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NEA Supported Bills on ESEA/NCLB for the 114th Congress

NEA supports a number of bills in the new Congress to overhaul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act/No Child Left Behind (ESEA/NCLB).

NEA supports the following 83 bills

Senate

S. 37 (113th S. 2557), the Core Opportunity Resources for Equity and Excellence Act of 2015 by Senator Reed (D-RI) would amend the school improvement program under ESEA Title I, Part A to require states to adopt student achievement standards that lead to college and career readiness by high school graduation.  The bill would then require each state school improvement plan to ensure that the state's public school system enables students to meet those standards by providing them with fair and equitable access to the core resources for learning.  The bill includes among the core resources for learning: (1) high-quality instructional teams; (2) rigorous academic standards and curricula that lead to college and career readiness by high school graduation; (3) equitable and instructionally appropriate class sizes; (4) up-to-date instructional materials, technology, and supplies; (5) effective school library programs; (5) school facilities and technology, including physically and environmentally sound school buildings and well-equipped instructional spaces; (6) specialized instruction support teams providing assessment, diagnosis, counseling, educational, therapeutic, and other necessary services as part of a comprehensive program to meet student needs; and (7) effective programs to engage families and the community in education. See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 37.

The bill would require annual report cards to include information on the performance of local education agencies (LEAs) and schools in providing students with fair and equitable access to the core resources for learning.  The bill would require states to identify any of their LEAs as needing improvement if they: (1) fail for two consecutive years to make adequate progress toward state academic content and achievement standards, or (2) have received a waiver of ESEA's statutory or regulatory requirements from the secretary of education.  The bill then requires states to: (1) identify any inequities in access to the core resources of learning in schools served by an LEA that has been identified as needing improvement, and (2) work with the LEA to address those inequities.  The bill would prohibit states that fail to make progress toward eliminating inequities in access to the core resources for learning for two or more consecutive years from receiving funds under any competitive grant program authorized by the ESEA.  [The companion measure is H.R. 193 by Rep. Fudge (D-OH).]

S. 197 (113th H.R. 5807), the Support Making Assessments Reliable and Timely (SMART) Act by Senator Baldwin (D-WI) would amend the ESEA Title VI program allotting grants to states to develop and administer state academic standards and assessments.  The bill would require that each state use grants to: develop and administer such assessments and further align them with the state's academic content standards; ensure that English learners and students with disabilities are provided with appropriate accommodations to improve their inclusion in the assessments; develop state assessment systems aligned to content standards that support systems of continuous improvement; support local LEAs in identifying uses of assessment data, and carry out certain other activities to improve the quality and use of state assessments.  In addition, the bill would revise the program awarding competitive grants to states to enhance assessment instruments.  The bill would require each grantee that has not yet received a grant under such program to use the grant to:  carry out audits of the state assessment system and ensure that LEAs carry out audits of local assessments; prepare and carry out a state plan, in coordination with LEAs, to improve and streamline state and local assessment systems; and award subgrants to LEAs to improve the quality and use of local assessments and their alignment with state academic content standards.  The bill would requires a state that has previously received such a grant to use a new grant to: carry out a state plan, in coordination with LEAs, to improve and streamline state and local assessment systems; and award subgrants to LEAs to improve the quality and use of local assessments and their alignment with state academic content standards. [The companion bill is H.R. 408 by Rep. Bonamici (D-OR).] See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 197.

Note: NEA also believes the number of federally mandated tests should be reduced.

S. 251 (113th S. 1126), the Prescribe A Book Act by Sen. Reed (D-RI) would amend ESEA to authorize the secretary of education to award matching grants to nonprofit organizations to implement Pediatric Early Literacy Programs, through which: (1) health care providers would encourage parents to read aloud to their children and offer parents developmentally appropriate recommendations and strategies for doing so; (2) health care providers would give each visiting child between the ages of six months and five years a new, developmentally appropriate children's book to take home and keep; and (3) volunteers in health care facility waiting areas would read to children and show parents the techniques of reading aloud to young children. [A companion bill is H.R. 523 by Rep. McGovern (D-MA)]. See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 251.

S. 308 (113th S. 326), the After School for America’s Children Act by Sen. Boxer (D-CA) would amend and reauthorize the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program under ESEA Title IV to establish and expand activities in community learning centers.  The bill would include among the activities grants may fund: (1) core academic subject education activities, including those that allow students to recover or attain credits; (2) literacy education programs; (3) programs that support a healthy, active lifestyle; (4) services for the disabled; (5) cultural programs; and (6) programs that build science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills and support innovative STEM teaching methods.  [A related bill is H.R. 1042 by Rep. Kildee (D-MI).] See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 308.

S. 311 (113th S. 403), the Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2015 by Sen. Casey (D-PA) would amend ESEA to require states to direct their LEAs to establish policies that prevent and prohibit conduct, including bullying and harassment, that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to: (1) limit students' ability to participate in, or benefit from school programs; or (2) create a hostile or abusive educational environment that adversely affects their education.  The bill would require LEAs to provide: (1) annual notice of the conduct prohibited in their discipline policies; (2) grievance procedures that target such conduct; and (3) annual data on the incidence and frequency of that conduct at the school and LEA level.  The bill would also require a biennial evaluation of programs and policies to combat bullying and harassment and collection of state data to determine the incidence and frequency of the conduct prohibited by LEA discipline policies. See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 311.

S. 312 (113th S. 1127), the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLS) Act by Sen. Reed (D-RI) would amend ESEA Title I, Part A to require that effective school library programs be included in school improvement programs.  The bill would define an “effective school library program” as one that: (1) is staffed by a state-sanctioned school librarian; (2) has up-to-date materials and technology, including broadband; (3) includes regular collaboration between teachers and school librarians concerning school reform efforts; and (4) supports the development of digital literacy skills.  The bill would replace the existing program under Subpart 4 (Improving Literacy Through School Libraries) of ESEA Title I, Part B with a new program awarding competitive three-year grants to LEAs that serve students, at least 20 percent of whom are impoverished, to develop and enhance effective school library programs.  The bill would amend Title II of ESEA to rename Part A the Teacher, School Librarian, and Principal Training and Recruiting Fund.  The bill would require states and LEAs to use funds under the program to train school librarians and recruit and retain highly effective school librarians. See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 312.

S. 317 (113th S. 519), the Providing Resources Early for Kids (PRE-K) Act of 2015 by Sen. Hirono (D-HI) would amend ESEA to direct the secretary of education to award matching grants to enhance or improve state-funded preschool programs to states that: (1) have curricula aligned with state early learning standards; (2) use nationally-established, or better, best practices for class size and teacher-to-student ratios; (3) require each teacher to have at least an associate degree in early childhood education or a related field; (4) require such programs to operate for at least a full academic year; and (5) have a plan for meeting the requirement, within five years of receiving such grant, that teachers have at least a baccalaureate degree in early childhood education or have such degree in a related field, but have also completed specialized training in early childhood education. The bill would direct the secretary to establish a competitive process for awarding grants to other states that demonstrate that they will meet such requirements within two fiscal years.  [The companion measure is H.R. 587 by Rep. Pocan (D-WI).] See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 317.

Note: NEA believes that prekindergarten should be provided primarily by public entities.

S. 355, the Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015 by Sen. Kaine (D-VA) would amend ESEA to authorize the secretary of education to award competitive four-year grants to LEAs to provide: (1) professional development to school administrators, teachers, and staff in safe relationship behavior education; and (2) educational programming and curricula for students regarding safe relationship behavior.  The bill would define "safe relationship behavior education" as education that: is medically accurate and appropriate for an individual's age, developmental stage, and culture; promotes safe relationships and teaches students to recognize and prevent coercion, violence, or abuse; includes education regarding relationship communication skills, emotional health, accountability, and consent; and includes education regarding healthy relationships. See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 355.

S. 363 (113th S. 512), the To Aid Gifted and High-Ability Learners by Empowering the Nation’s Teachers (TALENT) Act by Sen. Grassley (R-IA) would amend ESEA to require state assessments of student proficiency to measure individual academic achievement, including above grade level achievement.  The bill would require states to: (1) recognize LEAs that significantly increase the proportion of their students, overall and in specified student subgroups, that score at or above the advanced level of achievement on such assessments; (2) assist their LEAs and schools in providing additional educational assistance to advanced, gifted, and talented students; and (3) report annually a comparison of the performance of students between different LEAs at each level of achievement, disaggregated by specified student subgroups. The bill would require LEAs receiving school improvement funds to identify gifted and talented students and support their learning needs.  The bill would require LEAs and partnerships that receive funding under the Teacher and Principal Training and Recruiting Fund program to train educators to identify and support gifted and talented students.  The bill would authorize LEAs to use funding under: (1) the small rural school achievement program to support gifted and talented students, and (2) the rural and low-income school program to train teachers to meet the unique learning needs of gifted and talented students.  The bill would also amend the America COMPETES Act and the National Defense Authorization Act to promote the education of advanced students.  See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 363.

