[House Report 106-43]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]






106th Congress                                                   Report
  1st Session           HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                 106-43

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



 
             EDUCATION FLEXIBILITY PARTNERSHIP ACT OF 1999

                                _______
                                

  March 8, 1999.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______


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

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                     MINORITY AND ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 800]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Education and the Workforce, to whom was 
referred the bill (H.R. 800) to provide for education 
flexibility partnerships, 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 out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu 
thereof the following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Education Flexibility Partnership Act 
of 1999''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

  Congress makes the following findings:
          (1) States differ substantially in demographics, in school 
        governance, and in school finance and funding. The 
        administrative and funding mechanisms that help schools in 1 
        State improve may not prove successful in other States.
          (2) Although the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 
        1965 and other Federal education statutes afford flexibility to 
        State and local educational agencies in implementing Federal 
        programs, certain requirements of Federal education statutes or 
        regulations may impede local efforts to reform and improve 
        education.
          (3) By granting waivers of certain statutory and regulatory 
        requirements, the Federal Government can remove impediments for 
        local educational agencies in implementing education reforms 
        and raising the achievement levels of all children.
          (4) State educational agencies are closer to local school 
        systems, implement statewide education reforms with both 
        Federal and State funds, and are responsible for maintaining 
        accountability for local activities consistent with State 
        standards and assessment systems. Therefore, State educational 
        agencies are often in the best position to align waivers of 
        Federal and State requirements with State and local 
        initiatives.
          (5) The Education Flexibility Partnership Demonstration Act 
        allows State educational agencies the flexibility to waive 
        certain Federal requirements, along with related State 
        requirements, but allows only 12 States to qualify for such 
        waivers.
          (6) Expansion of waiver authority will allow for the waiver 
        of statutory and regulatory requirements that impede 
        implementation of State and local educational improvement 
        plans, or that unnecessarily burden program administration, 
        while maintaining the intent and purposes of affected programs, 
        such as the important focus on improving math and science 
        performance under title II of the Elementary and Secondary 
        Education Act of 1965, (Dwight D. Eisenhower Professional 
        Development Program), and maintaining such fundamental 
        requirements as those relating to civil rights, educational 
        equity, and accountability.
          (7) To achieve the State goals for the education of children 
        in the State, the focus must be on results in raising the 
        achievement of all students, not process.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

  In this Act:
          (1) Attendance area.--The term ``attendance area'' has the 
        meaning given the term ``school attendance area'' in section 
        1113(a)(2)(A) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 
        1965.
          (2) Ed-flex partnership state.--The term ``Ed-Flex 
        Partnership State'' means an eligible State designated by the 
        Secretary under section 4(a)(1)(B).
          (3) Local educational agency; state educational agency.--The 
        terms ``local educational agency'' and ``State educational 
        agency'' have the meaning given such terms in section 14101 of 
        the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.
          (4) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        Education.
          (5) State.--The term ``State'' means each of the 50 States, 
        the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and 
        each of the outlying areas.

SEC. 4. EDUCATION FLEXIBILITY PARTNERSHIP.

