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First Gov  

March 3, 1999

S. 280 - Education Flexibility Partnership Act of 1999
(Sen. Frist (R) TN and 41 cosponsors)

The Administration has long supported the concept of expanding ed-flex demonstration authority to permit all States to waive certain statutory and regulatory requirements of Federal education programs in a manner that will promote high standards and accountability for results, coupled with increased flexibility for States and local school districts to achieve those results. The Administration supports amendments designed to: (1) ensure that State waivers of Federal requirements result in improved student achievement; and (2) enhance parental involvement.

In order to ensure consistency between ed-flex authority and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), which will be undergoing reauthorization this year, the Administration urges Congress to sunset this legislation upon enactment of the ESEA.

The Administration strongly supports an amendment that is expected to be offered to S. 280 that would implement the President's proposal for a long-term extension of the one-year authority to help school districts reduce class size in the early grades, which the Congress approved last year on a bipartisan basis. In order to hire qualified teachers, arrange for additional classrooms, and take other steps that are necessary to reduce class size, school districts need to know, as soon as possible, that the Congress intends to support this initiative for more than one year.