S. 389 (113th, H.R. 5343), the All Students Count Act of 2015 by Sen. Hirono (D-HI) would amend ESEA to require state report cards to provide information, in the aggregate and disaggregated by the same major race groups as the decennial census of the population, ethnicity, gender, disability status, migrant status, English proficiency, and status as economically disadvantaged, and cross-tabulated across all of such subgroups by gender, by disability, and by English proficiency, on student achievement at each proficiency level on the state academic assessments.  [The companion bill is H.R. 717 by Rep. Honda (D-CA).] See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 389.

S. 402, the STEM Master Teacher Corps Act of 2015 by Sen. Franken (D-MN) would amend ESEA to direct the secretary of education to award competitive matching grants to consortia of LEAs or states, acting in partnership with IHE or nonprofit organizations to establish a STEM  Master Teacher Corps program.  The bill would require grantees to: (1) select exemplary elementary and secondary school STEM teachers for membership in the STEM Master Teacher Corps; (2) provide those teachers with compensation that supplements their base salaries for taking on additional duties and leadership roles, with higher compensation going to those teaching at high-need public schools; (3) provide and track the effectiveness of research-based training for Corps members; (4) provide discretionary resources for use by Corps members at high-need schools; (5) help coordinate instructional leadership and mentoring roles for Corps members; and (6) facilitate efforts by Corps members to inform STEM education policy at the national, state, and local levels.  The bill would also require grantees to ensure that at least 75 percent of their STEM Master Teacher Corps are teachers at high-need schools.  The bill would direct the director of the Institute of Education Sciences to: (1) evaluate the STEM Master Teacher Corps program; (2) identify optimal strategies for designing and advancing such program; and (3) identify best practices based on lessons learned from the program.  [A companion bill is H.R. 794 by Rep. Honda (D-CA).] See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 402.

S. 410 (113th  S. 1131), the Building upon Unique Indian Learning and Development Act by Sen. Udall (D-NM) would require the Secretaries of Education and the Interior to establish an Education Joint Oversight Board to coordinate Indian education policies and assistance.  The bill would amend Part A of ESEA Title VII (Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native Education) to award grants to LEAs, IHEs, or nonprofit organizations to create or expand teacher and administrator pipelines for teachers and administrators of Native American students.  The bill would amend the Title I school improvement program to require states to develop standards-based assessments and classroom lessons that accommodate diverse learning styles.  The bill would direct: (1) the Secretary of Education to expand programs for Native American school children to support learning in the children's Native language and culture and provide English language instruction, and (2) the Comptroller General to conduct research on culture- and language-based education.  The bill would exempt Native language teachers from the requirement that teachers be highly qualified and would require states, in collaboration with Indian tribes or Tribal Colleges and Universities, to develop an alternative licensure or certification process for those teachers.  The bill would require reservation of at least 0.5 percent of their funding for Indian elementary and secondary schools or early learning programs.  In addition, the bill would require the Secretary to: (1) establish a program to improve school environments and student skill development for healthy choices for Native American students and (2) establish a program for school dropout prevention for Native American students.  The bill would authorize and appropriate additional funds for the Impact Aid program and authorize several additional programs.  [A related bill is H.R. 1082 by Rep. Lujan (D-NM).] See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 410.

Note: NEA supports the overall goals of this bill, but seeks assurances that all educators who serve as the “teacher of record” for classrooms of students are fully prepared and qualified.

S. 412(113th S. 1291), the Schools Utilizing Comprehensive and Community Engagement for Success Act (SUCCESS) Act by Sen. Mikulski (D-MD) would amend ESEA Title I to authorize states to reserve school improvement funds to: (1) award a grant to a statewide nonprofit organization to establish a Statewide Family Engagement Center; (2) award grants to nonprofit organizations or American Indian tribes that partner with LEAs or schools to establish and operate Local Family Engagement Centers that assist families in becoming engaged in their children’s education; and (3) develop and implement a statewide family engagement in education plan.  Among the mandates to improve family engagement, the bill would require each state school improvement plan to include family engagement, require each LEA and school receiving school improvement funds to develop policies and practices for family engagement, and increase the percentage of school improvement funds that LEAs must reserve for family engagement activities.  The bill would repeal programs authorizing the secretary to award grants to: (1) nonprofit organizations and consortia of those organizations and LEAs to establish parental information and resource centers, and (2) local nonprofit parent organizations to support local family information centers.  [A related bill is H.R. 1194 by Rep. Thompson, G. (R-PA).] See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 412.

S. 416 (113th S. 870), the Pregnant and Parenting Students Access to Education Act of 2015 by Sen. Udall (D-NM) would authorize the secretary of education to make formula grants to states and, through them, competitive subgrants to LEAs to establish or enhance educational programs and related services that enable expectant and parenting students to enroll in, attend, and succeed in school. See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 416.

S. 418 (113th S. 392), the Promoting Health as Youth Skills in Classrooms and Life Act by Sen. Udall (D-NM) would amend ESEA to include health education and physical education in the definition of "core academic subjects.”  The bill would require each state to determine the most feasible measure for assessing students in health education and physical education, including through adaptive assessments, to measure student knowledge and performance against state standards.  The bill would authorize appropriations for FY2016-FY2020 for the Carol M. White Physical Education Program. See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 418.

S. 419 (113th S. 1129), the STEM Support for Teachers in Education and Mentoring (STEM 2) Act by Sen. Udall (D-NM) would direct the secretary of education to award competitive planning grants to states, Indian tribes or tribal organizations, nonprofit organizations, or IHEs to develop effective state or tribal STEM networks that coordinate STEM education efforts by: (1) facilitating communication and collaboration among public and private STEM stakeholders, and (2) identifying STEM occupational skills needed in the future.  The bill would direct the secretary to award competitive grants to develop, implement, and evaluate STEM education training programs for teachers and administrators.  The bill would require the secretary to award competitive grants to support curriculum development, assessments, or related activities that enable states to adopt new mathematics and science academic standards.  The bill would also require the secretary to establish a national panel to identify and recommend the most effective STEM curricula models for kindergarten through grade 12.  [The companion measure is H.R. 1081 by Rep. Lujan (D-NM).] See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 419.

S. 436 (113th S. 2718), the Supporting Athletes, Families and Educators to Protect the Lives of Athletic Youth (SAFE PLAY) Act by Sen. Menendez (D-NJ) would amend ESEA Title IX, Part E to require that states ensure: (1) that each LEA in the state develops and implements a standard plan for concussion safety and management in schools served by that LEA, and (2) that each public school in the state posts information based on peer-reviewed scientific evidence about concussions on school grounds, in a manner visible to students and school personnel, and to makes that information publicly available on the school Web site. The bill would also amend Part E to require: (1) the secretary of education to develop materials and resources on exposure to excessive heat, and (2) the implementation of excessive heat action plans to be used during school-sponsored athletic activities. See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 436.

The bill also requires the secretary of health and human services to promote student health and safety by (1) increasing awareness of cardiomyopathy and other higher risk childhood cardiac conditions; (2) providing grants for cardiac training and equipment in schools: (3) creating recommended  guidelines for emergency action plans for student athletics; (4) creating recommended guidelines for safe energy drink consumption; and (5) providing a report to Congress on the number of sports related fatalities and catastrophic injuries and their causes.  [The companion measure is H.R. 829 by Rep. Capps (D-CA).]

S. 439 (113th S. 1088), the Student Non-Discrimination Act of 2015 by Sen. Franken (D-MN) would prohibit public school students from being excluded from participating in, or subject to discrimination under, any federally assisted educational program on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity or that of their associates.  The bill would include harassment as a form of discrimination, protect against retaliation, and establish a right of action for aggrieved individuals.  The bill would also authorize the attorney general to institute a civil action in any appropriate U.S. district court for a violation of this Act.  [A related bill is H.R. 846 by Rep. Polis (D-CO).]  See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 439.

