Today, the House Education and the Workforce Committee voted 23-17 to pass the State and Local Funding Flexibility Act (H.R. 2445), the third in a series of legislative bills focused on reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act/No Child Left Behind. Because this legislation fails to address the nation’s most pressing education issues and instead seeks to play a “shell game” with limited education resources, CEC has – and will continue to – oppose this legislation.
The legislation encourages diverting — or outright eliminating — funding from programs with deep historical roots that address inequities in educational opportunity, such as the Education for the Disadvantaged Program (Title I) in ESEA/NCLB. Established in 1965 in response to the War on Poverty, Title I continues to provide much-needed opportunity to more than 17 million U.S. children living in poverty. Currently, 2.5 million students with disabilities are also eligible for support from this landmark legislation.
While H.R. 2445 allows for transferring funds from ESEA to a small program called Early Intervening Services within the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), it does so at the expense of other education programs that benefit students with disabilities.
CEC has repeatedly called for additional federal resources to support EIS, but opposes taking funding from other education programs to do so.