The National School Boards Association (NSBA), along with four other state and local government organization, are urging Congress to reform the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and enact legislation that would reframe the federal-state-local partnership before the next school year begins.
In a letter sent to the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate committees responsible for K-12 education, the groups called for greater flexibility for local leaders, increased flexibility in the spending of federal funds, and recognition of the budget constraints facing states and localities.
“It is important to local school districts that Congress reauthorizes ESEA now and replaces the current accountability system that neither accurately nor fairly reflects the performance of students, schools or school districts,” said NSBA’s Executive Director Anne L. Bryant. “Local school districts must be free of federal mandates that unnecessarily or counterproductively hinder them from achieving their goals of increasing student achievement. It is essential that local school districts have greater authority and flexibility to develop, design and implement educational strategies to address the unique challenges facing our local communities.”
In a separate letter to John Kline, chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee, NSBA, the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), and five other national education organizations expressed concern about portions of two draft bills before the House dealing with ESEA reauthorization. Among the groups’ concerns are: an expansion of federal voucher programs, a diminished focus on professional development for school staffs, and a cap on Title I increases.