  (a) Education Flexibility Program.--
          (1) Program authorized.--
                  (A) In general.--The Secretary may carry out an 
                education flexibility program under which the Secretary 
                authorizes a State educational agency that serves an 
                eligible State to waive statutory or regulatory 
                requirements applicable to 1 or more programs or Acts 
                described in subsection (b), other than requirements 
                described in subsection (c), for the State educational 
                agency or any local educational agency or school within 
                the State.
                  (B) Designation.--The Secretary shall designate each 
                eligible State participating in the program described 
                in subparagraph (A) to be an Ed-Flex Partnership State.
          (2) Eligible state.--For the purpose of this subsection the 
        term ``eligible State'' means a State that--
                  (A)(i) has--
                          (I) developed and implemented the challenging 
                        State content standards, challenging State 
                        student performance standards, and aligned 
                        assessments described in section 1111(b) of the 
                        Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, 
                        and for which local educational agencies in the 
                        State are producing the individual school 
                        performance profiles required by section 
                        1116(a) of such Act; or
                          (II) developed and implemented content 
                        standards and interim assessments and made 
                        substantial progress, as determined by the 
                        Secretary, toward developing and implementing 
                        performance standards and final aligned 
                        assessments, and toward having local 
                        educational agencies in the State produce the 
                        profiles, described in subclause (I); and
                  (ii) holds local educational agencies and schools 
                accountable for meeting the educational goals described 
                in the local applications submitted under paragraph 
                (4); and
                  (B) waives State statutory or regulatory requirements 
                relating to education while holding local educational 
                agencies or schools within the State that are affected 
                by such waivers accountable for the performance of the 
                students who are affected by such waivers.
          (3) State application.--
                  (A) In general.--Each State educational agency 
                desiring to participate in the education flexibility 
                program under this section shall submit an application 
                to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and 
                containing such information as the Secretary may 
                reasonably require. Each such application shall 
                demonstrate that the eligible State has adopted an 
                education flexibility plan for the State that 
                includes--
                          (i) a description of the process the State 
                        educational agency will use to evaluate 
                        applications from local educational agencies or 
                        schools requesting waivers of--
                                  (I) Federal statutory or regulatory 
                                requirements as described in paragraph 
                                (1)(A); and
                                  (II) State statutory or regulatory 
                                requirements relating to education; and
                          (ii) a detailed description of the State 
                        statutory and regulatory requirements relating 
                        to education that the State educational agency 
                        will waive;
                          (iii) a description of specific educational 
                        objectives the State intends to meet under such 
                        a plan;
                          (iv) a description of the process by which 
                        the State will measure the progress of local 
                        educational agencies in meeting specific goals 
                        described in subsection (a)(4)(A)(iii); and
                          (v) an assurance that, not less than 30 days 
                        prior to waiving any Federal statutory or 
                        regulatory requirement, or in accordance with 
                        State law, the State educational agency shall 
                        give public notice in widely-read publications, 
                        such as large circulation newspapers and 
                        community newspapers, of its intent to grant 
                        such a waiver, a description of the Federal 
                        statutory or regulatory requirements that the 
                        State educational agency proposes to waive, any 
                        improved performance of students that is 
                        expected to result from the waiver, and the 
                        State official--
                                  (I) to whom comments on the proposed 
                                waiver may be sent by interested 
                                individuals and organizations; and
                                  (II) who will make all the comments 
                                received available for review by any 
                                member of the public.
                  (B) Approval and considerations.--The Secretary may 
                approve an application described in subparagraph (A) 
                only if the Secretary determines that such application 
                demonstrates substantial promise of assisting the State 
                educational agency and affected local educational 
                agencies and schools within such State in carrying out 
                comprehensive education reform, after considering--
                          (i) the comprehensiveness and quality of the 
                        education flexibility plan described in 
                        subparagraph (A);
                          (ii) the ability of such plan to ensure 
                        accountability for the activities and goals 
                        described in such plan;
                          (iii) the degree to which the State's 
                        objectives described in subparagraph (A)(iii)--
                                  (I) are specific and measurable; and
                                  (II) measure the performance of local 
                                educational agencies or schools and 
                                specific groups of students affected by 
                                waivers;
                          (iv) the significance of the State statutory 
                        or regulatory requirements relating to 
                        education that will be waived; and
                          (v) the quality of the State educational 
                        agency's process for approving applications for 
                        waivers of Federal statutory or regulatory 
                        requirements described in paragraph (1)(A) and 
                        for monitoring and evaluating the results of 
                        such waivers.
          (4) Local application.--
                  (A) In general.--Each local educational agency or 
                school requesting a waiver of a Federal statutory or 
                regulatory requirement described in paragraph (1)(A) 
                and any relevant State statutory or regulatory 
                requirement from a State educational agency shall 
                submit an application to the State educational agency 
                at such time, in such manner, and containing such 
                information as the State educational agency may 
                reasonably require. Each such application shall--
                          (i) indicate each Federal program affected 
                        and the statutory or regulatory requirement 
                        that will be waived;
                          (ii) describe the purposes and overall 
                        expected results of waiving each such 
                        requirement;
                          (iii) describe, for each school year, 
                        specific, measurable, educational goals for 
                        each local educational agency, school, or group 
                        of students affected by the proposed waiver;
                          (iv) explain why the waiver will assist the 
                        local educational agency or school in meeting 
                        such goals; and
                          (v) provide an assurance that, not less than 
                        30 days prior to submitting the application to 
                        the State educational agency for a waiver under 
                        this section, or in accordance with State law, 
                        the local educational agency or school shall 
                        give public notice in widely-read publications, 
                        such as large circulation newspapers and 
                        community newspapers, of its intent to request 
                        the waiver, a description of the Federal 
                        statutory or regulatory requirements that will 
                        be waived, any improved performance of students 
                        that is expected to result from the waiver, and 
                        the name and address of the local educational 
                        agency official--
                                  (I) to whom comments on the proposed 
                                waiver may be sent by interested 
                                individuals and organizations; and
                                  (II) who will make all the comments 
                                received available for review by any 
                                member of the public.
                  (B) Evaluation of applications.--A State educational 
                agency shall evaluate an application submitted under 
                subparagraph (A) in accordance with the State's 
                education flexibility plan described in paragraph 
                (3)(A).
                  (C) Approval.--A State educational agency shall not 
                approve an application for a waiver under this 
                paragraph unless--
                          (i) the local educational agency or school 
                        requesting such waiver has developed a local 
                        reform plan that is applicable to such agency 
                        or school, respectively; and
                          (ii) the waiver of Federal statutory or 
                        regulatory requirements described in paragraph 
                        (1)(A) will assist the local educational agency 
                        or school in meeting its educational goals.
                  (D) Termination.--If a local educational agency or 
                school that receives a waiver under this section 
                experiences a statistically significant decrease in the 
                level of performance in achieving the objectives 
                described in paragraph (3)(A)(iii) or goals in 
                paragraph (4)(A)(iii) for 2 consecutive years, the 
                State educational agency shall, after notice and an 
                opportunity for a hearing to explain such decrease, 
                terminate the waiver authority granted to such local 
                educational agency or school. If, after notice and an 
                opportunity for a hearing, the State educational agency 
                determines that the decrease in performance was 
                justified due to exceptional or uncontrollable 
                circumstances such as a natural disaster or a 
                precipitous and unforeseen decline in the financial 
                resources of the local educational agency or school, 
                the waiver shall not be terminated.
          (5) Monitoring.--
                  (A) In general.--Each State educational agency 
                participating in the program under this section shall 
                annually monitor the activities of local educational 
                agencies and schools receiving waivers under this 
                section and shall submit an annual report regarding 
                such monitoring to the Secretary.
                  (B) Performance data.--Not later than 2 years after a 
                State is designated as an Ed-Flex Partnership State, 
                each such State shall include performance data 
                demonstrating the degree to which progress has been 
                made toward meeting the objectives outlined in 
                paragraph (3)(A)(iii).
          (6) Duration of federal waivers.--
                  (A) In general.--The Secretary shall not approve the 
                application of a State educational agency under 
                paragraph (3) for a period exceeding 5 years, except 
                that the Secretary may extend such period if the 
                Secretary determines that such agency's authority to 
                grant waivers has been effective in enabling such State 
                or affected local educational agencies or schools to 
                carry out their local reform plans.
                  (B) Performance review.--Three years after a State is 
                designated an Ed-Flex Partnership State, the Secretary 
                shall--
                          (i) review the performance of any State 
                        educational agency in such State that grants 
                        waivers of Federal statutory or regulatory 
                        requirements described in paragraph (1)(A); and
                          (ii) terminate such agency's authority to 
                        grant such waivers if the Secretary determines, 
                        after notice and opportunity for a hearing, 
                        that such agency has failed to make measurable 
                        progress in meeting the objectives outlined in 
                        paragraph (3)(A)(iii) to justify continuation 
                        of such authority.
          (7) Authority to issue waivers.--Notwithstanding any other 
        provision of law, the Secretary is authorized to carry out the 
        education flexibility program under this subsection for each of 
        the fiscal years 1999 through 2004.
  (b) Included Programs.--The statutory or regulatory requirements 
referred to in subsection (a)(1)(A) are any such requirements under the 
following programs or Acts:
          (1) Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 
        1965.
          (2) Part B of title II of the Elementary and Secondary 
        Education Act of 1965.
          (3) Subpart 2 of part A of title III of the Elementary and 
        Secondary Education Act of 1965 (other than section 3136 of 
        such Act).
          (4) Title IV of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 
        1965.
          (5) Title VI of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 
        1965.
          (6) Part C of title VII of the Elementary and Secondary 
        Education Act of 1965.
          (7) The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education 
        Act of 1998.
  (c) Waivers Not Authorized.--The Secretary may not waive any 
statutory or regulatory requirement of the programs or Acts authorized 
to be waived under subsection (a)(1)(A)--
          (1) relating to--
                  (A) maintenance of effort;
                  (B) comparability of services;
                  (C) the equitable participation of students and 
                professional staff in private schools;
                  (D) parental participation and involvement;
                  (E) the distribution of funds to States or to local 
                educational agencies;
                  (F) the selection of schools to participate in part A 
                of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education 
                Act of 1965, except that a State educational agency may 
                grant waivers to allow schools to participate in part A 
                of title I of such Act if the percentage of children 
                from low-income families in the attendance area of such 
                school or who actually attend such school is within 5 
                percentage points of the lowest percentage of such 
                children for any school in the local educational agency 
                that meets the requirements of section 1113 of the Act;
                  (G) use of Federal funds to supplement, not supplant, 
                non-Federal funds; and
                  (H) applicable civil rights requirements; and
          (2) unless the underlying purposes of the statutory 
        requirements of each program or Act for which a waiver is 
        granted continue to be met to the satisfaction of the 
        Secretary.
  (d) Application.--
          (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and 
        (3), this Act shall not apply to a State educational agency 
        that has been granted waiver authority under the following 
        provisions of law:
                  (A) Section 311(e) of the Goals 2000: Educate America 
                Act.
                  (B) The proviso referring to such section 311(e) 
                under the heading ``education reform'' in the 
                Department of Education Appropriations Act, 1996 
                (Public Law 104-134; 110 Stat. 1321-229).
          (2) Exception.--If a State educational agency that has been 
        granted waiver authority, pursuant to paragraph (1)(A) or (B), 
        applies to the Secretary to extend such authority, the 
        provisions of this Act, except subsection (e)(1), shall apply 
        to such agency.
          (3) Effective Date for existing ed-flex programs.--This Act 
        shall apply to a State educational agency described in 
        paragraph (2) beginning on the date that such an extension is 
        granted.
  (e) Accountability.--
          (1) Evaluation for ed-flex partnership states.--In deciding 
        whether to extend a request for a State educational agency's 
        authority to issue waivers under this section, the Secretary 
        shall review the progress of the State educational agency to 
        determine if such agency--
                  (A) makes measurable progress toward achieving the 
                objectives described in the application submitted 
                pursuant to subsection (a)(3)(A)(iii); and
                  (B) demonstrates that local educational agencies or 
                schools affected by such waiver or authority have made 
                measurable progress toward achieving the desired 
                results described in the application submitted pursuant 
                to subsection (a)(4)(A)(iii).
          (2) Evaluation for existing ed-flex programs.--In deciding 
        whether to extend a request for a State educational agency 
        described in subsection (d)(2) to issue waivers under this 
        section, the Secretary shall review the progress of the agency 
        in achieving the objectives set forth in the application 
        submitted pursuant to subsection (a)(2)(B)(iii) of the Goals 
        2000: Educate America Act.
  (f) Publication.--A notice of the Secretary's decision to authorize 
State educational agencies to issue waivers under this section shall be 
published in the Federal Register and the Secretary shall provide for 
the dissemination of such notice to State educational agencies, 
interested parties, including educators, parents, students, advocacy 
and civil rights organizations, other interested parties, and the 
public.
  (g) Effective Date.--This Act shall be effective during the period 
beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act and ending on the 
date of the enactment of an Act (enacted after the date of the 
enactment of this Act) that reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary 
Education Act of 1965 in its entirety.

                                purpose

    The purpose of H.R. 800, the ``Education Flexibility 
Partnership Act of 1999,'' is to extend the waiver authority 
under the twelve-state ``Education Partnership Flexibility 
Demonstration Act'' to all fifty states. The legislation 
extends greater flexibility to states, school districts and 
schools in the operation of seven K-12 Federal elementary and 
secondary education programs in exchange for increased 
accountability for academic achievement.

                                summary

    H.R. 800 expands education flexibility under the 
``Education Flexibility Partnership Demonstration Act'' from 
twelve pilot states to all fifty states; increases academic 
accountability by requiring states and school districts to show 
specific and measurable educational goals that will be met as a 
result of the flexibility; adds the Technology Literacy 
Challenge Fund to the current-law list of six Federal K-12 
programs for which waivers can be obtained; and adds civil 
rights requirements and a Title I-related provision to the list 
of requirements that cannot be waived.

                            committee action

Hearings

    On February 25, 1999, the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, 
Youth and Families held a hearing entitled ``Putting 
Performance First: Hearing on ``Ed-Flex'' and it's Role in 
Improving Student Performance and Reducing Bureaucracy.'' The 
hearing focused upon the issues surrounding the Education 
Flexibility Partnership Demonstration Act. Witnesses were 
invited to share their views on how Ed-Flex has worked in their 
participating states, including the numbers and types of 
waivers granted to their local school districts, and especially 
how Ed-Flex has worked at the local level. The hearing also 
focused upon the General Accounting Office's (GAO) report ``Ed-
Flex States Vary in Implementation of Waiver Process,'' 
released in November 1998. This report provided an overview of 
how Ed-Flex has been implemented in the current twelve states 
where it has been piloted and examined the criteria that states 
must meet to participate in Ed-Flex. It also presented GAO's 
findings on the usefulness of Ed-Flex authority, and identified 
certain accountability issues. The subcommittee received 
testimony from Dr. Carlotta Joyner, Director of Education and 
Employment Issues, General Accounting Office, Washington, D.C., 
Ms. Madeleine Draeger Manigold, Coordinator of Waivers, Office 
for the Education of Special Populations, Texas Education 
Agency, Austin, Texas, Mr. Gregg Stubbs, Assistant Director, 
Division of Professional Development and Licensure, Ohio 
Department of Education, Columbus, Ohio, Dr. Michael E. Ward, 
Superintendent of Public Instruction, North Carolina Department 
of Public Instruction, Raleigh, North Carolina, and Dr. 
Lorraine A. Costella, Superintendent of Schools, Kent County 
Public Schools, Chestertown, Maryland.
    In the 105th Congress, language to expand education 
flexibility waivers to all fifty states was included in H.R. 
3248, the Dollars to the Classroom Act. H.R. 3248 passed the 
House on September 18, 1998 by a vote of 212-198. No 
legislative action on H.R. 3248 occurred in the Senate. In the 
fall of 1998, Representatives Castle and Roemer introduced H.R. 
4590, which would have allowed all fifty states to apply for 
the ``Ed-Flex'' waiver authority. No committee or legislative 
action occurred on this bill.

