New Cornyn Education Bill Aims to Bring Schools to ‘A-PLUS’ Standards

Today I introduced the Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success (A-PLUS) Act of 2013. This legislation would reduce the administrative and compliance burdens on state and local education agencies, and ensure greater public transparency for the use of federal education funds and student achievement.

Ensuring that students have access to the best possible educational opportunities that meet their needs should be the cornerstone of education policy.

Because local educators and parents are best equipped to make decisions for their schools, A-PLUS would provide states with the necessary flexibility to create programs that best fit the needs of their students, while improving schools’ accountability to parents.

The bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Tim Scott (R-SC), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mike Lee (R-UT), John Boozman (R-AR), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).

Background on A-PLUS

  - Under A-PLUS, states would be allowed to obtain federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)/No Child Left Behind (NCLB) education funding in the form of block grants.

  - States would submit a “declaration of intent” to the U.S. Department of Education to consolidate federal education programs and funding and redirect resources toward state-directed education reform initiatives.

  - The terms of the “declaration of intent” apply for five years, and require assurances that states will continue to abide by Federal civil rights laws in advancing educational opportunities for all students.

  - States would also be required to disseminate annual reports to the public and parents regarding student achievement data and fiscal accountability.

Support for A-PLUS: “As the onerous provisions of No Child Left Behind continue to be felt across the country by students and teachers alike, A-PLUS provides a solid conservative step in granting states the flexibility to opt out of this burdensome and misguided law.” -Dan Holler, Communications Director, Heritage Action for America


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