REFERENCE TITLE: urging enactment; federal A-PLUS act
State of Arizona
House of Representatives
Second Regular Session
Representatives Anderson, Barnes, Pancrazi, Schapira, Thrasher, Senators Blendu, Flake: Representatives Adams, Barto, Burges, Crandall, Crump, Driggs, Groe, Kavanagh, Konopnicki, McClure, McLain, Murphy, Tobin, Ulmer, Yarbrough, Senators Gray C, Gray L, Johnson
A CONCURRENT MEMORIAL
urging the united states congress to enact the academic partnerships lead us to success (A-PLUS) act.
(TEXT OF BILL BEGINS ON NEXT PAGE)
To the Congress of the United States of America:
Your memorialist respectfully represents:
Whereas, the United States Senate and House of Representatives have introduced S. 893 and H.R. 1539, the "Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success Act", known as A-PLUS, which will allow key reforms to the federal "No Child Left Behind Act of 2001" (NCLB); and
Whereas, state and federal legislators agree that certain aspects of NCLB have resulted in cumbersome and unnecessary bureaucracy that diverts teachers and administrators from their primary function of educating our children; and
Whereas, the Congressional Budget Office determined that state and local educators and administrators spent 6.7 million work hours in 2006 engaged in the record-keeping and reporting necessary to participate in NCLB; and
Whereas, the compliance mentality that is engendered by NCLB is sapping educators' time and creativity and is inconsistent with the goal of fostering innovation in education; and
Whereas, while NCLB has provided the necessary framework to measure progress and hold schools accountable, its rigid approach across the nation does not allow for the flexibility needed to achieve desired results in every state, in every school and for every child; and
Whereas, the A-PLUS legislation would help states increase students' academic performance by allowing state "autonomy in exchange for accountability"; and
Whereas, under the A-PLUS legislation, states would have the option of submitting to the Secretary of Education a declaration of intent to participate in A-PLUS, which would authorize states to accept full responsibility for the educational needs of their students; and
Whereas, each state that participates in A-PLUS would be allowed to consolidate funds from some or all federal education programs and pool those monies with state monies to support innovative programs created at the state level that reflect the state's own educational priorities; and
Whereas, in exchange for this flexibility, a participating state would be required to meet state performance objectives for improving student academic achievement and demonstrate a narrowing of achievement gaps. Unlike NCLB requirements, however, the state would be allowed to measure its own students' academic progress using a variety of innovative accountability programs; and
Whereas, a requirement that states submit annual reports on student progress to parents and taxpayers will ensure transparency and accountability in the process.
Wherefore your memorialist, the House of Representatives of the State of Arizona, the Senate concurring, prays:
1. That the United States Congress adopt S. 893 and H.R. 1539, the A‑PLUS legislation that would allow Arizona to use federal education funds to support state-created programs to better address the academic needs of the children of this state.
2. That the Secretary of State of the State of Arizona transmit copies of this Memorial to the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and each Member of Congress from the State of Arizona.