The Obama Administration has urged Congress to rewrite the No Child Left Behind Act by the beginning of the 2012 school year. On July 7, 2011 the House of Representatives introduced a bill titled the State and Local Funding Flexibility Act (H.R. 2445). The stated purpose of the bill is to provide states and local education agencies with flexibility in the design of education programs and in the use of federal formula funds to carry out state and local activities authorized by the federal law. The bill, which would reduce the federal role in education, was referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce for consideration. The bill was approved by the Committee on July 13th, prompting the following statement from U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan: “I’m disappointed that the House legislation passed today doesn’t fix the real problems with No Child Left Behind, could short change the neediest students and doesn’t gives states the kind of flexibility and reform they’re asking for. We need a true bipartisan reform bill for the President to sign by the start of the school year. Time is running out, and kids can’t wait.”
According to the Committee’s July 13th press release H.R. 2445 is supported by several organizations including the American Association of School Administrators and the National School Boards Association. A separate House Bill, titled All Children are Equal (H.R. 2485), was introduced on July 11th and proposes to change the method of distributing Title I formula grants to more equitably distribute funds to school districts with higher concentrations of poverty and disadvantaged students. This bill also reportedly has strong support from school organizations and advocates.