Moran Bill Highlights Common Sense Solutions to Aid Kansas Schools
Congressman Jerry Moran today introduced legislation to provide sensible solutions to the challenges the No Child Left Behind Act has created. H.R. 6232, the Practicality in Education Act, will utilize common sense ideas to make NCLB more efficient and effective.
"I continue to hear from Kansas taxpayers, parents and educators about the burdens of No Child Left Behind," Moran said. "This legislation takes a common sense approach to make this federal program more realistic and manageable."
In 2001, Moran voted against No Child Left Behind for fear it would place unnecessary restrictions on Kansas schools and increase costs to Kansas taxpayers without a corresponding improvement in the quality of education children receive. Since its passage, he has had numerous discussions with students, teachers, administrators, state officials and Department of Education officials to determine what measures are needed to clean up some of the unintended consequences.
"It is important the No Child Left Behind legislation be updated to make it more equitable and fair for all children and to reduce the paper shuffling for our teachers and administration," said Dale Dennis, Kansas Deputy Commissioner of Education.
The Practicality in Education Act places special emphasis on individual student progress and gives a more accurate picture of improvements and problem areas. It also allows schools identified as failing one additional year to improve before being labeled a failing school. Students are currently given the option to immediately transfer to a new school. The legislation also provides states with the flexibility to consider special education and rural teachers who teach multiple academic subjects as "highly-qualified" in all subject areas if they meet certain requirements. This is particularly important in rural Kansas, where flexibility is needed in hiring school professionals who often teach several subjects and find it difficult to become certified in all areas. Finally, this legislation requires that limited English-speaking students must attend a U.S. school for two years before their scores count in the school's annual performance.