Table of Contents
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In March, 2010, President Obama laid out his ideas for revamping the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), commonly known as No Child Left Behind. The abbreviation, NCLB, is often pronounced “nickel-bee.”
At that time, President Obama released a “Blueprint for Reform” (pdf) that outlined his priorities for the law’s reauthorization. The law was written with the cooperation of Democrats and Republicans in 2001, and signed into law in early 2002 by then-President George W. Bush.
He reintroduced ideas for funding education to “Win the Future” in his January, 2011 State of the Union speech, emphasizing budget priorities that Congress will consider for fiscal year 2010-2011.
In March, 2011, President Obama gave new remarks indicating that he wants to see bipartisan cooperation on revisions to the law and its reauthorization by August, 2011.
How to Use This Site
You’ll see this very long law is divided into its component ten sections, or Title I through Title X. You can jump from Title to Title by clicking on the “Legislative focus group and workshop” in the banner, which returns you to the page that lists all the sections.
Click the apple and eraser to go to the home page of K12NewsNetwork.com for more topical education news.
Within each section, you can add your comments or read those left by others. This is a great opportunity to identify those areas you want your legislator to focus on, and gather feedback from other grassroots parents, educators, and students who want to support and improve public education in America. Please do contact your elected representative and make your views known.
K12NewsNetwork.com also has a legislative agenda where we list bills we support or oppose on POPVOX. We connect you to lawmakers so you can shape the laws that affect your life, and urge you to make use of our page or to contact the district or DC offices of your representative by phone, email, fax, or in a constituent visit to the office.
An Overview of No Child Left Behind
The preamble to this law’s called “Beginning.” It gives you an overview of what the various subsections of the law are called, and functions as an approximate table of contents.
- Title I is the longest, toughest slog. It contains important information on parent involvement in public education, programs on the development of reading skills, the education of migratory children, provisions for at-risk kids from low-income backgrounds, and advanced placement testing. Mixed in are a lot of rules regarding grant applications by local and state education agencies which aren’t really relevant to individuals.
- Title II covers funding used to train teachers and principals. It covers specific programs, like Troops-to-Teachers that help veterans get accreditation for civilian teaching jobs, or the National Writing Project or STEM (science, technology, engineering, or math) education, or teachers who use technology to help them teach.
- Title III addresses Limited English Learners who want to get up to speed in English as well as native speakers of English who seek instruction in global languages.
- Title IV addresses non-curricular parts of school culture that nevertheless are important part of the school day. These parts of the law address safety issues, from student health and freedom from drug or alcohol abuse, to gun-free and smoke-free zones.
- Title V emphasizes parental choice among types of schools, and covers charter schools, which are hybrid public- and private-funded schools that operate under different rules than existing public schools. Also covered here: gifted and talented education, magnet schools, women’s education equity, and physical education. It’s a bit of a catch-all category.
- Title VI talks about flexibility and accountability–again, aimed more at state and local educational agencies that receive federal money. There is one section on calculation of Adequate Yearly Progress, i.e., standardized testing, which is worth looking at, as is the section on Rural Schools.
- Title VII addresses the education of children who are Native Hawaiian, Native Alaskan, or belong to an American Indian nation. Native people have a different relationship to the federal government that takes into account that recognized tribes have treaties and other kinds of historically-based agreements with the federal government.
- Title VIII covers federal payments to a very small number of schools which sound like a one-time peculiarity of funding issues relating to those schools. More broadly, this part of the law allows for federal emergency grants to schools to fix school facilities under certain conditions (if no other way of funding it, such as a bond measure, is possible).
- Title IX gives attention to the federal government’s limited oversight into private schools. This part also addresses rules governing school prayer, equal access to school facilities (such as in school athletic programs where inequality between boys’ and girls’ athletic teams is often an issue), and armed forces recruiting.
- Title X is again a catch-all area that contains amendments and repeals of sections of prior law. Here you’ll find tweaks to education laws pertaining to homeless children, American Indian children (as it intersects with the Bureau of Indian Affairs), and laws having to do with teacher training.