S. 442 (113th S. 1067), the Innovation Inspiration School Grant Program Act by Sen. Shaheen (D-NH) would authorize the secretary of education to award competitive matching grants to LEAs to: (1) promote STEM (including robotics) in secondary schools; (2) support the participation of secondary school students in nontraditional STEM teaching methods; and (3) broaden secondary school students' access to STEM careers.  The bill gives priority to grant applications that target: (1) a rural or urban school, (2) a low-performing school or LEA, or (3) an LEA or school that serves students who are eligible for free or reduced price lunches. See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 442.

S. 464 (113th S. 1107), the Native Hawaiian Education Reauthorization Act of 2015 by Sen. Hirono (D-HI) would amend the Native Hawaiian Education Act to revise the duties and composition of the Native Hawaiian Education Council.  The bill would direct the Council, in addition to its existing duties, to: (1) serve as a clearinghouse for the educational and related services and programs available to Native Hawaiians, and (2) provide technical assistance to Native Hawaiian organizations that apply for or receive Native Hawaiian Education program grants.  The bill would also include charter schools as eligible recipients of Native Hawaiian Education program grants, in addition to Native Hawaiian education organizations, Native Hawaiian community-based organizations, and public and private nonprofit entities.  The bill would give grant priority to programs that: (1) meet the educational priorities established by the Council; (2) repair and renovate public schools that serve high concentrations of Native Hawaiian students; (3) meet the unique cultural and language needs of Native Hawaiian students in order to help them meet challenging state academic achievement standards; and (4) involve states, LEAs, or IHEs in partnerships or consortia.  [The companion measure is H.R. 895 by Rep. Gabbard (D-HI).] See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 464.

S. 476 (113th S. 840), the School Principal Recruitment and Training Act by Sen. Franken (D-MN) would amend  ESEA to establish a principal recruitment and training grant program awarding renewable, matching grants to states, LEAs, educational service agencies, nonprofit organizations, IHEs, and partnerships of those entities to recruit, prepare, place, and support principals in eligible schools.  The bill would require grantees to develop a leadership training program for principals, mentors, and other school leaders that prepares and supports them in leading effective school reform efforts in persistently low-achieving schools.  Grantees would then be required to implement their leadership training programs, selecting cohorts of trained or experienced principals to lead school reform efforts in persistently low-achieving schools; supporting interaction among principals who have completed the training program; and disseminating information to principals, mentors, and other school leaders engaged in reform efforts in persistently low-achieving schools.  See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 476.

S. 478, the Career Ready Act of 2015 by Sen. Kaine (D-VA) would amend  the school improvement program under ESEA Title I, Part A to allow states to include certain career- readiness indicators in their determination of whether students are making adequate yearly progress (AYP) toward state academic performance standards; allow states to include on their annual report cards  specified indicators of student progress toward those standards; and require LEAs awarded grants for school counseling to use funds for additional activities related to promoting career readiness.  See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 478.

S. 492 (113th S. 1306), the No Child Left Inside Act of 2015 by Sen. Reed (D-RI) would amend ESEA to direct the secretary of education to award grants to states and, through them, competitive subgrants to eligible partnerships to support the implementation of state environmental literacy plans that include environmental education standards and teacher training.  The bill would include in the eligible partnerships an LEA and at least one IHE, another LEA, an elementary or secondary school, or a government or nonprofit entity experienced in environmental literacy. See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 492.

The bill would amend Part B (Mathematics and Science Partnerships) of ESEA Title II to: (1) include nonprofit environmental education organizations and government science, environmental, or natural resource management agencies among the entities eligible to participate in Part B partnerships; and (2) allow the use of Part B funds to train teachers to use environmental education to enhance student understanding of science and mathematics.  The bill would also amend Part B (21st Century Community Learning Centers) of Title IV to include environmental literacy activities among the before and after school activities that such program funds.  [A companion bill is H.R. 882 by Sen. Sarbanes (D-MD).]

S. 514, the Promise Neighborhoods Authorization Act of 2015 by Sen. Murphy (D-CT) would amend ESEA Title IV to direct the secretary of education to award renewable, competitive, matching grants to IHEs, American Indian tribes or tribal organizations, or nonprofit organizations to implement a comprehensive continuum of coordinated services and supports that engage community partners in improving the academic achievement, health and social development, and college and career readiness of children who live in distressed neighborhoods with persistently low-achieving schools or schools with an achievement gap. The bill would also direct the secretary to award renewable, competitive, matching grants to high-need LEAs that partner with nonprofit organizations or IHEs, and to American Indian schools that partner with nonprofit organizations or IHEs, to implement school-centered strategies and integrated student supports that leverage community partnerships to improve student achievement and development in schools with high concentrations of low-income children. See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 514.

S. 528, the Empowering Parents and Students Through Information Act by Sen. Casey (D-PA) would amend ESEA Title I, Part A to require each state that elects to use alternate academic achievement standards for students that have the most significant cognitive disabilities to: establish and monitor the implementation of clear and appropriate guidelines for IEP teams to apply in determining when a child's significant cognitive disability justifies assessment using alternate standards; ensure that the parents of students provide informed consent to the decision to apply such alternate standards; provide evidence that students with the most significant cognitive disabilities are making progress in the general curriculum for the grade in which the students are enrolled and in assessments aligned with that curriculum; develop and promote the use of reasonable accommodations to increase the number of such students participating in grade-level academic instruction and assessments; promote the use of such accommodations to increase the number of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who are tested against grade-level academic achievement standards; ensure that general and special education teachers and other appropriate staff know how to administer assessments for disabled students; require separate annual determinations about whether a student should be assessed using an alternate assessment based on alternate academic achievement standards for each subject assessed; and ensure that students who take such alternate assessments are not precluded from attempting to complete the state requirements for a regular secondary school diploma.  The bill would prohibit states from using any student’s IEP in the state accountability system and also contains related report card requirements. See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 528.

S. 557 (113th S. 1082), the Accelerated Learning Act of 2015 by Sen. Franken (D-MN) would direct the secretary of education to allot grants to states, based on their share of low-income elementary and secondary school students, to cover all or part of the Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) examination fees low-income students incur.  The bill would also direct the secretary to award competitive matching grants to states, LEAs, or partnerships between a nonprofit organization and a state or LEA for activities that increase: (1) the number of qualified teachers at high-needs schools who are teaching AP or IB courses; (2) the number of AP or IB courses offered at high-needs schools, and (3) the number of students at high-needs schools who enroll and succeed in such courses. See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 557.

S. 581 (113th S. 708), the Success in the Middle Act of 2015 by Sen. Whitehouse (D-RI) would direct the secretary of education to make grants to states, based on their proportion of poor children aged five  to 17 to: (1) implement state middle grades needs analyses and improvement plans that describe what students must master to successfully complete the middle grades and succeed in academically rigorous secondary school coursework; and (2) award competitive subgrants to LEAs or partnerships of LEAs and IHEs, educational service agencies, or educational nonprofit organizations to implement a comprehensive middle school improvement plan for each eligible school. The bill would also provide the secretary with funding to contract for studies that identify promising practices for improving middle grades education and for other national activities.  See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 581

S. 605 (113th S. 283), the Investing in Innovation for Education Act by Sen. Bennet (D-CO) would amend ESEA to direct the secretary of education to award competitive grants to LEAs, educational service agencies, and nonprofit organizations to support the school innovation efforts of public schools and LEAs.  The bill would require at least 25 percent of the grant funds to be awarded for projects in rural areas.  The bill would require each grant applicant to demonstrate that it has partnered with at least one private, nonprofit, community-based, or governmental entity that will provide matching funds.  The bill would require each grant to be used to address at least one of the following areas of school innovation: improving the effectiveness of teachers and school leaders and promoting their equitable distribution; strengthening the use of data to improve education; providing high-quality instruction that is based on rigorous academic content standards and measuring students' proficiency using high-quality assessments that are aligned to those standards; turning around the lowest-performing schools; and any other area of school innovation the secretary chooses.  [A related bill is H.R. 847 by Rep. Polis (D-CO).] See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 605.

S. 622 (113th S. 1291), the Family Engagement in Education Act of 2015 by Sen. Reed (D-RI) would amend ESEA Title I to authorize states to reserve school improvement funds to: (1) award a grant to a statewide nonprofit organization to establish a Statewide Family Engagement Center; (2) award grants to nonprofit organizations or American Indian tribes that partner with LEAs or schools to establish and operate Local Family Engagement Centers that assist families in becoming engaged in their children’s education; and (3) develop and implement a statewide family engagement in education plan.  Among the mandates to improve family engagement, the bill would require each state school improvement plan to include family engagement, require each LEA and school receiving school improvement funds to develop policies and practices for family engagement, and increase the percentage of school improvement funds that LEAs must reserve for family engagement activities.  The bill would repeal programs authorizing the secretary to award grants to: (1) nonprofit organizations and consortia of those organizations and LEAs to establish parental information and resource centers, and (2) local nonprofit parent organizations to support local family information centers.  [A related bill is H.R. 1194 by Rep. Thompson, G. (R-PA).] See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 622.

