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  • Chairman John Kline Proposes More Flexibility for Local Schools

    Representative John Kline (R–MN)

    As the Obama Administration pushes for a ninth reauthorization of No Child Left Behind, conservatives in Congress are offering alternatives to the failed status quo of Washington-driven education policy.

    Representative John Kline (R–MN), chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, has introduced a new bill to provide states and school districts with more flexibility in how they allocate federal education dollars.

    The flexibility bill is the third in a series of proposals put forward by the committee to restore educational control to state and local leaders.

    The proposal allows states to redirect the federal funding that covers the cost of administering School Improvement Grants, Title I funding for low-income school districts, and a variety of other programs to areas that would best benefit the students in their state.

    While states would enjoy more flexibility with the funding available to them for administering certain federal education programs, school districts would be granted the opportunity to redirect entire funding streams to the education areas that they deem most in need of resources.

    According to the committee, states and school districts would have flexibility with about $20 billion of the $25 billion in federal funding.

    Although the proposal would provide significantly more flexibility to states and school districts with how they use their education dollars—something superintendents and school leaders have been begging for—the proposal has been criticized by some on the left who are still holding out hope that prescriptive federal programs will improve education. Representative George Miller (R–CA), the ranking Democrat on the committee, called the proposal “disastrous for students, communities, schools and the future of this country.”

    Despite such cries, for school districts across the country, the flexibility proposal could mean some real flexibility with their school budgets. For example: Albemarle County in Virginia received $1.3 million in federal Title I funds during the 2010–11 school year. The county was required to spend that money according to guidelines under the Title I program, even if those dollars could have been more useful to their English Language Learner (ELL) population. (Albemarle has one of the highest ELL populations in the state.) Under the new proposal, the county would be allowed to spend those $1.3 million in a host of other ways.

    According to Kline, the bill’s sponsor:

    We’ve moved control progressively from the schools where the kids are supposed to learn, to Washington, D.C. … And that’s what we’re pushing back.… We’re looking for ways to help our kids get a better education, be more competitive here and around the world.… We’re working…very hard…to pull back the intrusion of the federal government.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    2 Responses to Chairman John Kline Proposes More Flexibility for Local Schools

    1. C. Johnston says:

      I have found it very interesting that there is a federal department of education and I know that this federal department is relatively new, since the late sixties (?). What interest me so much is: how many students do they have, how many teachers, what do they teach, where are their classrooms, do they have principal (..ples) to head up the various school programs, are they qualified to do what they do, what are their credentials, I KNOW WHERE THEIR MONEY COMES FROM. Looks to me like a tremendous amount of "overhead" and not a "producer" in sight. If the federal department of education did not exist then that overhead cost could be returned to the taxpayer, where it belongs, and then perhaps the STATE would have more funds to work with and could then return education" to the people. It seems to me that the closer government is to the voter, the better government works.

    2. Bobbie says:

      When can parents expect their children to be educated by high standard, proper personnel and not being dummied down by government or outside influence or unions? As we've come to know, many high paid, degree in hand teachers have been mis educating by cheating and at the cost of the minds of the youth and at tax payers costs for districts gain? Teachers are protected by unions and aren't held accountable? then they deliberately keep the truth from the children leaving the children with a false sense of intellect? Outrageous and beneath expectations. If they can cheat children, they can face the children with the truth. How dare they keep truth from anybody. These lying lefties have to be held accountable. and when can we expect that with reprimand in all public areas beyond our control? Why aren't public educated schools working with cost efficient administration? A mind is a terrible thing to waste and should not be put in the hands of government controlled institutions. Please stop the money going to non productivity. America deserves so much better!!!!!!!! The government is shooting the bullets making our lives harder then they should ever have to be and in freedom wouldn't be.

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