Federal Education Bills That Return Local and State Control

Photo credit: UpstateNYer (CC-By-SA 3.0)
Photo credit: UpstateNYer (CC-By-SA 3.0)

Congressman Scott Garrett (R-NJ) filed the right type of bill instead of the behemoth ESEA/NCLB authorization bill H.R. 121, the Local Education Authority Returns Now Act, gives states the ability to opt out of federal education grants.

Here is the summary of the bill:

This bill requires the Secretary of the Treasury to make an annual determination of states that have chosen to opt-out of K-12 education grant programs and the Secretary of Education to determine credits due to states as opt-out state education amounts.

The bill also amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow individual taxpayers in states that opt-out a refundable tax credit for a share of the opt-out amount creditable to such states.

Then there is H.R. 524, Local Control of Education Act, sponsored by Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) and has 39 cosponsors.

Here is the summary of this bill:

This legislation will restore local control of education by prohibiting the federal government from mandating that states adopt a specific curriculum or set of academic standards, such as Common Core. It will also prohibit the federal government from using grants or waivers to mandate or incentivize states into adopting Common Core, thus ensuring that local control is left to the states. For states that already adopted Common Core, it would ensure that any previous requirements for waivers would be void and the Secretary of Education would be prohibited from requiring states to agree to any new conditions in order to keep their existing waiver.

This legislation helps to counteract the unprecedented federal overreach of the last several years into instructional content, academic standards, and assessments.

I’ve written about the LOCAL Level Act in the U.S. Senate sponsored by U.S. Senator Pat Roberts before.  It now has a bill number – S.182.  It currently has four co-sponsors in the Senate: U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).

The primary problem with this bill is not the intent behind it, but that it amends ESEA.  We want to sunset ESEA/NCLB.  Call this bill plan B so to speak.  If it could be written in a way that it stands alone I’d be more excited about it.

Here is the summary of that bill:

Learning Opportunities Created At Local Level Act or the LOCAL Level Act

Expresses the sense of Congress that state and local prerogatives over elementary and secondary education need to be preserved.

Amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to prohibit any federal officer or employee from directly or indirectly, through grants, contracts, or other cooperative agreements under the ESEA:

  • mandating, directing, or controlling a state’s local educational agency’s (LEA’s) or school’s specific instructional content, academic standards, assessments, curriculum, or program of instruction;
  • incentivizing such an entity’s adoption of any specific instructional content, academic standards, assessments, curriculum, or program of instruction;
  • mandating a state or any subdivision thereof to spend any funds or incur any costs not paid for under the ESEA; or
  • conditioning the availability of financial support on a state’s LEA’s, or school’s adoption of any specific instructional content, academic standards, assessments, curriculum, or program of instruction, even if such conditions are specified under any other Act.

Prohibits any funds provided to the Department of Education under the ESEA from being used by the Department directly or indirectly, through grants, contracts, or other cooperative agreements, to endorse, approve, develop, require, or sanction any elementary or secondary school curriculum.

Prohibits conditioning any state’s receipt of ESEA assistance on the approval or certification of its academic standards by the federal government.

Includes in the prohibition against the use of ESEA funds on federally sponsored testing and testing materials such use on any assessment or testing materials aligned to the Common Core State Standards or any other academic standards common to a significant number of states. Prohibits the use of Race to the Top funds, provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, on such aligned assessment or testing materials.

While we call on Congressman John Kline (R-MN) and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to sunset ESEA/NCLB we should also let them know the types of bills we are for.

3 thoughts on “Federal Education Bills That Return Local and State Control

  1. Obama will veto anything that stands in the way of “the agenda.” None of these seemingly good bills will ever see the light of day. But you rest assure whatever Alexander ends up as the final reauthorization will havw the full endorsement of Duncan and Obama. People we really need to stop chasing the ghost of American education. Communities need to come together and create ways to educate our own children. Communities co-ops to home school, retired people volunteer your time to home school a working mother’s children. Get your church to donate a room and bring in a couple of kids and start educating them. Parents educated the greatest minds in history at the kitchen table and in 1 room school houses and that is what we need to do now. Time to STARVE THE BEAST. They can only destroy what we allow them to destroy. As long as we feed the beast the beast will continue to grow.