S. 643 (113th H.R. 791), the Continuum of Learning Act by Sen. Casey (D-PA) would amend ESEA to coordinate school improvement and professional development activities with early childhood development and education programs.  The bill would amend the school improvement program under ESEA Title I, Part A to require states to create or revise early learning guidelines for preschool age children and early learning standards for children in kindergarten through grade three.  The bill would require states to encourage LEAs and elementary schools to use school improvement funds to offer early childhood education programs from birth to school entry.  The bill would require LEAs to: (1) ensure, to the extent feasible, starting with the 2017-2018 school year, that teachers placed in the early elementary school grades have a specialized early childhood education teaching license, credential, or endorsement; and (2) work with early childhood education programs to establish a continuity of curricular objectives and developmental expectations that support children's transition to school.  The bill would amend ESEA Title II to require states to incorporate early childhood development and learning into teacher and principal certification or licensing requirements.  The bill would require professional development activities to include: (1) training in early child development and learning, and (2) joint training for elementary school staff and early childhood education program staff.  See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 643.

Note: NEA believes that prekindergarten should be provided primarily by public entities.

S. 645 (113th S. 502), the Prepare All Kids Act of 2015 by Sen. Casey (D-PA) would amend ESEA Title I to establish a Prekindergarten Incentive Fund for qualified prekindergarten providers to establish, expand, or enhance voluntary, high-quality, full-day prekindergarten programs serving children ages three through five.  The Act would also provide for early childhood development programs for children from birth through age three and foster early childhood extended day and year programs. See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 645.

Note: NEA believes that prekindergarten should be provided primarily by public entities.

S. 658, the Local Taxpayer Relief Act by Sen. Thune (R-SD) would reauthorize the Impact Aid program under ESEA.  The bill would permanently simplify payment calculations for federal property to accelerate payment processing, continue eligibility for Impact Aid for schools previously eligible that have been consolidated, and reauthorize appropriations for the Impact Aid program. See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 658.

S. 671 (113th S. 1407), the Computer Science Education and Jobs Act of 2015 by Sen. Casey (D-PA)  would amend ESEA by changing the term core academic subjects to priority subjects and including computer science as a priority academic subject.  The bill would include computer science in addition to science.  The bill would require each state to report the ten most in-demand occupations in that state for the most recent year for which data are available.  The bill would change current references to the mathematics and science partnerships (MSP) program, which provides funding to states, IHEs, and high-need LEAs to include engineers, computer science professionals and informatics professionals.  In the MSP program, references to mathematics and science would include science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and computer science.  The bill would authorize the secretary to award grants to IHEs to improve training for elementary and secondary school computer science teachers.  At a minimum, the IHE would be required to have a teacher education program and a program in computer science or informatics.  The bill would support the development of courses for undergraduate students and the development and funding of teacher mentoring programs. See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 671.

S. 672, the Keep Kids in School Act by Sen. Casey (D-PA) would require  states and school districts to create plans to reduce suspensions and expulsions, particularly in schools with high numbers of suspensions and expulsions and wide disparities in rates among student subgroups.  The bill would allow states and school districts to use their Title II federal resources for professional development to train and support teachers, principals, and other school staff on evidence based practices and support systems that improve school climate and reduce the number of suspensions and expulsions.  The bill would define suspension and expulsion and ask schools to report annually on suspension and expulsion information.  The bill would amend ESEA Title IV to provide funds for 50 LEAs with high rates of expulsions to work to reduce those rates. See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 672.

S. 811, the Supportive School Climate Act of 2015 by Sen. Murphy (D-CT) would amend the school improvement program under ESEA Title I, Part A to require each state seeking  a grant  to provide students with positive behavioral interventions and support (PBIS) to submit a plan to the secretary of education that describes specified steps it will take to: (1) create a positive school climate for all students, (2) improve engagement for disconnected youths, (3) create disciplinary policies that are fair and work to keep students in school, and (4) enable those who are removed from school to resume their education upon returning to school.    The bill would require LEA's to describe how they will support PBIS by: (1) establishing parental notification requirements for specified disciplinary actions that remove students from instruction, (2) establishing systems to engage families and community members with the school in meaningful and sustained ways, and (3) establishing best practices for a school conduct and discipline.  The bill would require Title I, Part D applicants to establish:  procedures to ensure that students who have been placed in the juvenile justice system are promptly re-enrolled in secondary school or placed in the re-entry programs that best meet their educational and social needs; procedures to facilitate the transfer of the credits that such students earn during placement, and opportunities for such students to participate in postsecondary and career pathways. The bill contains additional requirements for LEAs and correctional facilities to advance these goals. [A companion bill is H.R. 1435 by Rep. Davis (D-IL).]  See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 811.

S. 882, the Better Educator Support and Training Act (BEST) Act by Sen. Casey (D-PA) would revise and reauthorize ESEA Title II.  Through grants to SEAs and LEAs, the bill would elevate the teaching profession, support educators, improve student achievement, and ensure equity in the schools and early learning programs of the United States by: (1) increasing the capacity of LEAs, schools, teachers, principals, and other educators to provide a well-rounded, engaging, and rigorous education for all students; (2) improving the quality and effectiveness of teachers, principals, and other educators; (3) increasing the number of teachers, principals, and other educators who are effective in improving academic achievement; (4) ensuring that all students, including students who are children with disabilities, English language learners, and low-income and minority students, have equitable access to effective educators; (5) increasing the capacity of states and LEAs to develop and sustain a comprehensive professional continuum for teachers, principals, and other educators that leads to accomplished practice, leadership opportunities, and increased student learning; and (6) enhancing the knowledge of elementary school teachers, principals, and other educators in: early childhood development and learning; building ongoing relationships with early childhood education programs; and creating a continuum of developmentally appropriate and effective learning. See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 882.

House

H.R. 72 (113th H.R. 4108), the Breath of Fresh Air Act by Rep. Jackson Lee (D-TX) would amend ESEA to direct the secretary of education to award matching grants to LEAs to purchase nebulizers and/or train school personnel to use nebulizers.  The bill would require LEA grant applicants to demonstrate that for each school using nebulizers: (1) a full-time certified nurse is on staff; (2) trained personnel and other resources necessary for nebulizer use are in place; (3) emergency services personnel are notified of nebulizer locations; (4) nebulizers are integrated into the school’s emergency response procedures; and (5) procedures are in place to notify parents of the availability of nebulizers and inform them of how to provide the school with their child’s prescription asthma medication and authorization to use a nebulizer to assist their child. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 72.

H.R. 193 (113th  H.R. 5001), the Core Opportunity Resources for Equity and Excellence Act of 2015 by Rep. Fudge (D-OH) would amend the school improvement program under ESEA Title I, Part A to require states to adopt student achievement standards that lead to college and career readiness by high school graduation.  The bill would then require each state school improvement plan to ensure that the state's public school system enables students to meet those standards by providing them with fair and equitable access to the core resources for learning.  The bill includes among the core resources for learning: (1) high-quality instructional teams; (2) rigorous academic standards and curricula that lead to college and career readiness by high school graduation; (3) equitable and instructionally appropriate class sizes; (4) up-to-date instructional materials, technology, and supplies; (5) effective school library programs; (5) school facilities and technology, including physically and environmentally sound school buildings and well-equipped instructional spaces; (6) specialized instruction support teams providing assessment, diagnosis, counseling, educational, therapeutic, and other necessary services as part of a comprehensive program to meet student needs; and (7) effective programs to engage families and the community in education.  See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 193

The bill would require annual report cards to include information on the performance of LEAs and schools in providing students with fair and equitable access to the core resources for learning.  The bill would require states to identify any of their LEAs as needing improvement if they: (1) fail for two consecutive years to make AYP toward state academic content and achievement standards, or (2) have received a waiver of the ESEA's statutory or regulatory requirements from the secretary of education.  The bill then requires states to: (1) identify any inequities in access to the core resources of learning in schools served by an LEA that has been identified as needing improvement, and (2) work with the LEA to address those inequities.  The bill would prohibit states that fail to make progress toward eliminating inequities in access to the core resources for learning for two or more consecutive years from receiving funds under any competitive grant program authorized by ESEA.  [The companion measure is S. 37 by Sen. Reed (D-RI).]