Title IX (20 U.S.C. 7801 et seq.) is amended to read as follows: TITLE IX — GENERAL PROVISIONS
Except as otherwise provided, in this Act: (1) AVERAGE DAILY ATTENDANCE- (A) IN GENERAL- Except as provided otherwise by State law or this paragraph, the term average daily attendance' means — (i) the aggregate number of days of attendance of all students during a school year; divided by (ii) the number of days school is in session during that year. (B) CONVERSION- The Secretary shall permit the conversion of average daily membership (or other similar data) to average daily attendance for loca [...]
Parts B, C, D, and E of this title do not apply to title VIII of this Act.
For the purpose of any competitive program under this Act — (1) a consortium of schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs; (2) a school operated under a contract or grant with the Bureau of Indian Affairs in consortium with another contract or grant school or a tribal or community organization; or (3) a Bureau of Indian Affairs school in consortium with an institution of higher education, a contract or grant school, or a tribal or community organization, shall be given the same consider [...]
(a) CONSOLIDATION OF ADMINISTRATIVE FUNDS- (1) IN GENERAL- A State educational agency may consolidate the amounts specifically made available to it for State administration under one or more of the programs under paragraph (2) if the State educational agency can demonstrate that the majority of its resources are derived from non-Federal sources. (2) APPLICABILITY- This section applies to any program under this Act under which funds are authorized to be used for administration, and such other pro [...]
A State educational agency that also serves as a local educational agency shall, in its applications or plans under this Act, describe how the agency will eliminate duplication in conducting administrative functions.
(a) GENERAL AUTHORITY- In accordance with regulations of the Secretary and for any fiscal year, a local educational agency, with the approval of its State educational agency, may consolidate and use for the administration of one or more programs under this Act (or such other programs as the Secretary shall designate) not more than the percentage, established in each program, of the total available for the local educational agency under those programs. (b) STATE PROCEDURES- Within 1 year after th [...]
(a) GENERAL AUTHORITY- (1) TRANSFER- The Secretary shall transfer to the Department of the Interior, as a consolidated amount for covered programs, the Indian education programs under part A of title VII, and the education for homeless children and youth program under subtitle B of title VII of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, the amounts allotted to the Department of the Interior under those programs. (2) AGREEMENT- (A) IN GENERAL- The Secretary and the Secretary of the Interior shal [...]
The purposes of this part are — (1) to improve teaching and learning by encouraging greater cross-program coordination, planning, and service delivery; (2) to provide greater flexibility to State and local authorities through consolidated plans, applications, and reporting; and (3) to enhance the integration of programs under this Act with State and local programs.
(a) GENERAL AUTHORITY- (1) SIMPLIFICATION- In order to simplify application requirements and reduce the burden for State educational agencies under this Act, the Secretary, in accordance with subsection (b), shall establish procedures and criteria under which, after consultation with the Governor, a State educational agency may submit a consolidated State plan or a consolidated State application meeting the requirements of this section for — (A) each of the covered programs in which the State [...]
(a) IN GENERAL- In order to simplify reporting requirements and reduce reporting burdens, the Secretary shall establish procedures and criteria under which a State educational agency, in consultation with the Governor of the State, may submit a consolidated State annual report. (b) CONTENTS- The report shall contain information about the programs included in the report, including the performance of the State under those programs, and other matters as the Secretary determines are necessary, such [...]
(a) ASSURANCES- A State educational agency, in consultation with the Governor of the State, that submits a consolidated State plan or consolidated State application under this Act, whether separately or under section 9302, shall have on file with the Secretary a single set of assurances, applicable to each program for which the plan or application is submitted, that provides that — (1) each such program will be administered in accordance with all applicable statutes, regulations, program plans [...]
(a) GENERAL AUTHORITY- (1) CONSOLIDATED PLAN- A local educational agency receiving funds under more than one covered program may submit plans or applications to the State educational agency under those programs on a consolidated basis. (2) AVAILABILITY TO GOVERNOR- The State educational agency shall make any consolidated local plans and applications available to the Governor. (b) REQUIRED CONSOLIDATED PLANS OR APPLICATIONS- A State educational agency that has an approved consolidated State plan [...]