Legislative action

    On February 23, 1999, Subcommittee Chairman Castle (R-DE) 
and Representative Roemer (D-IN) introduced H.R. 800, ``The 
Education Flexibility Partnership Act of 1999,'' with 28 
cosponsors. On March 3, 1999, the Committee on Education and 
the Workforce considered H.R. 800 in legislative session. The 
bill was favorably reported, as amended, by a vote of 33-9.
    Subcommittee Chairman Mike Castle (R-DE) offered a 
committee substitute amendment. Thereafter, Rep. David Wu (D-
OR) offered a class size reduction amendment which was ruled 
nongermane by Chairman Bill Goodling (R-PA). The ruling of the 
chair was appealed. A procedural vote to sustain the ruling of 
the chair then passed 23-15. Congressman George Miller (D-CA) 
offered an amendment relating to State assessments under Title 
I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The amendment 
was defeated by a vote of 18-26. Next, Rep. Matthew Martinez 
(D-CA) offered an amendment relating to notice and comment 
which was accepted voice vote. Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI) offered 
two amendments. The first was a sunset provision and the second 
related to termination of waiver authority for decreasing 
student performance. Both were accepted voice vote. Next, Rep. 
Rush Holt (D-NJ) offered and withdrew an amendment relating to 
math and science professional development. Rep. George Miller 
(D-CA) offered and withdrew a monitoring and reporting 
amendment. Finally, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) offered an 
amendment relating to schoolwide projects under Title I of the 
Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The amendment was 
defeated by a vote of 20-24. There being no further amendments, 
the substitute amendment, as amended, was adopted voice vote.
    The Committee on Education and the Workforce, with a 
majority of the Committee present, favorably reported H.R. 800 
to the House by a vote of 33 to 9, on March 3, 1999.

                            committee views

Historical perspective

            The case for expanding ed-flex: federal programs place 
                    bureaucratic and regulatory burdens on all state 
                    and local school districts

    After decades of spending billions on federal education 
research and evaluation programs, very little is known about 
the effectiveness of the scores of federal elementary and 
secondary education programs administered by the U.S. 
Department of Education. Consequently, Congress lacks adequate 
data to determine what really works and what does not. Even the 
largest Federal elementary and secondary education program, 
Title I, has not been sufficiently evaluated to know if it is 
helping children learn. We are hopeful that the Department of 
Education will provide more useful data with respect to these 
programs during the next session of Congress.
    Because Federal education programs are compliance and not 
performance-based, they generate a large amount of paperwork 
and require thousands of bureaucrats to administer the 
programs. Some examples of this burden are as follows:
    Burdensome Paperwork Requirements: Even after accounting 
for recent reductions, the U.S. Department of Education still 
requires over 48.6 million hours worth of paperwork per year--
the equivalent of 25,000 employees working full-time for a 
year.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ Marshall Smith, ``Paper Reduction Act Accomplishments and Plans 
for Future,'' U.S. Department of Education, October 31, 1996.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thousands of Federally-funded Employees at the State Level: 
The Department of Education is one of the smallest Federal 
agencies. Yet, to administer all the Federal education programs 
within the states, there are nearly three times as many 
Federally funded employees working in state education agencies, 
as there are within the Federal Department of Education itself. 
According to GAO, there are about 13,400 FTEs (full-time 
equivalents) funded with Federal dollars to administer these 
programs.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\ U.S. General Accounting Office, Education Finance: The Extent 
of Federal Funding in State Education Agencies, GAO/HEHS-95-3, October 
1995, p. 11.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A 487 Step Discretionary Grant Process: In 1993, Vice-
President Gore's National Performance Review discovered that 
the Department of Education's discretionary grant process 
lasted 26 weeks and took 487 steps from start to finish. It was 
not until three years later in 1996 that the Department finally 
took steps to begin ``streamlining'' their long and protracted 
grant review process, a process which has yet to be completed 
and fully implemented. After the streamlining is complete it 
will only take an average of twenty weeks and 216 steps to 
complete a review.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\ U.S. Department of Education Report, ``A Redesigned 
Discretionary Grant Process''--Vice President Gore's National 
Performance Review 1995. Redesigned process is due to be in place in 
1998.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The cumulative effect of federally designed programs and 
requirements takes its toll at the state and local level. Frank 
Brogan, the Florida Commissioner of Education, noted the extent 
of the command and control approach of Washington bureaucrats. 
In testimony on May 5, 1998, he stated,

          In practice, most federal education programs typify 
        the misguided, one size fits all command and control 
        approach that we in the states are abandoning. Most 
        have the requisite focus on inputs like more 
        regulation, increasing budgets and fixed options and 
        processes. Conceptualized in Washington, with all good 
        intentions, federal education programs often get 
        translated into the growing bureaucratic thicket and 
        prove counterproductive.

    Brogan further noted that in Florida, because of Federal 
requirements, there are 297 state employees to oversee and 
administer approximately $1 billion in Federal funds. By 
contrast, 374 state-funded positions oversee and administer 
over $8 billion in state funds. Thus, six times as many people 
are required to administer a Federal dollar as a state dollar.
    The state of Georgia has also found federal programs to 
require a disproportionate number of administrators. Georgia 
State Superintendent Linda Schrenko, who spent eighteen years 
as a public school teacher and principal, testified about the 
excessive administrative requirements of Federal programs. She 
noted that about 6.4 percent of the $9.45 billion total 
education budget in Georgia (from all sources--Federal, state 
and local) in 1996-97 came from the Federal government. In that 
same year, the Georgia Department of Education had 322 
employees, of whom 93 worked full-time filling out paperwork 
and administering the federal programs. In effect, this 
amounted to 29 percent of their employees administering the 6.4 
percent of funds that came from Washington.
    Federal education programs are for the most part one-size-
fits-all solutions to problems that vary widely from state to 
state. Every state has different needs and priorities, and the 
paperwork and requirements which accompany federal programs 
often prevent them from best addressing these issues. States 
often have to plan their agendas around prescriptive federal 
constraints, as well as overlapping and often conflicting 
program requirements. Given that we do not currently even have 
sufficient data demonstrating the effectiveness of Federal 
programs, and the burdens necessarily placed on state and local 
school districts as a result, the Federal government should 
expand flexibility in federal programs. As much as possible it 
should defer to the states and local school districts to design 
their own programs for ensuring that all children receive a 
high quality education, while at the same time making sure that 
taxpayers receive their money's worth by ensuring that federal 
investments in education improve performance.

            Education flexibility for all 50 States under H.R. 800

    Currently, the GOALS 2000: Educate America Act, authorizes 
twelve states to participate in the Education Flexibility 
Partnership Demonstration Program (Ed-Flex). In exchange for 
increased accountability for results, Ed-Flex provides greater 
state and local flexibility in using Federal education funds to 
support locally-designed, comprehensive school improvement 
efforts. It accomplishes this by allowing states to approve 
local applications to receive waivers from certain Federal 
requirements that interfere with schools' ability to educate 
children instead of requiring them to submit applications to 
the U.S. Department of Education each time they want to waive a 
burdensome requirement.
    H.R. 800 removes the 12 state limitation as well as the 
demonstration nature of Ed-Flex. Under the bill, all 50 states 
would be eligible to apply for this authority, and no sound 
reason exists to delay extending this authority now. 
Furthermore, by enacting this legislation now, the immediate 
experience of the states can help Congress identify the areas 
of federal regulatory burdens for school districts and then 
address them during the ESEA reauthorization process. 
Widespread support exists for such a change. The National 
Governors Association, Republican Governors Association, 
Democratic Governors Association, National School Boards 
Association, American Association of School Administrators, 
Chamber of Commerce, Association of American Educators, 
National Association of State Boards of Education, and the 
National Education Association have all endorsed H.R. 800 and 
extending Ed-Flex authority to all 50 states.
    President Clinton, on several occasions, has advocated for 
expanding this authority to all states. On February 22, 1998, 
President Clinton, in a speech to the National Governors 
Association, advocated extending Ed-Flex authority to all 50 
states. The President stated,

          * * * I will also send to Congress this year 
        legislation to expand the Ed-Flex program. * * * There 
        are I think a dozen of you now who are part of the Ed-
        Flex program. The legislation that I will send would 
        make every state in the country eligible to be a part 
        of it, which would dramatically reduce the regulatory 
        burden of the federal government on the states in the 
        area of education.

    More recently, in an address to the Governors on February 
22, 1999 here in Washington, DC, the President advocated for 
more flexibility. He stated,

          Since I've been here, our administration has * * * 
        granted 357 waivers so that states and school districts 
        can have the flexibility to try new approaches. We 
        don't have any business telling you whom to hire, how 
        to teach, [or] how to run schools. I have vigorously 
        supported more school-based management, and more 
        flexibility for you.

    Secretary of Education Richard Riley, in a January 27, 1997 
speech before the National School Boards Association also 
endorsed Ed-Flex. He said,

          Under Ed-Flex, I have given nine states the authority 
        to waive burdensome federal regulations, and three more 
        states will be added to the list. Everybody likes Ed-
        Flex. It improves education and it sounds like a very 
        healthy exercise program, too.

    Secretary Riley also reaffirmed the Administration's 
support for Ed-Flex in his testimony before the House Committee 
on Education and the Workforce on February 11, 1999. He said 
``We are proposing to expand Ed-flex to allow all eligible 
States to participate.'' In responding to questions, Riley 
further commented that the Castle-Roemer Ed-Flex language which 
was discussed late in the 105th Congress and which forms the 
basis for H.R. 800 is ``very good language.''