H.R. 346 (113th H.R. 2920), the Financial Literacy for Students Act  by Rep. Cartwright (D-PA) would amend ESEA Title V, Part D by authorizing awards to state education agencies (SEAs): (1) to integrate financial literacy education into each public elementary and secondary school within the state that is eligible to receive funds under Title I; and, (2) to provide professional development on teaching financial literacy in core academic subjects to each secondary school teacher of financial literacy or entrepreneurship within the state. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 346.

H.R. 374 (113th H.R. 3984), the Supporting Early Learning Act by Rep. Himes (D-CT) would direct the secretary of education to award competitive, matching Quality Pathways grants to states that demonstrate the greatest progress toward establishing a high-quality system of early learning and would require that the grant be used to further such progress and move more disadvantaged children into higher-quality programs.  The bill would direct the secretary to establish indicators and benchmarks for state progress in meeting grant objectives and would require the secretary to use certain reserved funds to: (1) establish a competitive grant demonstration program for American Indian school readiness programs; (2) provide technical assistance to states to help them pursue grants; and (3) support the Institute of Education Sciences’ research into grant-related activities. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 374.

H.R. 375 (113th H.R. 3983), the Total Learning Act by Rep. Himes (D-CT) would direct the secretary of education to award competitive grants to full-service community schools or partnerships between LEAs and public or nonprofit social service providers or full-service community schools to implement innovative early learning curricula in preschool and elementary school programs in high-need communities for children from birth through age nine.  The bill would direct the secretary to award funds to a public or nonprofit organization experienced in an innovative early learning curriculum to provide training and technical assistance to grantees on implementing that curriculum and to publicize the grants. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 375.

H.R. 408 (113th H.R. 5807), the Support Making Assessments Reliable and Timely (SMART) Act by Rep. Bonamici (D-OR) would amend the ESEA Title VI program allotting grants to states to develop and administer state academic standards and assessments.  The bill would require that each state use grants to: develop and administer such assessments and further align them with the state's academic content standards; ensure that English learners  and students with disabilities are provided with appropriate accommodations to improve their inclusion in the assessments; develop state assessment systems aligned to content standards that support systems of continuous improvement; support local LEAs in identifying uses of assessment data, and carry out certain other activities to improve the quality and use of state assessments.  In addition, the bill would revise the program awarding competitive grants to states to enhance assessment instruments.  The bill would require each grantee that has not yet received a grant under such program to use the grant to:  carry out audits of the state assessment system and ensure that LEAs carry out audits of local assessments; prepare and carry out a state plan, in coordination with LEAs, to improve and streamline state and local assessment systems; and award subgrants to LEAs to improve the quality and use of local assessments and their alignment with state academic content standards.  The bill would requires a state that has previously received such a grant to use a new grant to: carry out a state plan, in coordination with LEAs, to improve and streamline state and local assessment systems; and, award subgrants to LEAs to improve the quality and use of local assessments and their alignment with state academic content standards.  [The companion bill is S. 197 by Sen. Baldwin (D-WI).] See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 408.

Note: NEA also believes the number of federally mandated tests should be reduced.

H.R. 452 (113th H.R. 4172), the Student Testing Improvement and Accountability Act by Rep. Gibson (R-NY) would amend ESEA by eliminating federally mandated annual testing in grades 3 to 8 in favor of grade span testing, the norm before passage of NCLB, thereby reducing the total amount of testing required by the federal government and increasing the time available for instruction. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 452.

H.R. 495 (113th H.R. 2237), the Developing Innovative Partnerships and Learning Opportunities that Motivate Achievement (DIPLOMA) Act by Rep. Chu (D-CA) would authorize the secretary of education to award renewable five-year grants to states and, through them, subgrants to local consortia that include an LEA and other community partners to: (1) ensure the academic, physical, social, emotional, and civic development of disadvantaged youth; and (2) strengthen their families and communities.  The bill would require that each grantee develop and implement a state child and youth strategy that assesses children’s needs and the assets within the state that can be used to achieve quantifiable progress toward goals that include ensuring that: (1) children are ready for school; (2) students are engaged and achieving in school; (3) students are physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally healthy; (4) schools and neighborhoods are safe and provide a positive climate for learning; (5) families and communities are supportive and engaged in their children’s education as equal partners; (6) students are ready for postsecondary education and 21st century careers; (7) students are contributing to their communities; and (8) students are not chronically absent. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 495.

H.R. 523 (113th S. 1126), the Prescribe A Book Act by Rep. McGovern (D-MA) would amend ESEA to authorize the secretary of education to award matching grants to nonprofit organizations for the implementation of Pediatric Early Literacy Programs, through which: (1) health care providers encourage parents to read aloud to their children and offer parents developmentally appropriate recommendations and strategies for doing so; (2) health care providers give each visiting child between the ages of six months and five years a new, developmentally appropriate children's book to take home and keep; and (3) volunteers in health care facility waiting areas read to children and show parents the techniques of reading aloud to young children. [A companion bill is S. 251 by Sen. Reed (D-RI).]  See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 523.

H.R. 541 (113th  H.R. 2930), the Transition-to-Success Mentoring Act by Rep. Carson (D-IN) would reauthorize appropriations under ESEA Part H (School Dropout Prevention) and establish a transition-to-success mentoring program under that Part.  The bill would require the secretary of education to award grants to LEAs or partnerships between LEAs and community-based nonprofit organizations to establish, expand, or provide technical support to school-based mentoring programs to assist at-risk students in transitioning from middle to high school.  The bill would require grantees to assign a success coach to each at-risk student in his or her middle school.  Grants could be used to: (1) train success coaches, (2) cover the cost of any materials they use under the mentoring program, and (3) hire staff to perform or support program objectives. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 541.

H.R. 561 (113th H.R. 5678), the Assessing Appropriate School Start Times Act by Rep. Grayson (D-FL) would amend ESEA to direct the secretary of education to study the impact of school start times on student health, well-being, and performance.  [A related bill is H.R. 1306 by Rep. Lofgren (D-CA).]  See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 561.

H.R. 562, the Improving Education for Foster Youth Act by Rep. Grayson (D-FL) would amend ESEA to require states that receive ESEA assistance to implement policies ensuring that foster care children who are changing schools can transfer school credits and receive partial credits for coursework satisfactorily completed while attending a prior school or educational program. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 562.

H.R. 565 (113th H.R. 1089), the Stepping Up to STEM Education Act by Rep. Honda (D-CA) would amend the Department of Education Organization Act to establish an Advanced Research Projects Agency for Education within the Department of Education to pursue breakthrough research and development in educational technology and to facilitate the effective use of that technology to improve student achievement. The bill would also direct the secretary of education to award matching grants to state-based science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and computer science networks or similar organizations of STEM stakeholders to increase students' achievement in the STEM disciplines in elementary and secondary schools and in out-of-school and after-school programs. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 565.

H.R. 566 (113th H.R. 3325), the Technology Enabled Education Innovation Partnership Act by Rep. Honda (D-CA) would authorize the secretary of education to award grants to eligible partnerships to design, implement, and scale technology-enabled education innovation programs.  The bill would define an “eligible partnership” as a partnership composed of at least one SEA or LEA and at least one IHE or nonprofit research organization working with the state or LEA as a research and evaluation partner.   The bill would direct the secretary to engage in supportive national technology activities, establish a partnership coordinating center, and establish at least one advanced learning technology research and development center. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 566.

H.R. 587 (H.R. 1041), the Providing Resources Early for Kids (PRE-K) Act by Rep. Pocan (D-WI) would amend ESEA to direct the secretary of education to award matching grants to enhance or improve state-funded preschool programs to states that: (1) have curricula aligned with state early learning standards; (2) use nationally established, or better, best practices for class size and teacher-to-student ratios; (3) require each teacher to have at least an associate degree in early childhood education or a related field; (4) require such programs to operate for at least a full academic year; and (5) have a plan for meeting the requirement, within five years of receiving such grant, that teachers have at least a baccalaureate degree in early childhood education or have such degree in a related field, but have also completed specialized training in early childhood education. The bill would direct the secretary to establish a competitive process for awarding grants to other states that demonstrate that they will meet such requirements within two fiscal years.  [The companion measure is S. 317 by Sen. Hirono (D-HI).] See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 587.

Note: NEA believes that prekindergarten should be provided primarily by public entities.

