July 30, 2011
CASB Action Item: USDE Conference Call Thursday, July 30We’re sorry for the short notice, but we just received word that the U.S. Department of Education is having a conference call Thursday morning, July 30 to discuss Secretary Duncan’s interest in providing regulatory relief from onerous requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act. The National School Boards Association would like your input regarding any regulations you would want ED to eliminate as a part of this process—including examples that demonstrate the problem. Please respond to Pamela Karwasinski at email@example.com by Thursday morning.
NSBA’s concern is about both what and how relief is provided. The Secretary is leaning toward a process for individual states to apply for the specific waivers that they want (and ED is willing to give) in exchange for the state agreeing to specific reforms such as those in Race To The Top.
NSBA is seeking automatic waivers as a matter of policy not state application. Here are some current concerns that might apply to you: A state application process not being timely with the opening of school; states having a different agenda than the needs of their school districts; the local cost of implementing new requirements (there is no new money involved); and the eventual reauthorization of ESEA going in a different direction than the reforms that the state agrees to as a condition for receiving waivers.
A key example of a provision from which school districts might seek relief would be the 20 percent set-aside for choice and supplemental services. Beyond the merits of not requiring schools to set aside those funds—especially in this financial climate—a state application process might not be timely with the outreach activities and contract obligations that school districts will be incurring in the weeks ahead. For more background on why this call for your input is important, see NSBA’s Call for Deregulation.