Sen. Lamar Alexander ripped into education Secretary John King Jr. all through listening to on Tuesday, accusing the Obama administration of looking to unilaterally exchange key provisions of the state’s new federal education law. Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate’s…
Sen. Lamar Alexander ripped into education Secretary John King Jr. all through listening to on Tuesday, accusing the Obama administration of looking to unilaterally exchange key provisions of the state’s new federal education law.
Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate’s education committee, became specifically frustrated with proposed guidelines for how districts might spend billions of federal dollars intended for teaching poor kids.
“We’re seeing traumatic proof that the department of training is ignoring the regulation,” he said in his starting remarks Tuesday.
[Obama signs new K-12 education law that ends No Child Left Behind]
Alexander study from a December Politico interview with King’s predecessor, Arne Duncan, wherein Duncan said that the branch’s lawyers “are lots smarter than a number of the parents” on Capitol Hill.
“I’m no longer positive how clever we’re. However, we’re clever sufficient to write down a law in undeniable English,” Alexander stated. “And we’re additionally clever enough to anticipate that your legal professionals would try to forget about what we wrote and try to move around it.”
Congress exceeded every pupil Succeeds Act in an unprecedented bipartisan compromise meant to shift authority over the nation’s public schools from the federal government to states and neighborhood faculty districts.
A problem now is the rules that the Obama management in writing to affect the regulation, mainly the elements of the law associated with Title I dollars’ expenditure, supposed to enhance education for poor children.
Alexander stated that the government department uses semantic tricks to attempt to perform its policy dreams, even though the regulations it favors are expressly prohibited by way of the brand new law.
The regulation calls for that districts use state and nearby dollars to provide similar services to children who attend excessive-poverty schools and those who attend more affluent schools. However, this “comparison” provision prohibits trainer compensation from being taken under consideration while determining whether districts are apportioning assets equitably.
That’s a loophole that allows for a big and hidden inequity, in step with the Obama management and many of its allies within the civil rights community. Excessive-poverty schools tend to hire many less-skilled instructors who earn decreased salaries, so they often spend less on instructors than more affluent schools. However, under the regulation, that hole goes undetected and unaddressed.
A modification to close that loophole failed in the Senate at some stage in the debate over the new training regulation.
The training department has no longer proposed changing the comparison provision without delay. However, it has proposed rules for an exceptional segment of the regulation — the “complement no longer supplant” provision — which requires college districts to show that the federal dollars they receive for negative youngsters are being used in addition to, and now not in place of, state and nearby dollars.
Beneath the branch’s inspiration, college districts might have to expose that state and nearby in line with-student funding in the name I school is at least equal to the common per-scholar spending in non-title I faculties.
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Alexander was known as it a backdoor way to pressure districts to encompass instructor salaries in their calculations of equitable spending — a policy that could now not most effective at once contradict congressional rationale and might pressure a few teachers to transfer to unique schools to equalize spending.
“I’m no longer inquisitive about debating today whether it’s an excellent idea or a terrible idea to include trainer salaries whilst computing comparability,” Alexander stated. “The apparent fact is that the law especially says you can not do it.”
King objected to Alexander’s characterization and stated that the department changed into no longer violating any provisions inside the law, but alternatively changed into trying to answer calls to clarify the “complement, now not supplant” provision.
“We’re now not addressing comparability right here. We’re addressing supplement no longer supplant,” King stated.
“You’d have the equal impact as in case you were to trade the comparison law, which has not been changed due to the fact 1970,” Alexander shot back.