H.R. 645 (113th H.R. 4815), the American Manufacturing Jobs for Students Act by Rep. Brownley (D-CA) would amend ESEA to direct the secretary of education, when awarding grants to LEAs for school counseling programs, to give special consideration to coordinated efforts to significantly engage students in manufacturing careers.  See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 645.

H.R. 717 (113th H.R. 5343), the All Students Count Act of 2015 by Rep. Honda (D-CA) would amend ESEA to require state report cards to provide information, in the aggregate and disaggregated by the same major race groups as the decennial census of the population, ethnicity, gender, disability status, migrant status, English proficiency, and status as economically disadvantaged, and cross-tabulated across all of such subgroups by gender, by disability, and by English proficiency, on student achievement at each proficiency level on the state academic assessments.  [The companion bill is S. 389 by Sen. Hirono (D-HI)]. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 717.

H.R. 718 (113th H.R. 3873),  the Supporting Community Schools Act of 2015 by Rep. Honda (D-CA) would amend ESEA Title I, Part A to authorize LEAs to use school improvement funds to transform schools identified as needing improvement, corrective action, or restructuring into community schools.  The bill defines a “community school” as a public elementary or secondary school that partners with community-based entities, both public and private, to address students’ academic, health, and developmental needs while also serving as a community center that provides or hosts relevant community services. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 718.

H.R. 736 (113th H.R. 209), a bill to authorize the appropriation of funds to be used to recruit, hire, and train 100,000 new classroom paraprofessionals in order to improve educational achievement for children, by Rep. Serrano (D-NY) would direct the secretary of education to allot funds to states for distribution to LEAs to recruit, hire, and train 100,000 new classroom paraprofessionals to improve educational achievement for children. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 736.

H.R. 794 (113th S. 358), the STEM Master Teacher Corps Act of 2015 by Rep. Honda (D-CA) would amend ESEA to direct the secretary of education to award competitive matching grants to consortia of LEAs or states, acting in partnership with IHEs or nonprofit organizations to establish a STEM  Master Teacher Corps program.  The bill would require grantees to: (1) select exemplary elementary and secondary school STEM teachers for membership in the STEM Master Teacher Corps; (2) provide those teachers with compensation that supplements their base salaries for taking on additional duties and leadership roles, with higher compensation going to those teaching at high-need public schools; (3) provide and track the effectiveness of research-based training for Corps members; (4) provide discretionary resources for use by Corps members at high-need schools; (5) help coordinate instructional leadership and mentoring roles for Corps members; and (6) facilitate efforts by Corps members to inform STEM education policy at the national, state, and local levels.  The bill would also require grantees to ensure that at least 75 percent of their STEM Master Teacher Corps are teachers at high-need schools.   The bill would require the Institute of Education Sciences to: (1) evaluate the STEM Master Teacher Corps program; (2) identify optimal strategies for designing and advancing such program; and (3) identify best practices based on lessons learned from the program.  [A companion bill is S. 402 by Sen. Franken (D-MN).] See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 794.

H.R. 823 (113th H.R. 2426), the Educating Tomorrow’s Engineers Act of 2015 by Rep. Tonko (D-NY) would amend ESEA to require states to incorporate engineering design skills and practices into their academic content standards and academic achievement standards and assessments in science. The bill would require states and LEAs to use grants and subgrants under the Teacher and Principal Training and Recruiting Fund program to develop and provide professional development and instructional materials for STEM subject areas, including computer science and engineering. The bill would change current references to the mathematics and science partnerships program to references to the STEM partnerships program, which provides funding to states, IHEs, and high-need LEAs to recruit and train STEM teachers and improve STEM curricula.  The bill would amend the 21st century community learning centers program to include STEM activities (currently, mathematics and science activities) within the before- and after-school activities funded under that program. The bill would amend the rural and low-income school program to include professional development in engineering education among the uses of the funds provided to rural LEAs. The bill would also support research and best practices in engineering education. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 823.

H.R. 829 (113th H.R. 5324), the SAFE Play Act by Rep. Capps (D-CA) would amend ESEA Title IX, Part E to require states to ensure that: (1) each LEA in the state develops and implements a standard plan for concussion safety and management in schools served by that LEA, and (2) that each public school in the state posts information based on peer-reviewed scientific evidence about concussions on school grounds, in a manner visible to students and school personnel, and to make that information publicly available on the school Web site. The bill would also amend Part E to require: (1) the secretary of education to develop materials and resources on exposure to excessive heat, and (2) the implementation of excessive heat action plans to be used during school-sponsored athletic activities.

The bill also requires the secretary of health and human services to promote student health and safety by (1) increasing awareness of cardiomyopathy and other higher risk childhood cardiac conditions; (2) providing grants for cardiac training and equipment in schools: (3) creating recommended  guidelines for emergency action plans for student athletics; (4) creating recommended guidelines for safe energy drink consumption; and (5) providing a report to Congress on the number and causes of sports-related fatalities and catastrophic injuries. [The companion measure is S. 436 by Sen. Menendez (D-NJ).] See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 829.

H.R. 833 (113th H.R. 536), the Diverse Teachers Recruitment Act of 2015 by Rep. Davis (D-CA) would amend ESEA to direct the secretary of education to award competitive matching grants to LEAs or nonprofits, educational service agencies, IHEs, or states that enter into partnerships with such LEAs, for recruiting, training, and retaining individuals from underrepresented groups as public elementary and secondary school teachers.  The bill would give priority to LEAs that serve the most high-need schools and those that serve schools with the highest percentages of minorities in their student bodies.  The bill also would require the secretary to evaluate the success of the grantees and compile a database of best practices for recruiting, training, and retaining individuals from underrepresented groups as public elementary and secondary school teachers. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 833.

H.R. 834 (113th H.R. 2933), the Helping Military Children Succeed in Schools Act by Rep. Davis (D-CA) would amend ESEA Title I state report card requirements to require information on the number of military-connected students in a state and how such military-dependent students achieved on that state’s academic assessments described in subsection (b)(2) compared to all students in the state. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 834.

H.R. 840 (113th H.R. 3690), the STEM Gateways ACT by Rep. Kennedy (D-MA) would direct the secretary of education to award competitive grants to elementary and secondary school programs that promote engagement and success in STEM education for women and girls, underrepresented minorities, and individuals from all economic backgrounds.  The bill would direct the secretary to award grants to LEAs, consortia of LEAs, and educational service agencies, nonprofits or community colleges in partnership with LEAs.  Grant funds would be approved for the following uses in addition to advancing the specified goals of the bill: (1) extracurricular and after-school STEM programs; (2) tutoring and mentoring in STEM education; (3) summer programs in STEM fields; (4) professional development for teachers, afterschool providers, and other school personnel in elementary and secondary schools; (5) purchasing equipment, hardware, and educational materials used to teach and encourage interest in STEM fields; and (6) internships or opportunities for experiential learning in STEM fields. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 840.

H.R. 846 (113th H.R. 1652), the Student Non-Discrimination Act by Rep. Polis (D-CO) would prohibit public school students from being excluded from participating in, or subject to discrimination under, any federally assisted educational program on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity or that of their associates.  The bill would include harassment as a form of discrimination, protect against retaliation, and establish a right of action for aggrieved individuals.  The bill would also authorize the attorney general to institute a civil action in any appropriate U.S. district court for a violation of this Act.  [A related bill is S. 439 by Sen. Franken (D-MN).] See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 846.

H.R. 847 (113th H.R. 3433), the Investing in Innovation for Education Act of 2015 by Rep. Polis (D-CO) would amend ESEA to direct the secretary of education to award competitive grants to LEAs, educational service agencies, and nonprofit organizations to support the school innovation efforts of public schools and LEAs.  The bill requires at least 25 percent of the grant funds to be awarded for projects in rural areas.  The bill requires that grants be used to address at least one of the following areas of school innovation: (1) improving the effectiveness of teachers and school leaders and promoting their equitable distribution; (2) strengthening the use of data to improve education; (3) providing high-quality instruction that is based on rigorous standards and measuring students’ proficiency using high-quality assessments that are aligned to those standards; (4) turning around the lowest-performing schools; (5) supporting the effective use of technology to improve teaching and learning, including training teachers or principals in the innovative use of technology; and (6) any other area of school innovation the Secretary chooses. The bill requires each eligible grant applicant to demonstrate that it has established one or more partnerships with the private sector, which may include philanthropic organizations, and that partner(s) will provide matching funds.  [A related bill is S. 605 by Sen. Bennet (D-CO). See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 847.