            How Ed-Flex has been used in the 12 pilot States under 
                    current law to make Federal programs more effective

    First enacted in 1994, the ``Education Flexibility 
Partnership Demonstration Act,'' gives the Secretary of 
Education the ability to grant to State Educational Agencies 
(SEAs) in up to 12 states, broad authority to waive certain 
statutory and regulatory requirements of several major Federal 
education programs. In exchange for this flexibility, States 
must be held accountable for results. Ed-Flex, in short is a 
way of reducing the burden of Federal ``one-size-fits-all'' 
programs and reducing bureaucratic hoops that divert resources 
from schools and students by giving local school districts more 
freedom to design their own improvement plans. This waiver 
authority was originally granted to a maximum of six states 
when first enacted. It was later expanded to a maximum of 12 
states in 1996. The current 12 Ed-Flex states are Colorado, 
Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New 
Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, and Vermont.
    In general, Ed-Flex has been used to support reform in the 
12 Ed-Flex pilot states in three ways. First, to facilitate the 
coordination of programs and to improve the planning process. 
Second, to waive time-consuming administrative requirements and 
eliminate bureaucratic paperwork, and third (and most 
significantly), to increase student achievement.

            Planning for results at the local level

    As the Department of Education has noted,\4\ waivers 
obtained under Ed-Flex give districts the freedom to first 
envision what their educational system should look like, and 
then determine what statutory and regulatory barriers inhibit 
this vision from becoming a reality. It provides school 
districts with an incentive to think ``outside the box'' and 
focus federal resources more effectively and efficiently to 
support student achievement. Schools and districts can better 
take into consideration the needs of students to determine 
where and how resources should be allocated to improve 
performance. The current arrangement of separate, inflexible 
funding streams places the emphasis on process rather than on 
student achievement results.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\ Appendix B: Education Flexibility Demonstration Program (Ed-
Flex), Goals 2000: Reforming Education to Improve Student Achievement, 
Department of Education, April 30, 1998.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Some specific examples of this use of Ed-Flex are worth 
noting. Oregon, using Ed-Flex authority, simplified its 
planning and application structure so that school districts can 
develop a single plan that meets state planning requirements, 
consolidates the application for federal funds, and requests 
waivers of both federal and state requirements.
    Kent County, Maryland found, after looking at assessment 
results and other indicators for students at two elementary 
schools, that their greatest need was for better planning and 
coordination of student support services and improved reading 
and math instruction in the two schools. Each school had a 
poverty rate slightly below the 50 percent threshold 
requirement for schoolwide programs, and was able to obtain a 
waiver under Ed-Flex to conduct schoolwide programs. As a 
result, they were able to better plan and coordinate programs 
for the entire schools, not just a segment of the population. 
The testimony of Dr. Lorraine Costella, the Superintendent for 
Kent County confirmed these improvements at a hearing of the 
Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth and Families on February 
25, 1999. In addition, Costella noted that one of the two 
schoolwide schools (Rock Hall Elementary), which incidentally 
now has 60 percent poverty, has the third highest test scores 
in the state of Maryland on the state assessment.
    Finally, Greg Stubbs of the Ohio Department of Education, 
in noting the benefits of Ed-Flex, stated in his testimony 
before the Committee that

          The greatest benefit to having Ed-Flex authority is 
        that it, combined with the ability to waive State rules 
        and statute[s], establishes a school-planning 
        environment unencumbered by real or perceived 
        regulatory barriers. This environment encourages 
        creativity, thoughtful planning, and innovation. School 
        improvement plans created in the absence of regulatory 
        barriers are more likely to be faithfully implemented.

            Reducing bureaucracy

    Ed-Flex has enabled the 12 pilot states to waive burdensome 
administrative requirements and eliminate excessive paperwork 
requirements. In Texas, for example, nearly 4,000 
administrative waivers have been granted to districts for 
several general administrative Federal regulations. One example 
of what this looks like is the requirement that a school 
district obtain prior approval of the state before it can 
transfer more than 10% of its total budget from within a given 
program from one budget category to another (such as from 
equipment to salaries). With Ed-Flex waiver authority, that 
prior approval is not necessary. The result has been a 
reduction in paperwork, and the freeing-up of time and 
resources for other uses. The waiver of administrative 
requirements, while indirectly related to improving 
achievement, has made it possible to focus greater attention on 
student achievement and less on meeting the various 
requirements, some of which are not necessary, to ensure 
program integrity.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\ Ibid.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

            Improving student performance

    Third, Ed-Flex has been used to increase student 
achievement. By focusing on academic accountability in exchange 
for increased flexibility, Ed-Flex signals that academic 
results are a far better measure of the effective use of 
resources than are the specific processes and inputs used to 
implement programs. Texas, for example, has used its Texas 
Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) and other indicators to 
report on student achievement within specific student 
populations, districts, and schools. While Ed-Flex states are 
only required to report student achievement results for schools 
and districts that have had waivers for two school years, Texas 
did so within one year. Their data has shown that performance 
gains for African Americans, Hispanics and disadvantaged 
students in districts utilizing Ed-Flex have exceeded those of 
the state as a whole. The data also shows that the performance 
gap on the state assessment between Caucasian and other student 
groups closed at a faster rate between 1996 and 1997 for 
schools and districts with Ed-Flex waivers.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\ 6 Ibid.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On the whole, the majority of waivers under Ed-Flex have 
been for Title I compensatory education requirements, and of 
those waivers, most were made to allow schools below the 50 
percent poverty threshold to become eligible to operate 
schoolwide programs. Schools often seek these waivers because 
operating a schoolwide program offers increased opportunities 
to support comprehensive efforts to upgrade an entire school, 
and thereby more effectively helping to improve the achievement 
levels of the lowest achieving students. Schoolwides accomplish 
this by allowing schools to commingle their funds from multiple 
programs to carry out this whole-school approach.
    The testimony \7\ of Madeleine Manigold, the coordinator of 
State and Federal waivers for the Texas Education Agency, 
states that preliminary test results in Texas show that Ed-Flex 
schoolwide waivers have been very successful in improving 
academic achievement for all populations of students in reading 
and mathematics. In particular, for all Ed-Flex waivers under 
Title I, Texas requires the school or district to make enough 
gain each year so that in five years 90 percent of all 
students, and 90 percent of all African American, Hispanic, 
Caucasian and economically disadvantaged students will be 
passing the state's assessment instruments in reading and math. 
For the period 1996-1998, Texas achieved the Ed-Flex goal of 90 
percent for all students and all groups of students--African 
American, Hispanic, and economically disadvantaged. Even more 
important is the fact that the performance gap is closing at 
schools with Ed-Flex Title I schoolwide waivers at an even 
greater rate than in the state of Texas as a whole, as earlier 
mentioned.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\ Testimony of Madeleine Draeger Manigold, Coordinator of State 
and Federal Waivers, Texas Education Agency, at hearing of Subcommittee 
on Early Childhood, Youth and Families on February 25, 1999.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The state of Maryland has also had success with Title I 
schoolwide programs. In Garrett County, an Ed-Flex waiver was 
granted which allowed the district to lower the 50 percent 
threshold required for schoolwides to 45 percent at two 
elementary schools. Under the waiver, both schools reassigned 
Title I-funded teachers to the primary grade levels during 
reading and language arts instruction, thereby reducing the 
teacher to student ratio to approximately 1 to 15 for the 
instructional time. Additionally, out of recognition of the 
need for increased content knowledge of teachers in 
mathematics, the schools have begun employing teacher 
specialists in this critical area. Each year the Garrett County 
schools administer the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills (also 
known as TerraNova) to students in grades 2, 4, 6, and 11. Both 
of the elementary schools with schoolwide projects have shown 
achievement gains well above national averages.
    Two additional frequently-sought waivers are for within-
district allocations of Title I funds and for the use of Title 
II Eisenhower Professional Development funds to support subject 
areas other than math and science. Waivers for within-district 
allocations of Title I dollars enable a district to allocate 
Title I funds to schools on the basis of educational needs, 
which do not always perfectly correlate with the number of 
economically disadvantaged children attending a school. 
Generally, these Title I waivers are made to target the funds 
more directly to areas where achievement is low or to provide 
temporary services to a school that will soon be affected by 
changes in school boundaries.
    At current funding levels, the Eisenhower Professional 
Development Program requires that a majority of its funds be 
used for math and science purposes. We expect this will largely 
continue to be followed, but Ed-Flex allows districts to 
request that this requirement of the program be waived to 
enable a district to first identify the subject areas where 
achievement is low and to prioritize professional development 
in these areas. Often a district utilizes the waiver to bolster 
training for teachers in reading. It should be noted that the 
district is held accountable for ensuring that reading scores 
improve while scores for math and science are maintained or 
improved.\8\ In Texas, for example, the expectation is that 
each district will make an annual gain in mathematics for all 
students and for each student group. Ohio does not grant such 
waivers to districts with math and science test scores below a 
certain threshold.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\ Appendix B: Education Flexibility Demonstration Program (Ed-
Flex), Goals 2000: Reforming Education to Improve Student Achievement, 
Department of Education, April 30, 1998.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee believes that in order for states and local 
school districts to be as effective as possible, they should 
not be hamstrung by relatively small Federal funding streams 
that generate disproportionate amounts of paperwork and 
requirements. The Federal government should reward good 
performance, not compliance. To that end, states should 
ultimately be given the freedom to determine how to spend 
Federal funds to raise student achievement according to the 
needs of their students in exchange for increased 
accountability for producing results. Ed-Flex is an important 
first step in this direction. However, it represents only a 
modest step forward because it only applies to a portion of K-
12 programs, and does not give states flexibility to 
consolidate funds to better coordinate them with state efforts 
to improve achievement.

