Federal

Republicans Offer ‘Straight A’s’ Plan for Easing Regulation

By Joetta L. Sack — July 14, 1999 2 min read

Congressional Republicans and conservative organizations are lining up behind a new accountability measure unveiled with much fanfare last month, but the plan faces strong opposition from Democrats and education groups.

The proposed “Straight A’s” Act would allow states to enter into five-year “performance agreements” with the Department of Education, which in turn would give the states more latitude in spending money under a wide range of federal programs.

The measure is the latest proposal from Rep. Bill Goodling, the Pennsylvania Republican who chairs the House Education and the Workforce Committee, as Congress moves to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Mr. Goodling introduced the measure--HR 2300--on June 22, and Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash., introduced S 1266, the Senate companion bill, the same day.

Anti-Accountability?

In a Capitol Hill ceremony the same day the bills were introduced, Mr. Goodling and other GOP leaders promised states and districts that Straight A’s would provide them with much greater relief from federal regulations without a loss of federal funding for a variety of K-12 programs, including Title I aid for schools serving large numbers of poor children.

But Democrats and education groups quickly blasted the measure. Rep. William L. Clay of Missouri, the ranking Democrat on the House education committee, dubbed Straight A’s “the Anti-Accountability Act.”

In an interview June 24, Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley contended that the bill would destroy accountability for federal aid and result in a scattered system inconsistent with national education priorities.

“It’ll never become law,” added Bruce Hunter, the chief lobbyist for the American Association of School Administrators. “It’s one more in a long line of time-wasters.”

The shape of future debate on the bill remains up in the air. The House committee does not plan to take any action on it right away, and Sen. James M. Jeffords of Vermont, who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, was notably absent from last month’s GOP event praising the proposal.

Joe Karpinski, a spokesman for Sen. Jeffords and other Republicans on the HELP Committee, said the bill was more a “statement of Republican principle” and likely would not see any action as a stand-alone measure. But some of the ideas may be incorporated into Sen. Jeffords’ omnibus ESEA proposal later this year, Mr. Karpinski added.

Meanwhile, Republican Sens. Bill Frist of Tennessee and Pete V. Domenici, who chairs the Budget Committee, have introduced the Education Express Act. That bill--S 1270--would give states the option of receiving a “direct check” that consolidated funding from some federal programs--including the Title VI block grants and charter school grants--provided that the states ensured that 98 percent of the aid was spent at the local level.

The act would require that states target their funding toward low-achieving schools, teacher improvement, and rewards for schools that have made performance gains.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the July 14, 1999 edition of Education Week as Republicans Offer ‘Straight A’s’ Plan for Easing Regulation

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
Interactive Learning Best Practices: Creative Ways Interactive Displays Engage Students
Students and teachers alike struggle in our newly hybrid world where learning takes place partly on-site and partly online. Focus, engagement, and motivation have become big concerns in this transition. In this webinar, we will
Content provided by Samsung
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Educator-Driven EdTech Design: Help Shape the Future of Classroom Technology
Join us for a collaborative workshop where you will get a live demo of GoGuardian Teacher, including seamless new integrations with Google Classroom, and participate in an interactive design exercise building a feature based on
Content provided by GoGuardian
School & District Management Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: What Did We Learn About Schooling Models This Year?
After a year of living with the pandemic, what schooling models might we turn to as we look ahead to improve the student learning experience? Could year-round schooling be one of them? What about online

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal CDC: Nearly 80 Percent of K-12, Child-Care Workers Have Had at Least One COVID-19 Shot
About four out of five teachers, school staffers, and child-care workers had first COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of March, CDC says.
2 min read
John Battle High School teacher Jennifer Daniel receives her COVID-19 vaccine on Jan. 11, 2021. Teachers received their first vaccine during an all-day event at the Virginia Highlands Higher Education Center in Abingdon, Va.
John Battle High School teacher Jennifer Daniel receives her COVID-19 vaccine on Jan. 11at the Virginia Highlands Higher Education Center in Abingdon, Va.
David Crigger/Bristol Herald Courier via AP
Federal Ed. Dept. to Review Title IX Rules on Sexual Assault, Gender Equity, LGBTQ Rights
The review could reopen a Trump-era debate on sexual assault in schools, and it could spark legal discord over transgender student rights.
4 min read
Symbols of gender.
iStock/Getty
Federal Q&A EdWeek Q&A: Miguel Cardona Talks Summer Learning, Mental Health, and State Tests
In an interview after a school reopening summit, the education secretary also addressed teachers' union concerns about CDC guidance.
10 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks during a press briefing at the White House on March 17, 2021.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona speaks during a press briefing at the White House on March 17.
Andrew Harnik/AP
Federal Senators Press Deputy Education Secretary Nominee on School Closures, Lost Learning Time
If confirmed, San Diego Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten would be the Education Department's number two as it urges in-person learning.
5 min read
San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten speaks at Lincoln High School in San Diego during the State of the District Address on Oct. 20, 2015.
San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten would be second in command at the U.S. Department of Education if confirmed as deputy secretary.
Misael Virgen/San Diego Union-Tribune