H.R. 848 (113th H.R. 4269), the Great Teaching and Leading for Great Schools Act of 2015 by Rep. Polis (D-CO) would amend ESEA Title II, Part A to require states to use at least 50 percent of their Part A grant funds that are reserved for state activities for programs to improve principal effectiveness. The bill would add to the state activities those grants may fund, the development and implementation of: teacher and principal licensure systems that provide a single license for entry into the profession for candidates who complete a state-approved teacher or principal preparation program; a teacher evaluation system;  and a school principal evaluation system. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 848.

The bill would require LEAs that receive a subgrant under Part A to use at least 10 percent of the subgrant for programs and activities to improve principal effectiveness. The bill would add to the educator training, retention, and recruiting efforts those subgrants may fund: the development of strategies that provide differentiated pay and recognition for teachers and principals based on effectiveness and increased responsibilities; efforts to increase the knowledge and skills of principal managers, principals, assistant principals, coaches and teacher leaders; the implementation of the teacher and principal evaluation systems developed by their state; and the implementation of a formal evaluation system to determine the effectiveness of the programs carried out under such systems.  The bill would also redefine "professional development" to include a comprehensive system of professional learning to increase educator effectiveness in improving student learning and achievement as described in the bill.

H.R. 850 (113th H.R. 1875), the Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning Act of 2015 by Rep. Ryan (D-OH) would amend ESEA Title II to include teacher and principal training in practices that address the social and emotional development needs of students among the activities funded under the Teacher and Principal Training and Recruiting Fund program.  The bill would allow funded training to include training in classroom instruction and schoolwide initiatives that enable students to acquire the knowledge, attitudes, and skills most conducive to social and emotional competency. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 850.

H.R. 858 (H.R. 2706), the Literacy Education for All, Results for the Nation (LEARN) Act by Rep. Yarmuth (D-KY) would authorize the secretary of education to award grants to states to develop or improve a comprehensive plan to improve the literacy of children from birth through grade 12.  The bill would direct  the secretary to award grants to states to implement  literacy plans through: (1) competitive subgrants to LEAs or early learning programs for specified activities that support early language and literacy development in children from birth through kindergarten entry; (2) competitive subgrants to LEAs that have the highest numbers or percentages of disadvantaged students and students reading or writing below grade level for specified literacy activities, including the provision of family literacy services; and (3) additional state literacy activities including enhancing the credentials of literacy instructors. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 858.

H.R. 882 (113th H.R. 2702), the No Child Left Inside Act of 2015 by Rep. Sarbanes (D-MD) would amend ESEA to direct the secretary of education to award grants to states and, through them, competitive subgrants to eligible partnerships to support the implementation of state environmental literacy plans that include environmental education standards and teacher training. The bill would include in the eligible partnerships a LEA and at least one IHE, another LEA, an elementary or secondary school, or a government or nonprofit entity experienced in environmental literacy. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 882.

The bill would amend ESEA Title II, Part B (Mathematics and Science Partnerships) to: (1) include nonprofit environmental education organizations and government science, environmental, or natural resource management agencies among the entities eligible to participate in Part B partnerships; and (2) allow the use of Part B funds to train teachers to use environmental education to enhance student understanding of science and mathematics. The bill would also amend Part B (21st Century Community Learning Centers) of Title IV to include environmental literacy activities among the before- and after-school activities that the program funds.  [A companion bill is S. 492 by Sen. Reed (D-RI).]

H.R. 895 (113th H.R. 2287), the Native Hawaiian Education Reauthorization Act of 2015 by Rep. Gabbard (D-HI) would amend the Native Hawaiian Education Act to revise the duties and composition of the Native Hawaiian Education Council.  The bill would direct the Council, in addition to its existing duties, to: (1) serve as a clearinghouse for the educational and related services and programs available to Native Hawaiians, and (2) provide technical assistance to Native Hawaiian organizations that apply for or receive Native Hawaiian Education program grants.  The bill would also include charter schools as eligible recipients of Native Hawaiian Education program grants, in addition to Native Hawaiian education organizations, Native Hawaiian community-based organizations, and public and private nonprofit entities. The bill would give grant priority to programs that: (1) meet the educational priorities established by the Council; (2) repair and renovate public schools that serve high concentrations of Native Hawaiian students; (3) meet the unique cultural and language needs of Native Hawaiian students to help them meet challenging state academic achievement standards; and (4) involve states, local educational agencies, or institutions of higher education in partnerships or consortia.  [The companion measure is S. 464 by Sen. Hirono (D-HI).] See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 895.

H.R. 930 (113th H.R. 1736), the School Principal Recruitment and Training Act by Rep. Davis (D-CA) would amend ESEA to establish a principal recruitment and training grant program awarding renewable, matching grants to states, LEAs, educational service agencies, nonprofit organizations, IHEs, and partnerships of those entities to recruit, prepare, place, and support principals in eligible schools. The bill would define "eligible schools" as high-need schools, persistently low-achieving schools, achievement gap schools, schools with middle grades that feed students to high schools with low graduation rates, and rural schools served by high-need LEAs. The bill would require grantees to work with experts and stakeholders to develop, during the first year of a grant, a leadership training program for principals, mentors, and other school leaders that prepares and supports them in leading effective school reform efforts in persistently low-achieving schools.  After that first year, the bill would require grantees to use the grants to: implement their leadership training program; select cohorts of trained or experienced principals to lead school reform efforts in persistently low-achieving schools; support and encourage interaction among principals who have completed the training program; and disseminate information to principals, mentors, and other school leaders engaging in reform efforts in persistently low-achieving schools. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 930.

H.R. 937 (113th H.R. 551), the Fast Track to College Act of 2015 by Rep. Hinojosa (D-TX) would authorize the secretary of education to award matching six-year grants to LEAs that partner with IHEs to establish or support dual enrollment programs, such as early college high schools, that allow high school students to earn credit simultaneously toward a high school diploma and a postsecondary degree or certificate.  The Act would also authorize the secretary to award matching five-year grants for  states to: (1) plan and implement statewide strategies to make dual enrollment programs more accessible to students who are underrepresented in postsecondary education; (2) provide technical assistance to dual enrollment programs; and (3) engage in outreach, assessment, and teacher training activities designed to strengthen such programs.  See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 937.

H.R. 966, the Ready-to-Compete Act by Rep. Yarmuth (D-KY) would amend ESEA to authorize the secretary of education to award grants to public telecommunications entities to coordinate the development, production, and distribution of innovative multiplatform educational programming and services for young children and youth and their parents, educators, and caregivers.  The bill would amend the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to authorize the secretary to award competitive grants to public television stations that partner with states, state workforce investment boards, or IHEs to develop, disseminate, and provide online and on-air education and training services for adults.  See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 966.

H.R. 1004 (113th H.R. 4913), the Achievement Through Technology and Innovation Reauthorization (ATTAIN) Act of 2015 by Rep. Roybal-Allard (D-CA) would amend ESEA Title II to rename Part D as the Achievement Through Technology and Innovation Act of 2015 or the ATTAIN Act and to reauthorize it through FY2020.  The bill would direct the secretary of education to allot Part D grants to states and would require state grantees to develop and implement challenging academic content and achievement standards to ensure that students are technologically literate (which would not be used for AYP). The bill would direct states to use the bulk of their allotment to award competitive subgrants to LEAs to improve student learning, technology literacy, and achievement. The bill would require an LEA to: (1) include a new or updated local long-range strategic educational technology plan in its subgrant application, (2) use up to 5 percent of its subgrant to evaluate its use of the subgrant, and (3) use its remaining subgrant to implement a plan for systemic school redesign through technology integration in at least one of its schools. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 1004.

H.R. 1042 (113th H.R. 4086), the Afterschool for America’s Children Act by Rep. Kildee (D-MI) would amend and reauthorize the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant program under ESEA Title IV to establish and expand activities in community learning centers.  The bill would include among the activities grants may fund: (1) core academic subject education activities, including those that allow students to recover or attain credits; (2) services for the disabled; (3) activities and programs that support global education and competence; (4) programs that support a healthy, active lifestyle; (5) literacy education programs; and (6) programs that build STEM skills and support innovative STEM teaching methods.   [A related bill is S. 308 by Sen. Boxer (D-CA).]  See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 1042.