How H.R. 800 Strengthens Accountability

            GAO Report on Ed-Flex implementation: More accountability 
                    needed to ensure results
    On its own, Ed-Flex is a relatively limited program that 
allows within-program flexibility, but does not provide for 
program fund consolidating or optional block granting to school 
districts. Consequently, in order for it to be most effective 
it must be a component of a larger plan to improve student 
achievement. Apart from a comprehensive state reform effort, 
Ed-Flex on its own it cannot effect enough change to warrant 
the expectation that student performance will improve.
    Under current law, states are not required to demonstrate 
that student performance is improving to maintain their Ed-Flex 
status. Consequently, GAO found that within certain states, 
objectives and goals were more subjective and less quantifiable 
in terms of student achievement. The state of Texas, however, 
has served as a model of how accountability should operate 
under Ed-Flex. It tracks the performance of students affected 
by such waivers and has found that students are performing 
well. Therefore, in order to encourage similar tracking of 
results, H.R. 800 requires states and locals to outline 
specifically in their applications measurable performance 
objectives, how they intend to measure these objectives, and to 
submit this information to the Secretary.

            Eligibility

    In order for states to be eligible for Ed-Flex they must 
meet certain requirements. First of all, they must either have 
implemented their Title I plan, or have made substantial 
progress towards doing so, as determined by the Secretary. This 
means that states must have either: (1) developed and 
implemented their Title I content and performance standards and 
their assessments; or, (2) developed and implemented content 
standards and interim assessments, and have made substantial 
progress towards implementing performance standards and aligned 
assessments as required by Title I. The Committee view is that 
these elements must be in place in order for a state to 
adequately ensure that disadvantaged students are making 
adequate performance gains under Ed-Flex. States must also 
agree to hold local educational agencies and schools 
accountable for meeting goals they set as part of the waiver 
application process.
    In order to encourage comprehensive flexibility, state 
education agencies must also be able to waive either their 
state statutes or regulations to be eligible for Ed-Flex. They 
are not required to have the authority to waive both. This 
requirement gives states the incentive to reduce state 
regulatory and statutory burdens upon local schools. In 
addition, sometimes state regulations or statutes duplicate 
federal regulations such that both must be waived for a local 
applicant to be able to implement their reform plan.
    In states such as Arizona, whose SEA is defined as the 
state board of education, the authority of the state board to 
waive regulations should be considered sufficient state waiver 
authority to be considered eligible for Ed-Flex.

            Application process

    In order to ensure that states and local applicants set 
measurable performance goals that specifically measure the 
performance of LEAs, schools and students affected by waivers, 
the Committee has added additional accountability language to 
the original Ed-Flex authority.

            State applications

    H.R. 800 provides that states must demonstrate that they 
have adopted an education flexibility plan for the state. They 
must describe how they will evaluate local waiver applications, 
and what state requirements the SEA intends to waive. In their 
applications they must describe what specific objectives they 
intend to meet, and how they intend to measure the progress of 
LEAs and hold them accountable to meet their own specific 
waiver objectives.
    Applications submitted to the Secretary will be evaluated 
according to the degree to which the plan will assist them in 
carrying out comprehensive education reform. The objectives 
must be measurable and specific, and measure the performance of 
schools, LEAs or groups of students affected by these waivers. 
Tracking performance measures helps to ensure that federal 
programs are improving student performance, and that students 
who might have otherwise received direct services without the 
waiver continue to improve.
    For example, the state of Texas reports the test scores of 
students affected by schoolwide waivers by race and whether 
students are economically disadvantaged in order to ensure that 
all students are making gains. Their waiver board at the state 
level also helps to set performance standards for individual 
waiver requests in order to measure their progress. Texas 
school districts with declining performance for two consecutive 
years are subject to having their waiver terminated.
    Any anticipated changes in state assessments should be 
detailed in a State's application, and should include a 
description of the steps they will take to provide the 
Secretary with adequate and reliable performance data to 
properly evaluate the progress of student performance measures.
    The Secretary will also consider the comprehensiveness and 
quality of their plan, and the significance of the state 
regulatory or statutory requirements that will be waived, and 
the quality of the approval process they intend to have in 
place.
    States that wish to request the authority to issue 
statewide waivers must specifically request this authority when 
they submit their application to the Secretary. States with 
this authority, such as Texas and Ohio, have generally had more 
success in integrating Ed-Flex with their state reform efforts.

            Local applications

    LEAs and individual schools can submit waiver applications 
to their state education agencies. As part of their 
application, local applicants must describe why they want such 
a waiver and the overall results they expect. Such a 
requirement is in keeping with the purpose of Ed-Flex in 
assisting LEAs and schools to remove roadblocks to implementing 
reform, not providing piecemeal regulatory relief. Local 
applicants must also set specific and measurable goals to 
achieve on an annual basis.
    Local applicants are required to measure the performance of 
schools and groups of students affected by waivers. For 
example, if a district requests a waiver to allocate additional 
Eisenhower Professional Development Funds to train teachers in 
effective reading instruction methods, it should monitor the 
performance of students in math and science to ensure that they 
maintain or increase their performance
    In setting specific, measurable performance objectives, 
local applicants may distinguish between administrative 
waivers, which indirectly affect student performance, and 
programmatic waivers, which directly affect student 
performance. Performance objectives should be appropriate to 
the waivers requested.

            Federal oversight under H.R. 800

    The Secretary has several means by which to exercise 
oversight over a State's use of their Ed-Flex authority.

            Monitoring provisions

    States are annually required to monitor the progress of 
local waiver recipients, and submit an annual report of their 
findings to the Secretary. Two years after receiving their Ed-
Flex authority, states must include performance data in their 
annual reports in order to demonstrate how much progress has 
been made towards meeting their educational objectives outlined 
in their applications. This performance data should include, 
but is not limited to, student achievement data for the groups 
of students, schools and districts affected by waivers. States 
should include information on the number and types of waivers 
granted. Moreover, states should ensure that this data is 
consistent over the five-year period of their waiver authority.

            Performance review

    The Committee strengthened language under this section to 
ensure that the Secretary conducts a performance review three 
years after a state is designated as an Ed-Flex state. As part 
of this review, the Secretary can terminate a state's authority 
to grant waivers if the state has not made measurable progress 
towards reaching its stated objectives, after proper notice and 
opportunity for a hearing.

            Application to renew Ed-Flex status

    H.R. 800 holds states accountable for results by requiring 
the Secretary to consider state performance before renewing 
their Ed-Flex status. States that fail to produce measurable 
results can lose their Ed-Flex authority.
    The Secretary is authorized to designate states as Ed-Flex 
states for up to five years. Once the authority has expired, 
states that wish to continue to participate in this program 
must request permission. In deciding whether to extend a 
states' request, the Secretary will review the degree to which 
a state has made measurable progress toward meeting the 
objectives submitted in their application. The Secretary will 
also review the state's track record in ensuring that local 
applicants meet their performance objectives.

            Authority of current Ed-Flex States remains the same under 
                    H.R. 800

    The authority of the twelve States with Ed-Flex under 
existing law will not be affected until they apply to renew 
their Ed-Flex status. When these states apply to receive 
approval from the Secretary to continue their Ed-Flex waiver, 
they will then be required to meet the requirements of this 
legislation. However, the Secretary shall evaluate the progress 
these states have made toward achieving their objectives under 
Ed-Flex according to the statute under which they originally 
received their Ed-Flex authority.

            New program to which Ed-Flex applies under H.R. 800

    Current law allows the 12 pilot states to use Ed-Flex 
waiver authority for the following Federal Elementary and 
Secondary Education Act programs: (1) Title I assistance to the 
educationally disadvantaged; (2) Title II Eisenhower 
professional development state grants; (3) Title IV Safe and 
Drug Free Schools grants; (4) Title VI education block grant; 
(5) Title VII Emergency Immigrant Education Act grants; and (6) 
the Carl Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education 
Act grants. A characteristic common to each of these programs 
is that they are state-administered, formula grant, Federal K-
12 education programs. Section 4(b) of H.R. 800 would expand 
the current law's list of programs to also include the 
Technology Literacy Challenge Fund, another state-administered, 
formula grant, Federal education program. This program was not 
authorized when Ed-Flex was first authorized in 1994.

            Requirements that cannot be waived under H.R. 800

    Finally, it should be noted that several elementary and 
secondary education requirements may not be waived. Those 
requirements are maintenance of effort, comparability of 
services, equitable participation by private school pupils and 
teachers, parental involvement, and the allocation of funds to 
States and LEAs. Section 4(c) of H. R. 800 adds to the list of 
things that cannot be waived the use of funds to supplement and 
not supplant, non-Federal funds, the selection of schools to 
participate in Title I Part A unless a school's poverty rate is 
within 5 percentage points of the lowest poverty rate of a 
school that qualifies for Title I without a waiver, and 
applicable civil rights requirements.

            H.R. 800 protects civil rights

    Even though civil rights requirements cannot not be waived, 
they are specifically listed in the non-waivable section of the 
bill. Civil rights laws are separate, independent freestanding 
statutes and not part of the Federal elementary and secondary 
education programs to which Ed-Flex applies. However, the 
Committee wished to address this specifically to alleviate any 
concern that Ed-Flex could in some way be used to subvert 
federal civil rights requirements.

