June 25, 2012      3:24 PM
WITH NCLB CAUGHT IN CONGRESSIONAL GRIDLOCK, FEDERAL SCHOOL FUNDs SUBJECT TO PIECEMEAL REAUTHORIZATIONS
Texas stand off with Department of Education could have budgetary consequences for next session
leading education lobbyist on Capitol Hill has called both the existing No
Child Left Behind Act and federal school progress
ratings “done done and done” during a session with
charter school leaders in Minneapolis last week.
The current federal
education law, birthed as the Texas accountability system in the 90s under then
Governor George W. Bush, could soon be gone. And if it is on its way out -- and
Texas continues to play hardball with Education Secretary Arne Duncan -- Texas
could lose out on federal funding.
For most school
districts, federal funds account for about 10 percent of the overall budget(The Texas Education Agency adds it up as not quite $2 billion a year).
But since current funding is by program, those funding losses could have a
greater impact on school district with big populations of economically disadvantaged
students or those with mental or physical limitations.
Vic Klatt, who now leads a bipartisan team
at the Penn Hill Group, worked as a key education staffer on Capitol
Hill and in the Department of Education during Pres. George W Bush’s administration. He told a group of charter
leaders that Congress is in the middle of complete and utter gridlock.
Child Left Behind has no support on the Republican
side. It has no support among the Democrats. It is done, writ large, as an entire bill,” Klatt
told attendees at the annual conference of the National Alliance of Public
Charter Schools. “For those of you who operate under AYP, it’s also
done, done, done.”
adequate yearly progress, the federally set yardstick that notes satisfactory
progress for schools each year. The House and Senate education committees have
differed on revising the definition, with the Senate tossing out the measure in
favor what is known as “continuous improvement.”
can’t wait. States are up against a hard NCLB deadline for 100 percent
proficiency on state tests two years from now. In response, Education Secretary
Arne Duncan has offered waivers,
negotiated state-by-state, that give discretion in return for adhering to
Duncan’s priorities and initiatives.
far, Texas has declined to seek a waiver. Education Commissioner Robert Scott has called Duncan’s
waivers federal overreach. Still, more than 30 states are expected to sign
waiver requests this year, putting Texas in a precarious position of failing to
meet federal standards by refusing to sign onto the “voluntary” measures of Race
to the Top.
The rest of the story, subscribers only
By Kimberly Reeves