native students. H.R. 2445 allows 
school districts that receive funding based on the number of 
Indian students they have in their schools to use those dollars 
on other students and for other purposes jeopardizing services 
and supports to over 500,000 students.
    Indian children are subject to significant risk factors 
that threaten their academic success and overall well-being. 
Indian students' educational outcomes continue to lag behind 
their peers. These students are also more likely to qualify for 
special education services, be absent, and be suspended.\15\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \15\U.S. Department of Education. (2011c). FY2011 Department of 
Education Justifications of Appropriation Estimates to the Congress: 
Indian Education. Washington, DC.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Despite gains in academic achievement over the past 30 
years, a significant achievement gap between Indian students 
and the general student population persists.\16\ In fact, in 
2008, Indian students lagged 18 points behind their White peers 
in 8th grade reading.\17\ Additionally, in the past 30 years, 
the number of Indian students enrolling in college has doubled, 
but the dropout rate for Indian high school students is 
significantly above the national average.\18\ These students 
deserve the support of federal programs to address their 
specific educational needs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \16\Grigg, W., Moran, R., & Kuang, M. (2009). National Indian 
Education Study--Part 1: Performance of American Indian and Alaska 
Native Students at Grades 4 and 8 on NAEP 2009 Reading and Mathematics 
Assessments. U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC.
    \17\http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/lttdata/. 
    \18\U.S. Department of Education. (2011c).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Current law actually permits considerable flexibility in 
how districts spend Title VII, part A funding as long as the 
funds are targeted toward improving the achievement of American 
Indian students. H.R. 2445 allows funds to be siphoned away 
from serving this important student population and undermines 
our nations effort to improve the educational outcomes and 
educational opportunity for American Indian and Alaska Native 
students.

                         FISCAL ACCOUNTABILITY

    With H.R. 2445, the Majority will erode fiscal 
accountability. Without reporting requirements, it will be 
impossible to monitor fiscal accountability provisions--federal 
dollars can supplant local dollars and comparable services in 
our schools will be abandoned. In fact, the Majority voted 
unanimously against an amendment to include much needed 
reporting requirements and transparency.
    Fiscal accountability has always been included in the 
Elementary and Secondary Education Act to ensure federal 
dollars are spent appropriately and to ensure that states and 
local districts also contribute to improve K-12 education. H.R. 
2445 says that nothing in this bill ``shall be construed to 
relieve a state educational agency or a local educational 
agency of any requirements relating to'' supplement not 
supplant and comparability of services. However, the bill also 
fails to put in place provisions to make these protections 
feasible.
    H.R. 2445 only requires that districts notify a state of 
their intent to use this provision and only requires the state 
to notify the Secretary. It does not require districts or 
states to report on how the funds are used or who is served by 
the federal funds.
    Without this critical information, these essential fiscal 
accountability requirements will be impossible to monitor. 
There would be no assurance that the federal funds are 
supplementing non-federal funds because we will not know how 
federal funds are spent. Additionally, this bill undermines 
Title I leaving it with no requirement to actually establish 
Title I receiving schools. Without Title I receiving schools, 
we will be unable to determine if high-poverty schools are 
receiving comparable services to the wealthier schools. H.R. 
2445 will permit taxpayer dollars to be spent at the local 
level without any accountability for how they are spent.

                         LETTERS OF OPPOSITION

    The Committee received letters of opposition for H.R. 2445 
from: The Congressional Black Caucus; the Congressional Asian 
Pacific American Caucus; the Congressional Hispanic Caucus; 
Asian American and Pacific Islander Organizations (AAPI); 
American Federation of Teachers (AFT); Consortium for Citizens 
with Disabilities (CCD); Council for Exceptional Children 
(CEC); Council of the Great City Schools; Democrats for 
Education Reform; The Education Trust; Hispanic Education 
Coalition (HEC); NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Inc. 
(LDF); Children's Defense Fund (CDF); Lawyers' Committee for 
Civil Rights Under Law; League of United Latin American 
Citizens; Latino Elected and Appointed Officials National 
Taskforce on Education; National Alliance of Black School 
Educators (NABSE); National Association of Elementary School 
Principals (NAESP); National Association of Secondary School 
Principals (NASSP); National Association of State Directors of 
Special Education (NASDSE); Alliance for Excellent Education; 
National Urban League; Southeast Asia Resource Action Center; 
National Indian Education Association (NIEA); League of United 
Latin American Citizens; National Council of La Raza (NCLR); 
National PTA; National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD); 
National Education Association (NEA); Tribal Education 
Departments National Assembly. (TEDNA); Teachers of English to 
Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL); and the Leadership 
Conference.