(a) ASSURANCES- Any applicant, other than a State educational agency that submits a plan or application under this Act, whether separately or pursuant to section 9305, shall have on file with the State educational agency a single set of assurances, applicable to each program for which a plan or application is submitted, that provides that — (1) each such program will be administered in accordance with all applicable statutes, regulations, program plans, and applications; (2)(A) the control of [...]
(a) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in subsection (c), the Secretary may waive any statutory or regulatory requirement of this Act for a State educational agency, local educational agency, Indian tribe, or school through a local educational agency, that — (1) receives funds under a program authorized by this Act; and (2) requests a waiver under subsection (b). (b) REQUEST FOR WAIVER- (1) IN GENERAL- A State educational agency, local educational agency, or Indian tribe that desires a waiver shal [...]
(a) PRIVATE SCHOOL PARTICIPATION- (1) IN GENERAL- Except as otherwise provided in this Act, to the extent consistent with the number of eligible children in areas served by a State educational agency, local educational agency, educational service agency, consortium of those agencies, or another entity receiving financial assistance under a program specified in subsection (b), who are enrolled in private elementary schools and secondary schools in areas served by such agency, consortium, or entit [...]
(a) IN GENERAL- If, by reason of any provision of law, a State educational agency, local educational agency, educational service agency, consortium of those agencies, or other entity is prohibited from providing for the participation in programs of children enrolled in, or teachers or other educational personnel from, private elementary schools and secondary schools, on an equitable basis, or if the Secretary determines that the agency, consortium, or entity has substantially failed or is unwill [...]
(a) PROCEDURES FOR COMPLAINTS- The Secretary shall develop and implement written procedures for receiving, investigating, and resolving complaints from parents, teachers, or other individuals and organizations concerning violations of section 9501 by a State educational agency, local educational agency, educational service agency, consortium of those agencies, or entity. The individual or organization shall submit the complaint to the State educational agency for a written resolution by the Stat [...]
(a) REVIEW- (1) IN GENERAL- (A) WRITTEN OBJECTIONS- The Secretary shall not take any final action under section 9502 until the State educational agency, local educational agency, educational service agency, consortium of those agencies, or entity affected by the action has had an opportunity, for not less than 45 days after receiving written notice thereof, to submit written objections and to appear before the Secretary to show cause why that action should not be taken. (B) PRIOR TO REDUCTION- P [...]
Nothing contained in this Act shall be construed to authorize the making of any payment under this Act for religious worship or instruction.
(a) APPLICABILITY TO NONRECIPIENT PRIVATE SCHOOLS- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to affect any private school that does not receive funds or services under this Act, nor shall any student who attends a private school that does not receive funds or services under this Act be required to participate in any assessment referenced in this Act. (b) APPLICABILITY TO HOME SCHOOLS- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to affect a home school, whether or not a home school is treated as a home s [...]
(a) IN GENERAL- A local educational agency may receive funds under a covered program for any fiscal year only if the State educational agency finds that either the combined fiscal effort per student or the aggregate expenditures of the agency and the State with respect to the provision of free public education by the agency for the preceding fiscal year was not less than 90 percent of the combined fiscal effort or aggregate expenditures for the second preceding fiscal year. (b) REDUCTION IN CASE [...]
A State shall not take into consideration payments under this Act (other than under title VIII) in determining the eligibility of any local educational agency in that State for State aid, or the amount of State aid, with respect to free public education of children.
Any results from an individual assessment referred to in this Act of a student that become part of the education records of the student shall have the protections provided in section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act.
(a) GUIDANCE- The Secretary shall provide and revise guidance, not later than September 1, 2002, and of every second year thereafter, to State educational agencies, local educational agencies, and the public on constitutionally protected prayer in public elementary schools and secondary schools, including making the guidance available on the Internet. The guidance shall be reviewed, prior to distribution, by the Office of Legal Counsel of the Department of Justice for verification that the guida [...]
