Introduces bipartisan bill to give schools increased flexibility

Washington, DC – In response to concerns from Idaho parents, teachers and school administrators, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo has reintroduced bipartisan legislation to bring needed reforms to the “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) Act. The Enhancing Flexibility for Effective Schools (EFES) Act is similar to legislation previously introduced by Crapo and Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Arkansas).

Both Senators and their staff members consulted with education leaders, school board members and interested citizens from their respective states on what kinds of changes are needed for NCLB to work better.

“Education works best when local parents, teachers and administrators are able to control decision-making,” Crapo said. “These reforms will bring needed relief from the unneeded and unintended consequences of what overall is very good legislation. The NCLB Act has improved the performance of many students, but uncertainty over the adequate yearly process assessment models and dealing with the special needs of some students were not adequately addressed in the original program. This new legislation sets up more appropriate policies for tutoring and other supplemental services, that will make it easier for students with disabilities or language difficulties to be fairly tested and assessed, and that ensure schools have the special education teachers they need to help their students. With school starting soon, we all want our children to receive the best education possible, and I will continue to push for reasonable, realistic improvements that will benefit Idaho’s students as well as many others throughout the nation.”

“I have heard from several Arkansas teachers, administrators, parents, and students about what aspects of our nation’s education policy work and what changes are needed,” Lincoln said. “Educators continue to tell me, don’t lower your expectations of us, just give us realistic goals we can reach and the tools to help us reach those goals. There is no issue more intricately connected to the future prosperity of our nation than the quality of our public schools. This bill will give schools the flexibility and the tools they need to help students succeed while maintaining important accountability measures.”

Crapo said bipartisan efforts, such as the EFES Act, are critical to success in a divided Senate. In addition to flexibility, the new legislation gives school districts more input into the selection of supplemental service providers, who can provide tutoring assistance to children in the district. Currently, districts have little or no say in determining the qualifications of those providers.

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