                               AMENDMENTS

    Due to the detrimental effect H.R. 2445 would have on 
students' education, Democratic Members offered a series of 
amendments to ensure that states and districts that receive 
money for specific populations of students spend the money to 
improve educational opportunities for those students. The 
amendments simply excluded the programs where funding is 
generated by specific populations from this provision.
    Mr. Miller offered an amendment to prohibit districts from 
using funds obtained through Title I,
    Part A, a formula based on the number of poor students in 
each district, from being used for activities that do not 
support those students. The amendment was defeated on a party-
line vote.
    Mr. Grijalva and Mr. Hinojosa offered an amendment to 
prohibit states and districts from using funds obtained through 
a formula based on the number of English Language Learners and 
immigrant students in each state, from being used for 
activities that do not support those students. The amendment 
was defeated on a party-line vote.
    Mr. Hinojosa and Mr. Grijalva offered an amendment to 
prohibit states and districts from using funds obtained through 
Title I, Part C, a formula based on the number of migrant 
students in each state, from being used for activities that do 
not support those students. The amendment was defeated on a 
party-line vote.
    Mr. Scott offered an amendment to prohibit states and 
districts from using funds obtained through Title I, Part D, a 
formula based on the number of neglected and delinquent 
students in each state, from being used for activities that do 
not support those students. The amendment was defeated on a 
party-line vote.
    Mr. Kildee offered an amendment to prohibit local 
educational agencies from using funds obtained through Title 
VII, part A, a formula based on the number of Native American 
and Alaska Native students, from being used for purposes other 
than supporting their educational needs. The amendment was 
defeated on a party-line vote.
    Mr. Holt offered an amendment to require states and 
districts that utilize the authority provided under the H.R. 
2445 to report on what activities were funded, which students 
benefited from those activities, disaggregated by race, 
ethnicity, gender, disability status, migrant status, English 
proficiency, and poverty, and the numbers of students from 
which the state's and District's funding from a particular 
program was derived. The amendment was defeated on a party-line 
vote.

                   DEMOCRATIC VISION FOR FLEXIBILITY

    The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, first and 
foremost, is a civil rights law, carrying out the federal 
government's role in ensuring equal access and opportunity for 
all, as required by Brown v. Board of Education.\19\ For all 
its flaws, No Child Left Behind did help local communities and 
the nation see, for the first time, what was happening in our 
schools for all students. In addition to revealing the state of 
student achievement, it also held schools accountable for 
improving their students' performance. Hiding this information 
and retreating from accountability are not options if we want 
to close the achievement gap and ensure the American workforce 
remains strong in the global economy.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \19\Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To maintain the role of increasing equity and economic 
competitiveness, the federal government should be setting high 
standards for all students, establishing a strong system for 
accountability tied to those standards, and encouraging more 
data-based decision making. Once the federal government ensures 
the collection of this information, sets high standards, and 
insists on accountability, it should step back and give a great 
deal of flexibility to states and school districts in deciding 
how to help our schools meet our national goals.
    Flexibility will only lead to improved student outcomes and 
improved school operations, if it is grounded in improving 
equity and student achievement. Student achievement should 
drive decision-making. With the focus on improving student 
outcomes, additional flexibility will lead to greater 
innovation and allow advancements--from what we have learned 
domestically and internationally--to drive practice. Committee 
Democrats believe that consolidation of programs, alignment of 
data, and modernization of accountability systems can increase 
flexibility for school districts while maintaining the 
appropriate federal role in education.
    Consolidation of the smaller programs within ESEA will 
increase efficiency and increase flexibility at the local 
level, allowing school districts to design programs that best 
meet their needs. Consolidation of programs should maintain 
focus on data-based decision making and accountability for 
outcomes. It is important that in consolidating programs the 
federal government ensure that essential services to students 
are not lost, but that districts have the flexibility to meet 
the various needs of their students. For example, ESEA 
currently authorizes several programs on various aspects of 
literacy--family literacy, early literacy, and K-12 literacy. 
In consolidating these programs into one comprehensive program, 
Congress would reduce burdens on states and districts by 
requiring only one application and streamlined data 
requirements in exchange for funding to provide literacy 
services based on the needs of their community.
    When consolidating programs, outcome requirements should be 
aligned and limited in number and focused on increasing student 
achievement and graduating college- and career-ready students. 
The outcome requirements established through Title I, part A--
student achievement in English and math and graduation--should 
be central in all programs within ESEA. A focused and narrowed 
set of performance indicators will create coherence within the 
system and reduce burden on schools, districts, and states, 
while still providing parents, communities, and schools with 
much needed information on student performance.
    States, districts and schools should be more fairly held 
accountable while maintaining the federal role in setting high 
expectations and holding all schools accountable for their 
students' performance. To be fairly held accountable, a system 
should consider where students and schools start and should 
create attainable targets that schools can achieve. Rather than 
relying on status-based measures to determine a school's 
success, Congress should consider student growth and school 
progress in accountability.
    Congress should also fix current law's ``one-size-fits-
all'' approach for schools that are in need of improvement. 
Districts should be able to differentiate services to students 
to improve academic achievement based on data indicating their 
specific needs.

                               CONCLUSION

    Flexibility is more than just slogan. Flexibility is 
something schools and districts need in order to improve. When 
done right, giving schools flexibility to adapt and meet their 
students' needs, while maintaining accountability at every step 
along the way, will help students to get ahead and succeed. 
Most importantly, schools must not lose sight of why the 
federal government has a role in education in the first place: 
Ensuring every student, regardless of their race, economic 
status or zip code, receives equal access to a quality 
education. H.R. 2445 does not provide schools and districts 
with the real flexibility that they need; it does not provide 
students with educational opportunity. It is an arbitrary 
policy that undermines equality of opportunity, which is 
morally reprehensible, constitutionally suspect and a threat 
our economic competitiveness.

                                   George Miller.
                                   Dale E. Kildee.
                                   Donald M. Payne.
                                   David Wu.
                                   Ruben Hinojosa.
                                   Raul M. Grijalva.
                                   Rush D. Holt.
                                   Dennis J. Kucinich.
                                   Dave Loebsack.
                                   Carolyn McCarthy.
                                   Robert E. Andrews.
                                   John F. Tierney.
                                   Timothy H. Bishop.
                                   Susan A. Davis.
                                   Lynn C. Woolsey.
                                   Robert C. Scott.
                                   Mazie K. Hirono.