            Protects high poverty schools

    H.R. 800 gives local school districts the flexibility to 
use federal funds to address their needs better and focus on 
improving student achievement. However, with respect to Title 
I, the Committee has taken certain steps to ensure that Ed-Flex 
waivers can only be used to allocate funds to otherwise 
ineligible schools if they are marginally (five percentage 
points) below the lowest poverty rate of a school that 
qualifies for Title I without a waiver. If a district wishes to 
request a waiver to allocate funds to schools with poverty 
rates that are not marginally below what is required, they 
would still be able to request a waiver from the Federal 
Department of Education.
    The Citizens' Commission on Civil Rights issued a report on 
Title I, which specifically addresses the issue of eligibility 
and targeting waiver requests. While it only addresses the 
Department's use of the ESEA waiver authority and not Ed-Flex 
per-se, certain inferences can be made from the local waiver 
requests. Most of the waivers were for schools that were very 
close to qualifying for Title I services, and districts 
requesting such waivers were usually small so the overall 
fiscal impact was somewhat limited. Overall, the Commission 
found that the Department generally made reasonable case-by-
case waiver determinations and required that the needs of the 
higher poverty schools would be adequately addressed. It also 
found that these waivers ``did not seriously undermine the 
statute's intent to target aid to poor children.''
    H.R. 800 requires local school districts to measure the 
performance of schools and groups of students affected by 
waivers. Therefore, when school districts allocate funds to 
schools within five percent of the qualifying Title I school 
with the lowest poverty, they will be required to demonstrate 
that disadvantaged students in all affected schools continue to 
improve their performance.

            Ed-Flex: Focusing Federal programs on students and results

    Although Ed-Flex is a relatively small, limited program, it 
can serve as a catalyst at the local level to effect meaningful 
change in the classroom by creating a climate of innovation and 
reform, and by focusing resources on students, not process. The 
commitment that teachers, parents, and administrators must make 
to request a waiver, the meaningful planning that takes place 
when local educators have the flexibility to design and 
implement their own programs based upon the needs of students 
in their communities, and the use of the data on each student 
group to evaluate the results, all work together to bring this 
about.
    Ed-Flex gives states more freedom to design their own 
reform efforts to meet their needs and not merely follow the 
contours of federal requirements at every turn. In the end, 
what matters are results. H.R. 800 provides all states with the 
opportunity to focus federal programs on results and implement 
effective education reforms to produce them.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

    Section 1--gives the short title of the act as the 
``Education Flexibility Partnership Act of 1999''.
    Section 2--states the Findings for the Act.
    Section 3--Definitions.
          (1) Term ``Attendance Area'' is used as defined by 
        ESEA of 1965.
          (2) ``Ed-Flex Partnership State'' means an eligible 
        state.
          (3) References to ``Local Educational Agency'' and 
        ``State Educational Agency'' have the meaning given 
        such terms in section 14101 of the Elementary and 
        Secondary Education Act of 1965.
          (4) References to ``Secretary'' refer to the 
        Secretary of Education.
          (5) References to ``State'' means each of the 50 
        states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the 
        outlying areas.
    Section 4--Describes the Education Flexibility Partnership.
    (a) Authorizes the Education Flexibility Program.
          (1) authorizes the Secretary to carry out an 
        education flexibility program and designate states as 
        ``Ed Flex Partnership States.''
          (2) states the eligibility requirements for a state 
        to become an ``Ed-Flex Partnership State''.
          (a)(3) Describes the process by which states apply to 
        the Secretary to become an Ed-Flex state and the 
        criteria by which applications are evaluated.
          (4) Describes the process by which local school 
        districts can apply to their state educational agency 
        to request federal and state statutory or regulatory 
        waivers and the criteria by which applications are 
        evaluated.
          (5) States that each participating state educational 
        agency will monitor waiver recipients and submit an 
        annual report containing performance data to the 
        Secretary.
          (6) States that the Secretary will not approve state 
        applications for a period longer than five years and 
        that the Secretary shall conduct a performance review 
        three years after a state is designated as an Ed-Flex 
        Partnership State.
          (7) Authorizes the program from fiscal year 1999 
        through 2004.
    (b) Sets forth the programs included in this Act as Title 
I, Part B of Title II; Title III, Subpart 2 of part A; Title 
IV, Title VI, and Title VII, of the Elementary and Secondary 
Education Act of 1965, and the Perkins Vocational and Applied 
Technology Education Act.
    (c) Describes the waivers not authorized by this act.
    (d) States that this act does not apply to current Ed-Flex 
states until their authorization expires.
    (e) Describes the evaluation criteria for which state 
educational agencies are held accountable when the Secretary 
decides whether to renew a request for a State's authority to 
issue waivers.
    (f) States that the Secretary's decision to grant states 
waiver authority shall be published in the Federal Register.
    (g) Sets the effective dates of this Act to begin on 
enactment and to end on the enactment of the reauthorization of 
the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

                       EXPLANATION OF AMENDMENTS

    The Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute is 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. This bill makes all fifty states eligible for the 
Education Flexibility Partnership Demonstration Program. The 
bill does not prevent legislative branch employees from 
receiving the benefits of this legislation.

                       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 bill makes all fifty states eligible for the 
Education Flexibility Partnership Demonstration Program. As 
such, the bill does not contain any unfunded mandates.

                             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 amendment offered to the measure of matter the total 
number of votes cast for and against and the names of the 
Members voting for and against.





                             correspondence

                                  House of Representatives,
                                     Washington, DC, March 4, 1998.
Hon. William F. Goodling,
Chairman, Committee on Education and the Workforce, Rayburn House 
        Office Building, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: On roll call vote number four, regarding 
reporting H.R. 800 to the House floor, I was unavoidably 
detained due to legislative duties. Had I been present, I would 
have voted aye.
    I would appreciate this letter being inserted into the 
Committee's report. Thank you for your attention to this 
matter.
            Sincerely,
                               Charlie Norwood, Member of Congress.

                                ------                                

                                  House of Representatives,
                                     Washington, DC, March 3, 1999.
Hon. William Goodling,
Chairman, Committee on Education and the Workforce, Rayburn House 
        Office Building, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: On roll call vote number four, regarding 
reporting H.R. 800 to the House floor, I was unavoidably 
detained due to legislative duties. Had I been present, I would 
have voted aye.
    I would appreciate this letter being inserted into the 
Committee's report. Thank you for your attention to this 
matter.
            Very truly yours,
                                  Bob Schaffer, Member of Congress.

                                ------                                

                                  House of Representatives,
                                     Washington, DC, March 3, 1999.
Hon. William F. Goodling,
Chairman, Committee on Education and the Workforce, Rayburn House 
        Office Building, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: On roll call vote number four, regarding 
H.R. 800 to the House floor, I was unavoidably detained due to 
legislative duties. Had I been present, I would have voted aye.
    I would appreciate this letter being inserted into the 
Committee's report. Thank you for your attention to this 
matter.
            Sincerely,
                              Vernon J. Ehlers, Member of Congress.

  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 CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) of rule 
XIII of the House of Representatives and section 308(a) of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect to 
requirements of 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the House of 
Representatives and section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, the Committee has received the following cost estimate 
for H.R. 800 from the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, March 5, 1999.
Hon. William F. Goodling,
Chairman, Committee on Education and the Workforce,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed revised cost estimate for H.R. 800, the 
Education Flexibility Partnership Act of 1999.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Josh O'Harra.
            Sincerely,
                                         Barry B. Anderson,
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 800--Education Flexibility Partnership Act of 1999

    Summary: H.R. 800 would implement a nationwide policy 
allowing the Department of Education to delegate to states a 
portion of its waiver-granting authority. Under this bill, 
state education agencies could decide whether particular school 
districts could waive requirements imposed by certain federal 
regulations. Currently, education flexibility waivers are 
available to 12 states for demonstration purposes.
    CBO estimates that this bill would have no budgetary 
impact. H.R. 800 contains no private-sector or 
intergovernmental mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act (UMRA). Any costs to state and local governments 
resulting from enactment of the bill would be incurred 
voluntarily. Tribal governments would not be affected by the 
provisions of H.R. 800.
    Basis of estimate: H.R. 800 would require that states meet 
two criteria in order to qualify for waivers. First, states and 
districts must have in place, or be making substantial progress 
toward, the standards and assessments described in Title I of 
the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Second, 
state education agencies must have the ability to modify their 
own regulatory or statutory requirements to make them 
consistent with the federal waivers they grant.
    The bill would allow states to waive the requirements of 
seven education programs: titles I, IV, and VI of ESEA; part B 
of title II of ESEA; subpart 2 of part A of title III of ESEA; 
part C of title VII of ESEA; and the Carl D. Perkins Vocational 
and Technical Education Act.
    The waivers would neither affect the total amount of a 
state's federal grant nor the state's allocation among 
competing districts but could change the allocation received by 
the schools within a given district.
    Pay-as-you-go considerations: None.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 800 
contains no private-sector or intergovernmental mandates as 
defined in UMRA. The bill would allow officials in all 50 
states to participate in the education flexibility partnership. 
Twelve states now participate in the education flexibility 
demonstration program, which gives state officials the 
authority to temporarily free individual school districts from 
certain requirements under specified federal education grant 
programs. Participation in these programs would be voluntary, 
as would any associated costs. Tribal governments would not be 
affected by the provisions of this bill.
    Previous CBO estimates: On March 4, 1999, CBO provided an 
estimate of this bill. The current estimate revises the earlier 
one, by deleting incorrect references to the Goals 2000 program 
and to any redistribution of funds among school districts. 
Neither estimate contains a budgetary impact.
    On February 10, 1999, CBO estimated S. 280, the Education 
Flexibility Partnership Act of 1999. That bill had no budgetary 
impact.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Cost: John O'Harra; Impact on 
State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Susan Sieg; and Impact on 
the Private Sector: Nabeel Alsalam.
    Estimate approved by: Paul N. Van de Water, Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

 STATEMENT OF OVERSIGHT FINDINGS OF THE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM

    With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee has received no report of oversight findings and 
recommendations from the Committee on Government Reform on the 
subject of H.R. 800.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Under clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House 
of Representatives, the Committee must include a statement 
citing the specific powers granted to Congress in the 
Constitution to enact the law proposed by H.R. 800. The 
Committee believes that the Education Flexibility Partnership 
Demonstration Program and the amendments thereto made by this 
bill are within Congress' authority under Article I, section 8, 
clause 1 of the Constitution.

