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Colorado Officials Say ESSA Increases Burden on Schools

July 15, 2016

School Choice Weekly #144

Woman carrying burden of paperwork

Republican HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander promised the nation the federal education law rewrite he pushed to President Barack Obama’s desk would roll back the federal role in education. After the Obama administration’s recent release of its new regulations for the law, state officials in Colorado are saying the new law does precisely the opposite.

Federal education bureaucrats “are going out and saying they’re respecting states. I would argue they’re not,” said Patrick Chapman, the Colorado Department of Education’s director of federal programs. “They’re saying the rules are creating more flexibility. I would argue they’re not.”

“Department officials told the board they believed about a quarter of the proposed regulations put new limits on states,” reports Chalkbeat Colorado. “Another quarter were not authorized by law. And ‘most concerning’ is that 12 percent of the regulations contained statements that conflicted with the law.”

The rule changes prompted Colorado State Board of Education members, Republican and Democrat alike, to discuss examining the costs of federal mandates versus the money national taxpayers send Colorado through the national government.

“The rules seem so distant from what the intent of the law was,” said board member Joyce Rankin.

SOURCES: Colorado Chalkbeat, Truth in American Education


IN THIS ISSUE:


School Choice Roundup

  • OHIO: Children who use state vouchers see a significant decline in test scores, finds a new study, the latest in a string of recent studies finding similarly negative effects for the first time since vouchers began to be studied.

Common Core and Curriculum Watch

  • OPT-OUTS: One in five parents plans to opt their kids out of tests in the coming school year, which would nearly double opt-outs over last year, finds a new survey.

Education Today

  • TENNESSEE: Professors and staff at public universities who are properly licensed may carry guns on campus, thanks to a new law.
  • WYOMING: The state is seeking a middle way between allowing open access to either sex’s private facilities (such as bathrooms and showers) in schools, as the Obama administration has required, and limiting use according to biology.
  • STUDENT LOANS: Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wants taxpayers to pay off student loans of people who are trying to start the kind of businesses she finds socially acceptable. Here’s why that’s not fair and is not going to work.
Article Tags
Education
Author
Joy Pullmann is a research fellow on education policy for The Heartland Institute and managing editor of The Federalist, a web magazine on politics, policy, and culture.
jpullmann@heartland.org @JoyPullmann

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