(a) SHORT TITLE- This section may be cited as the 'Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act'. (b) IN GENERAL- (1) EQUAL ACCESS- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no public elementary school, public secondary school, local educational agency, or State educational agency that has a designated open forum or a limited public forum and that receives funds made available through the Department shall deny equal access or a fair opportunity to meet to, or discriminate against, any group official [...]
(a) PROHIBITION- None of the funds authorized under this Act shall be used — (1) to develop or distribute materials, or operate programs or courses of instruction directed at youth, that are designed to promote or encourage sexual activity, whether homosexual or heterosexual; (2) to distribute or to aid in the distribution by any organization of legally obscene materials to minors on school grounds; (3) to provide sex education or HIV-prevention education in schools unless that instruction is [...]
(a) GENERAL PROHIBITION- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize an officer or employee of the Federal Government to mandate, direct, or control a State, local educational agency, or school's curriculum, program of instruction, or allocation of State or local resources, or mandate a State or any subdivision thereof to spend any funds or incur any costs not paid for under this Act. (b) PROHIBITION ON ENDORSEMENT OF CURRICULUM- Notwithstanding any other prohibition of Federal law, no f [...]
(a) POLICY- (1) ACCESS TO STUDENT RECRUITING INFORMATION- Notwithstanding section 444(a)(5)(B) of the General Education Provisions Act and except as provided in paragraph (2), each local educational agency receiving assistance under this Act shall provide, on a request made by military recruiters or an institution of higher education, access to secondary school students names, addresses, and telephone listings. (2) CONSENT- A secondary school student or the parent of the student may request that [...]
(a) GENERAL PROHIBITION- Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal law and except as provided in subsection (b), no funds provided under this Act to the Secretary or to the recipient of any award may be used to develop, pilot test, field test, implement, administer, or distribute any federally sponsored national test in reading, mathematics, or any other subject, unless specifically and explicitly authorized by law. (b) EXCEPTIONS- Subsection (a) shall not apply to international comparative [...]
(a) MANDATORY NATIONAL TESTING OR CERTIFICATION OF TEACHERS- Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act or any other provision of law, no funds available to the Department or otherwise available under this Act may be used for any purpose relating to a mandatory nationwide test or certification of teachers or education paraprofessionals, including any planning, development, implementation, or administration of such test or certification. (b) PROHIBITION ON WITHHOLDING FUNDS- The Secretary is [...]
Nothing in this Act (other than section 1308(b)) shall be construed to authorize the development of a nationwide database of personally identifiable information on individuals involved in studies or other collections of data under this Act.
(a) UNSAFE SCHOOL CHOICE POLICY- Each State receiving funds under this Act shall establish and implement a statewide policy requiring that a student attending a persistently dangerous public elementary school or secondary school, as determined by the State in consultation with a representative sample of local educational agencies, or who becomes a victim of a violent criminal offense, as determined by State law, while in or on the grounds of a public elementary school or secondary school that th [...]
Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require, authorize, or permit, the Secretary, or a State educational agency, local educational agency, or school to grant to a student, or deny or impose upon a student, any financial or educational benefit or burden, in violation of the fifth or 14th amendments to the Constitution or other law relating to discrimination in the provision of federally funded programs or activities.
(a) IN GENERAL- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to permit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (except as otherwise permitted under title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972), national origin, or disability in any program funded under this Act. (b) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require the disruption of services to a child or the displacement of a child enrolled in or participating in a program administered by an eligible entity, a [...]
The Secretary shall issue regulations under this Act only to the extent that such regulations are necessary to ensure that there is compliance with the specific requirements and assurances required by this Act.
If any provision of this Act is held invalid, the remainder of this Act shall be unaffected thereby. -###-
(a) RESERVATION OF FUNDS- Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c), the Secretary may reserve not more than 0.5 percent of the amount appropriated to carry out each categorical program and demonstration project authorized under this Act — (1) to conduct — (A) comprehensive evaluations of the program or project; and (B) studies of the effectiveness of the program or project and its administrative impact on schools and local educational agencies; (2) to evaluate the aggregate short- and l [...]