                           COMMITTEE ESTIMATE

    Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the 
Committee of the costs that would be incurred in carrying out 
H.R. 800. However, clause 3(d)(3)(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

    There are no changes to existing law made by this bill.

                             MINORITY VIEWS

    H.R. 800, the Education Flexibility Partnership Act, 
authorizes States to waive Federal statutory and regulatory 
provisions of certain Federal education programs. We support 
flexibility in the administration of Federal education 
programs, but only if coupled with strong accountability 
provisions, and an emphasis on serving poor children. H.R. 800 
fails on both accounts. H.R. 800 provides inadequate 
accountability to ensure valid and reliable reporting and 
increased student achievement. Additionally, the bill would 
allow States to significantly diminish the mission of Title I, 
which is to serve our poorest schools and children first.
    We are pleased that the latest data from the National 
Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) showed that 9-year olds 
in the poorest schools improved their reading scores by eight 
points or almost one grade level between 1992 and 1998. In 
addition, in the recently released report, Promising Results, 
Continuing Challenges, the achievement of elementary school 
students in high poverty schools in 4 out of 5 states in 
mathematics and in 5 out of 6 States in reading improved. Also, 
10 out of 13 urban districts showed increases in the percentage 
of elementary students in the highest-poverty schools achieving 
in math and reading. Secretary Riley believes that these 
results from 6 States and 13 urban school districts are 
attributable to Title I assistance.
    These indicators of measurable success should only serve to 
broaden our commitment to increasing investment in public 
schools, to continue our targeting to the poorest children, and 
to insist on greater accountability for results.
    We think it is irresponsible to allow States to waive our 
major elementary and secondary programs before we have even 
begun the process of reauthorization. How does it make sense to 
authorize waiving a law before it's drafted?
    Other than an attempt by the Majority to score political 
points, there is no urgency for this bill. Current law 
authorizes Secretary Riley to waive Federal education laws, and 
he has granted hundreds of such waivers. Secretary Riley 
testified that he believes this measure should be considered 
with the overall ESEA reauthorization. Further, the GAO 
recently reported that the Department of Education has 
insufficient information to assess the Ed-Flex Pilot that 
allowed waivers in 12 states. And recently, the Leadership 
Conference on Civil Rights wrote that Ed-Flex, as drafted, 
``could undermine the fundamental objectives of Title I.''
Title I targeting
    Under H.R. 800, States which receive Ed-Flex authority may 
allow waivers of both the threshold for schools to operate 
``schoolwide programs,'' and provisions which require school 
districts to send higher per-pupil allocations to needy 
schools. Presently, the Title I statute allows schools with at 
least 50 percent of their children from low-income families to 
operate a schoolwide program. Schoolwide programs allow schools 
with high concentrations of poverty to combine funding from 
various Federal education programs with the goal of enacting 
whole school reform aimed at increasing the educational 
achievement of all students. This provision has been a vital 
reform in Title I schools with high percentages of poor 
children because it allows schools to coordinate efforts among 
Federal programs targeted at the most needy children that would 
not happen without such authority. Unfortunately, this bill 
would allow waivers for schools with practically zero poor 
children to implement schoolwide programs and neglect the needs 
of disadvantaged children. Congressmen Scott and Payne offered 
an amendment to prohibit the approval of waivers which allowed 
schools with less than 35 percent poverty from operating a 
schoolwide program. This amendment failed on a party-line vote.
    Under current law, if a school district sends funds to 
schools with less than 35 percent of their students from low-
income families, they must allocate, to each school, a 125 
percent per-pupil allocation. This prevents school districts 
from succumbing to political pressure to spread Title I funding 
too thinly. Very simply, the waiver of the 125 percent 
provision will mean that higher poverty schools will receive 
substantially less in funding. While the introduced bill would 
have addressed this issue, the manger's package of amendments 
removed language that would have prevented a waiver of this 
provision.
    This bill would also allow school districts to waive the 
requirement that prohibits giving wealthier schools more per 
student than poorer schools.
    The Majority claims that H.R. 800 will not reduce funding 
for poor children. In fact, with the lack of data on Ed-Flex 
justifying its expansion, we presently know little about the 
impact of waiving Title I targeting provisions. However, an 
initial report from the Department of Education found that 
waivers reduced funds for poor children by 18 percent in 1995-
96. If this trend was extended nationwide, it would have a 
devastating effect on our most disadvantaged school children.
Accountability
    The Majority claims that this legislation provides the 
proper balance between accountability and flexibility--
demanding results without dictating how to achieve them. While 
the Committee reported bill is improved in this respect over 
the introduced version, we believe the accountability 
provisions in this legislation must be strengthened.
    Representatives Miller and Kildee offered three amendments 
to improve the accountability provisions in this legislation. 
The first amendment would require States, in order to be 
eligible to participate in Ed-Flex, to have their content and 
performance standards and aligned assessments required under 
the Title I statute in place. In addition,this amendment would 
reinforce that assessments should be designed to measure change in 
student performance from year to year and disaggregate data based on 
categories of at-risk children. Lastly, the amendment would require 
States to hold LEAs accountable for both State level and local level 
educational objectives and goals required by the Act, including closing 
the achievement gap between disadvantaged students and their peers.
    This amendment is based on the Texas statute and seeks to 
adopt the sensible accountability provisions that have made the 
Texas model so successful, especially at driving increases in 
the achievement of at-risk youth. Its requirement to set 
numerical goals and disaggregate data are essential to 
measuring the achievement of all students. The Majority 
rejected this amendment.
    The second amendment would require States to report on the 
specific characteristics of waivers they issue and their impact 
on student performance. States, in reporting this data to the 
Secretary in the State's annual report, would have to certify 
the data as valid and reliable or state how they will attempt 
to make such data reliable and valid in the future. The 
Secretary, in reporting to Congress, would also have to assess 
the validity and reliability of the data. The Majority rejected 
this amendment.
    This amendment was written in close collaboration with the 
Inspector General's Office (IG) of the Department of Education 
and addressed one of the key findings of a November General 
Accounting Office (GAO) Report.\1\ The focus of the Inspector 
General, both in a recent report to this Committee and in 
compliance with the Government Performance and Results Act, has 
been to ensure programmatic data is valid and reliable. This 
amendment would not only seek to fill in the gaps that GAO and 
the Department have identified in reporting on Ed-Flex, but 
would also seek to ensure that the enhanced reporting we would 
receive under this bill would contain data that would allow us 
to accurately judge program results. Included in these views 
are two letters, one from the IG expressing support for this 
amendment and the other from Representatives Armey and Horn to 
the IG supporting the concept of valid and reliable 
programmatic data. This amendment was withdrawn with a 
commitment between Chairmen Goodling and Castle and 
Representatives Roemer and Miller to work out differences prior 
to floor consideration of this legislation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ GAO/HEHS-99-17.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The third amendment would require States to terminate 
waivers issued to school districts which experience two 
consecutive years of decreasing academic performance after 
notice and opportunity for a hearing. This amendment was 
adopted by voice vote.
    All of these amendments attempt to strengthen the 
accountability in this legislation and ensure that this program 
produces results. Taxpayers are entitled to receive strong 
accountability for the Federal educational investments. This 
bill will provide most States with new, sweeping authority to 
waive Federal law. Given that the Federal government will 
invest an additional $50 billion in education funding over the 
next several years, these accountability provisions are quite 
appropriate.

ESEA reauthorization

    This Congress, we are scheduled to reauthorize the 
Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the National 
Assessment Governing Board, the National Assessment of 
Education Progress, the Office of Educational Research and 
Improvement, and other related elementary and secondary 
education programs. Presently, these programs address a wide 
array of critical educational needs: the education of 
disadvantaged children, professional development for teachers, 
technology in classrooms, high quality research aimed at 
improving instructional practices and safety in our schools. In 
total, our work this year will involve the review of the bulk 
of the Federal elementary and secondary education arena.
    Unfortunately, our consideration of this bill prior to a 
thoughtful and comprehensive review of these programs simply 
puts the cart before the horse. Allowing the waiver of existing 
program provisions prior to our review of their importance 
makes little sense. How can this Committee determine what 
provisions should be waived without first deciding what these 
provisions are supposed to accomplish?
    To address this situation, Representative Kildee offered an 
amendment to sunset this legislation's authority once the ESEA 
is reauthorized. Specifically, the Kildee amendment will 
terminate the authority provided in this bill when legislation 
is passed, presumably later this Congress, to reauthorize ESEA. 
This will require Congress to review the authority provided in 
this legislation during our work on ESEA and make adjustments 
should we find this bill inconsistent with our final policy 
decisions. The Kildee amendment was adopted by voice vote.