H.R. 1070 (113th H.R. 378), the Student Bill of Rights by Rep. Fattah (D-PA) would direct the secretary of education to determine annually whether each state's public school system provides all its students with educational resources to succeed academically and in life.  The bill aims to enable students to: (1) acquire knowledge and skills necessary for responsible citizenship; (2) meet challenging academic achievement standards; and (3) compete and succeed in a global economy.  The Act would require each system to do so by satisfying certain opportunity to learn indicators for all its schools, including highly effective teachers and equitable instructional resources; providing educational services in LEAs that receive funds for disadvantaged students that are, taken as a whole, at least comparable to educational services provided in LEAs not receiving such funds; and  complying with any final federal or state court order in any matter concerning the adequacy or equitability of the system. The Act would authorize sanctions if a system fails to meet the above requirements. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 1070.

H.R. 1071 (113th H.R. 379), the Fiscal Fairness Act by Rep. Fattah (D-PA) would amend ESEA Title I, Part A to condition LEA receipt of school improvement funds on: (1) average state and local spending per pupil in each school receiving school improvement funds of at least 97 percent of such spending per pupil across all schools that are not receiving such funds; and (2) average state and local spending per pupil in each higher-poverty school of at least 97 percent of such spending per pupil across all lower poverty schools, if the LEA is serving all of its schools under Title I, Part A.  The bill would allow LEAs to meet such requirement across all schools or among schools serving a particular grade span if they compare schools within no more than three grade spans.  The bill would direct the inspector general of the Department of Education, in the fourth and fifth years after this Act’s enactment, to audit five states and 10 LEAs to determine their progress in meeting these requirements.  The bill would require annual LEA report cards to include certain information on state and local spending per pupil in schools.  The bill would require states to provide the public with annual up-to-date school-by-school listings of per-pupil state and local spending. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 1071.

H.R. 1079 (113th H.R. 2317), the Counseling for Career Choice Act by Rep. Langevin (D-RI) would amend ESEA to direct the secretary of education to award competitive grants to states to develop and implement comprehensive school counseling programs that provide students with effective postsecondary education planning and career guidance services.  The bill would require that programs be aligned with a statewide counseling framework, and that grant funds be used to: (1) train and hire school counselors; (2) identify regional workforce trends and postsecondary options available in the state; (3) establish, improve, or coordinate postsecondary opportunities; (4) recommend curricular improvements to better align curricula with workforce trends and available postsecondary opportunities; (5) establish partnerships with American Job Centers; and (6) leverage the resources and emerging technologies being developed by stakeholders to support the counseling framework. The bill would allow states to carry out program activities directly or through competitive subgrants. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 1079.

H.R. 1081, STEM Support for Teachers in Education and Mentoring (STEM 2) Act by Rep. Lujan (D-NM) would direct the secretary of education to award competitive planning grants to states, Indian tribes or tribal organizations, nonprofit organizations, or IHEs to develop effective state or tribal STEM networks that coordinate STEM education efforts by: (1) facilitating communication and collaboration among public and private STEM stakeholders, and (2) identifying STEM occupational skills needed in the future.  The bill would direct the secretary to award competitive grants to develop, implement, and evaluate STEM education training programs for teachers and administrators.  The bill would require the secretary to award competitive grants to support curriculum development, assessments, or related activities that enable states to adopt new mathematics and science academic standards.  The bill would also require the secretary to establish a national panel to identify and recommend the most effective STEM curricula models for kindergarten through grade 12.  [The companion measure is S. 419 by Sen. Udall, T. (D-NM).] See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 1081.

H.R. 1082 (113th H.R. 2367), the Building upon Unique Indian Learning and Development Act by Rep. Lujan (D-NM) would require the secretaries of education and interior to establish an Education Joint Oversight Board to coordinate Indian education policies and assistance.  The bill would amend ESEA Title VII, Part A (Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native Education) to award grants to LEAs, IHEs, or nonprofit organizations to create or expand teacher and administrator pipelines for teachers and administrators of Native American students.  The bill would amend the Title I school improvement program to require states to develop standards-based assessments and classroom lessons that accommodate diverse learning styles.  The bill would direct: (1) the secretary of education to expand programs for Native American school children to support learning in the children's Native language and culture and provide English language instruction, and (2) the comptroller general to conduct research on culture- and language-based education.  The bill would except Native language teachers from the requirement that teachers be highly qualified and would require states to develop an alternative licensure or certification process for those teachers.  The bill would require reservation of at least 0.5 percent of their funding for Indian elementary and secondary schools or early learning programs.  In addition, the bill would require the secretary of education to: (1) establish a program to improve school environments and student skill development for healthy choices for American Indian students and (2) establish a program for school dropout prevention for American Indian students.  The bill would authorize and appropriate additional funds for the Impact Aid program and several additional programs.  [A related measure is S. 412 by Sen. Udall (D-NM).] See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 1082.

Note: NEA supports the overall goals of this bill, but seeks assurances that all educators who serve as the “teachers of record” for classrooms of students are fully prepared and qualified.

H.R. 1194 (113th H.R. 2662), the Family Engagement in Education Act of 2015 by Rep. Thompson (R-PA) would amend ESEA Title I to authorize states to reserve school improvement funds to: (1) award a grant to a statewide nonprofit organization to establish a Statewide Family Engagement Center; (2) award grants to nonprofit organizations or American Indian tribes or organizations that partner with LEAs or schools to establish and operate Local Family Engagement Centers that assist families in becoming engaged in their children’s education; and (3) develop and implement a statewide family engagement in education plan.  Among the mandates to improve family engagement, the bill would require each state school improvement plan to include family engagement, require each LEA and school receiving school improvement funds to develop policies and practices for family engagement, and increase the percentage of school improvement funds that LEAs must reserve for family engagement activities.  The bill would repeal programs authorizing the secretary to award grants to: (1) nonprofit organizations and consortia of those organizations and LEAs to establish parental information and resource centers, and (2) local nonprofit parent organizations to support local family information centers.  [A related bill is S. 622 by Sen. Reed (D-RI).]   See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 1194.

H.R. 1306 (113th H.R. 5678), the ZZZ’s to A’s Act by Rep Lofgren (D-CA) would direct the secretary of education to conduct a study examining the relationship between school start times and adolescent health, well-being, and performance.  The bill would require a report to Congress, along with any recommendations.  [A related bill is H.R. 561 by Rep. Grayson (D-FL).] See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 1306.

H.R. 1435, the Supportive School Climate Act of 2015 by Rep. Davis (D-IL) would amend the school improvement program under ESEA Title I, Part A to require each state seeking  a grant to provide students with PBIS to submit a plan to the secretary of education that describes specified steps it will take to: (1) create a positive school climate for all students, (2) improve engagement for disconnected youths, (3) create disciplinary policies that are fair and work to keep students in school, and (4) enable those who are removed from school to resume their education upon returning to school.    The bill would require LEA's to describe how they will support PBIS by: (1) establishing parental notification requirements for specified disciplinary actions that remove students from instruction, (2) establishing systems to engage families and community members with the school in meaningful and sustained ways, and (3) establishing best practices for a school conduct and discipline.  The bill would require Title I, Part D applicants to establish:  procedures to ensure that students who have been placed in the juvenile justice system are promptly re-enrolled in secondary school or placed in the re-entry programs that best meet their educational and social needs; procedures to facilitate the transfer of the credits that such students earn during placement, and opportunities for such students to participate in postsecondary and career pathways. The bill contains additional requirements for LEAs and correctional facilities to advance these goals.  [A companion bill is S. 811 by Sen. Murphy (D-CT).]  See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 1435.

H.R. 1519 (113th H.R. 1763), the Recognizing Achievement in Classified School Employees Act by Rep. Titus (D-NV) would direct the secretary of education to award National Classified School Employee of the Year Awards to classified public school employees within certain occupational specialties who provide exemplary service to students in prekindergarten through higher education. The bill would require the secretary to choose an awardee each year, out of nominations received from each state, from one of the following occupational specialties: (1) paraprofessional services, (2) clerical and administrative services, (3) transportation services, (4) food and nutrition services, (5) custodial and maintenance services, (6) security services, (7) health and student services, (8) technical services, and (9) skilled trades. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 1519

H.R. 1682 (113th H.R. 4280), the National Jazz Preservation, Education, and Promulgation Act of 2015 by Rep. Conyers (D-MI) would amend ESEA, Section 5411 (Fund for the Improvement of Education) to allow expenditures for programs to promote jazz education, which may include: (1) a Jazz Artists in the Schools program; (2) a program for the development and distribution by jazz artists and educators of lesson plans and other educational materials about jazz, and teacher training on jazz education by jazz artists and educators; and (3) an Ambassadors of Jazz program to send jazz musicians and jazz orchestras from secondary schools abroad on missions of goodwill, education, and cultural exchange. The bill would also create jazz preservation and appreciation programs to be carried out by the Smithsonian Institution. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 1682.