    1. Obummer has already stated he will sign the ESEA bill as long as Alexander keeps in the testing mandates and the assessments. Since both Bummer and Arne Duncan ar working for Alexander one of the NWO chief’s you can be sure this bill will be passed. Stop giving them any federal money for education and the states STOP giving the fed’s any of our money since our return is so low we would be much better off to operate on our own dimes.

  2. My remarks have the * at the beginning and at the end of each of my responses.

    Congressman Scott Garrett (R-NJ) filed the right type of bill instead of the behemoth ESEA/NCLB authorization bill H.R. 121, the Local Education Authority Returns Now Act, gives states the ability to opt out of federal education grants.

    *I am confused – nothing new! Why do we need a bill to tell us we can opt out of federal grants when all you have to do is not accept any grant funds or never apply for any! The operative word here is NO!*

    Here is the summary of the bill:

    This bill requires the Secretary of the Treasury to make an annual determination of states that have chosen to opt-out of K-12 education grant programs and the Secretary of Education to determine credits due to states as opt-out state education amounts.

    *I still do not understand why we need a bill to the Sec. of the Treasury to determine anything – if they sent the paper work to opt-out that should be the end of it.*

    The bill also amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow individual taxpayers in states that opt-out a refundable tax credit for a share of the opt-out amount creditable to such states.

    *If you said NO in the first place, why would the state be getting an opt-out tax credit? How can you get a refundable credit if you never paid any money and you wouldn’t be paying any money when you had ask to opt-out of something? Individual or states and why would anyone want the IRS further up our behinds?*

    Then there is H.R. 524, Local Control of Education Act, sponsored by Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) and has 39 cosponsors.

    Here is the summary of this bill:

    This legislation will restore local control of education by prohibiting the federal government from mandating that states adopt a specific curriculum or set of academic standards, such as Common Core.

    It will also prohibit the federal government from using grants or waivers to mandate or incentivize states into adopting Common Core, *(this putting the horse behind the cart)* thus ensuring that local control is left to the states. For states that already adopted Common Core, it would ensure that any previous requirements for waivers would be void and the Secretary of Education would be prohibited from requiring states to agree to any new conditions in order to keep their existing waiver. Sounds good in theory!

    *It needs to specifically state by name the billions they intend and voted to give Obama for the Pre-K Dec 2014 and stop that.* No bandaids!

    This legislation helps to counteract the unprecedented federal overreach of the last several years into instructional content, academic standards, and assessments.

    *I would like to see this bill go further and state public-private partnership investments need to be directed first to traditional public schools or just get these corporations out of our children’s education . In addition, I would like some clarification as to all the taxpayer money’s being paid out through vouchers to private schools. How can they continue to call themselves private and hid behind non-disclosure information when they are taking taxpayer funds? Asking too much, Huh!*

    I’ve written about the LOCAL Level Act in the U.S. Senate sponsored by U.S. Senator Pat Roberts before. It now has a bill number – S.182. It currently has four co-sponsors in the Senate: U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).

    The primary problem with this bill is not the intent behind it, but that it amends ESEA. We want to sunset ESEA/NCLB. Call this bill plan B so to speak. If it could be written in a way that it stands alone I’d be more excited about it.

    *I totally agree with this statement – any time you have a co-bill things get messed up. How about a bill the mandates it can only cover one topic for implementation, regulation and funding?

    How about eliminating all of this crap and just shut down the Federal Department of Education and give all the employees who would lose their jobs the benefits the federal government is intending to give to illegal immigrants?

    I don’t need to go any further – it is the original ESEA and all following which have ruined the intention of good education. We did just fine without all the laws, rules, regs and unions for that matter in creating some pretty smart people in this country.

    And by the way – Pat Roberts is one of the problems in this country. Cannot decide where in the room he is sitting. This goes for almost anyone who has been elected into an office somewhere.*

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