Clinton/Clay Class Size Reduction Act

    During the markup, Representative Wu offered an amendment 
to authorize the Clinton/Clay Class Size Reduction Act. We are 
disappointed that the Majority used a parliamentary device to 
avoid passing this urgent priority.
    Last year, Congress made a down payment on President 
Clinton's plan to hire 100,000 new teachers over 7 years in 
order to reduce the average class size to 18 students in the 
early grades. We ought to send the message to these communities 
that we intend to fulfill this commitment by authorizing this 
initiative.

Conclusion

    We believe that H.R. 800, in its present form, lacks 
sufficient accountability, reporting requirements, and will 
jeopardize the long-standing mission of Title I to assist in 
the education of disadvantaged children. In addition, this 
legislation should not be considered outside of a comprehensive 
elementary and secondary reauthorization effort, as it allows 
States to negate yet undecided Federal priorities. While the 
Majority has sought to capitalize on the simplicity of the call 
for more flexibility, we do not believe this should be at the 
expense of targeting resources towards needy children or 
eliminating our ability to ensure results from our Federal 
investments in education.
                                   William L. Clay.
                                   Major R. Owens.
                                   Patsy T. Mink.
                                   Lynn Woolsey.
                                   Chaka Fattah.
                                   George Miller.
                                   Donald M. Payne.
                                   Bobby Scott.
                                   John F. Tierney.
                                   Dennis J. Kucinich.

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

    While I supported final passage of H.R. 800, the Education 
Flexibility Partnership Act of 1999, I want to voice several 
concerns that must still be addressed in this legislation prior 
to action by the House. The authors of H.R. 800 come close to 
striking the proper balance between flexibility and 
accountability. The bill could be improved, however, with the 
inclusion of several provisions addressing the eligibility of 
States, valid and reliable reporting requirements, and Title I 
targeting.
    During Committee consideration of this legislation, three 
amendments were not adopted that would address the concerns I 
have with this legislation. Congressman Miller and I offered 
two of these amendments. The first amendment would have 
required States to have their final assessments in place under 
Title I and that these assessments disaggregate results of 
categories of at-risk students and set numerical goals for 
students with the specific aim of closing achievement gaps. The 
second amendment sought to improve the validity and reliability 
of, and expand upon, the existing reporting requirements of the 
bill so we can get a better understanding of the impact of Ed-
Flex on student achievement.
    The bill, as reported by Committee, does require States to 
have interim assessments required by Title I in place, but 
these assessments do not need to meet the disaggregation or 
standards requirements required of final Title I assessments 
which all States must have in place by the 2000-2001 school 
year. Most importantly, little will be learned about Ed-Flex's 
impact on student achievement or its success or failure, next 
time this program is reviewed if we allow States to utilize 
different categories of assessments and substantive data 
reported by States under this program isn't valid and reliable.
    The third critical amendment which was offered in 
Committee, but failed, would prohibit States from approving 
applications for schools to do schoolwide programs if they had 
less than 35 percent poverty. Schoolwide programs, which allow 
schools to combine and coordinate funding under various Federal 
education programs, are utilized to do whole-school reform 
aimed at improving the achievement of all students in a school. 
This authority is appropriate when there is a high percentage 
of low-income children in a school. However, it is not 
appropriate to extend this authority to schools with relatively 
few low-income students since resources will be expended on 
children without special needs.
    In total, I believe we need to more closely examine the 
effects of Ed-Flex on the targeting of Title I resources. 
Little is known of the extent to which Ed-Flex has altered 
targeting of Title I funds to high-poverty schools, or what 
impact this has had on student achievement. Fortunately, the 
Committee approved my amendment to sunset Ed-Flex authority 
when the next ESEA reauthorization bill is signed into law. 
This will force the Committee to reexamine the effect of Ed-
Flex on Title I and student achievement generally.
    As we proceed towards House action on this legislation, it 
is my hope that differences on these three amendments can be 
reconciled. While I believe that flexibility coupled with 
sensible accountability can positively impact efforts to 
increase student achievement, the issues encompassed by these 
amendments would improve this legislation. It is important to 
remember that expansion of Ed-Flex, from 12 existing States to 
all 50, is new for most States. This bill will provide States 
and school districts with increased flexibility, but we should 
be careful to require sensible accountability that will lead to 
students achieving high academic standards.
                                   Harold E. Ford, Jr.
                                   Dale E. Kildee.

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

    H.R. 800, the ``Education Flexibility Partnership Act of 
1999'', or ``Ed-Flex'' is an expansion of a demonstration 
program that 12 states have successfully used to implement 
reforms at the state and local level. This innovative program 
moves the federal government towards developing a performance-
based, results oriented approach in education policy. It is a 
``Third Way'' for federal education policy--a move away from 
the restrictive requirements in programs that may handcuff 
local schools, while strengthening the accountability that is 
necessary in light of the significant investment that we make 
in our children.
    The ``Ed-Flex'' program has removed many federal and state 
regulatory and statutory requirements that have hampered 
creativity and innovation at the state and local level. Ed-Flex 
will allow eligible States and local school districts to 
experiment with innovative reforms in exchange for 
demonstrating and improvement in student achievement.
    In addition to fostering creativity and innovation at the 
local level, States have effectively used Ed-Flex to facilitate 
the seamless delivery of services to children. Ed-Flex helps 
states better manage various federal and state programs that 
may be duplicative at the local level. Some States, like 
Oregon, have simplified the planning and application process, 
while other States, such as Kansas, have used Ed-Flex to better 
coordinate Title I and special education services.
    The majority report notes the lack of sufficient data to 
evaluate federal education programs. Additionally, the majority 
has strongly encouraged federal agency efforts to develop and 
implement, in coordination with agency Inspector Generals, 
standards for determining progress towards performance goals 
and program outcomes. In fact, the General Accounting Office 
(GAO) raised concerns that the Ed-Flex program did not require 
states and local education agencies to outline specific 
performance goals and objectives. Subsequently, H.R. 800 
responds to a number of these concerns, but additional language 
about state and local level activity, in line with 
recommendations related to the Government Performance and 
Results Act (GPRA), should be adopted in H.R. 800 so that 
Congress may effectively evaluate federal education programs, 
including Ed-Flex.
    Adequate data from the States and local education agencies 
will also provide important information about the impact of Ed-
Flex on the Title I program. Under Ed-Flex, States and locals 
are permitted to waive statutory requirements related to 
allocation of Title I funds at the district level and the 
poverty threshold for schoolwide programs. There is evidence 
that more flexibility with the schoolwide poverty threshold can 
show effective results. In Kent County, Maryland, Garnett 
Elementary had a poverty threshold of 45 percent (which has 
since increased to 55 percent), yet received an Ed-Flex waiver 
to implement a schoolwide program. The school used the waiver 
to develop early identification and special programs to meet 
the needs of their minority children, and state assessment 
results indicate that their African-American students are 
quickly approaching the achievement level of the Caucasian 
students. According to Dr. Lorraine Costella, who is the 
Superintendent of Schools for Kent County Public Schools, the 
third grade African-American males met the state standard, and 
achieved a higher level in math on state assessments.
    While some States have shown positive results from the use 
of either the Ed-Flex or secretarial waiver authority for Title 
I, not all 50 States have the necessary accountability systems 
in place, nor has the Secretary or the Congress received 
adequate data about the impact of these waivers. Therefore, it 
is appropriate to adopt a provision in H.R. 800 to limit the 
poverty threshold for the schoolwide program to 35%, which is 
consistent with how the Secretary has used his waiver 
authority.

                                   Tim Roemer.
                                   Harold E. Ford, Jr.

      ADDITIONAL VIEWS OF REPRESENTATIVES RUSH HOLT OF NEW JERSEY

    I support the overall goals of the Education Flexibility 
Partnership Act--allowing local school districts flexibility to 
use money where they need it most, in return for a greater 
level of accountability.
    I am concerned, however, that H.R. 800 as reported by the 
Education and the Workforce Committee, may unintentionally 
undermine the emphasis on math and science teacher training in 
the Eisenhower Professional Development Program.
    Through the Eisenhower Professional Development Program, 
previous Congresses have ensured, both through law and through 
allocation of money, that math and science teacher training 
should be a priority. All students need a solid grounding in 
these subjects to be productive in an increasingly 
technological world. By the time they finish high school, 
American students have fallen far behind their international 
peers in these important subjects. We need to give them a 
better competitive edge in these subjects if they are going to 
succeed in the global economy. Clearly, Congress placed a 
priority on math and science professional development in 
allocation of these funds because math and science are two 
areas where teachers have traditionally needed the most help.
    The Eisenhower Professional Development Program is the main 
federal program that helps teachers become better trained in 
math and science. Because of the way that the math and science 
priority is expressed in Title II, math and science 
professional development could stand to lose significantly 
through implementation of Ed Flex as it is currently written. 
While I don't believe this is an intended change, the language 
of the bill allows local schools to waive the math-science 
priority in professional development with very little oversight 
of how these important needs will be met.
    I believe that Local Education Agencies who are applying 
for a waiver of the math-science priority under the Eisenhower 
Act should be required to explain in their application how the 
professional development needs of their teachers in these vital 
subject areas will be, or already are being met. This change 
will preserve the importance of math science professional 
development while still allowing LEA's to waive the math-
science priority if they need help in other areas. I believe 
that this is a simple change, in keeping with the bill, and 
maintains a needed focus on math and science education which 
might be lost under the Education Flexibility Partnership Act 
as it stands now. I am hopeful that this issue can be addressed 
as H.R. 800 moves through the legislative process.