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H.R. 2370 (eh) To amend the Organic Act of Guam to clarify local executive and legislative provisions in such Act, and for other purposes. ...

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  1st Session
                                H. R. 236

  To provide for adequate and equitable educational opportunities for 
    students in State public school systems, and for other purposes.



                            January 8, 2003

Mr. Fattah (for himself, Mr. George Miller of California, Mr. Conyers, 
 Ms. Corrine Brown of Florida, Mr. Jackson of Illinois, Mr. Rush, Mr. 
Holden, Mr. Serrano, Ms. Watson, Mr. Towns, Mr. Hoeffel, Mr. Reyes, Mr. 
Israel, Ms. Millender-McDonald, Mr. Cummings, Mr. Crowley, Mr. Hinchey, 
 Mr. Scott of Virginia, Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, Mr. Olver, 
Mr. Delahunt, Mr. Filner, Mr. Owens, Ms. Woolsey, Mr. Acevedo-Vila, Mr. 
  Rahall, Mr. Brady of Pennsylvania, Mr. Neal of Massachusetts, Mrs. 
 McCarthy of New York, Mr. Doyle, Mr. McNulty, Mr. Lynch, Mr. Meehan, 
 Mr. Honda, Mrs. Christensen, Ms. Roybal-Allard, Mr. Davis of Alabama, 
Mr. Gutierrez, Mr. Ford, Mrs. Jones of Ohio, Mr. Davis of Illinois, Mr. 
Clay, Mr. Clyburn, Ms. Jackson-Lee of Texas, Mr. Rangel, Mr. Jefferson, 
    Ms. Norton, Mr. Thompson of Mississippi, Ms. Lee, and Mr. Watt) 
 introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on 
                      Education and the Workforce


                                 A BILL

  To provide for adequate and equitable educational opportunities for 
    students in State public school systems, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Student Bill of Rights''.


    The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title.
Sec. 2. Table of contents.
Sec. 3. Findings and purposes.

             Subtitle A--Access to Educational Opportunity

Sec. 111. Adequate and equitable State public school systems.
Sec. 112. State educational adequacy and equity requirements.
Sec. 113. State-established standards for access to educational 
                    Subtitle B--State Accountability

Sec. 121. Determination of educationally adequate and inequitable State 
                            public school systems.
Sec. 122. State accountability for improvement of educational 
Sec. 123. Consequences of nonremediation.
                Subtitle C--Public Reporting and Remedy

Sec. 131. Annual report by Secretary on adequacy and equity in State 
                            public school systems.
Sec. 132. Civil action for enforcement.
                            NATIONAL DEFENSE

Sec. 201. Effects on economic growth and productivity.
Sec. 202. Effects on national defense.
                     TITLE III--GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 301. Definitions.
Sec. 302. Notice and opportunity for hearing.
Sec. 303. Rulemaking.
Sec. 304. Rule of construction.


    (a) Findings.--The Congress finds the following:
            (1) A high-quality, highly competitive education for all 
        students is imperative for the economic growth and productivity 
        of the United States, for its effective national defense, and 
        for achievement of the historical aspiration to be one Nation 
        of equal citizens. It is therefore necessary and proper to 
        overcome the nationwide phenomenon of educationally inadequate 
        or inequitable State public school systems, in which high-
        quality public schools serve high-income communities and poor-
        quality schools serve low-income, urban, rural, and minority 
            (2) There exists in the States an ever-widening educational 
        opportunity gap for low-income, urban, rural, and minority 
        students characterized by the following:
                    (A) Highly differential educational expenditures 
                among public school districts within States.
                    (B) Continuing disparities within the States in 
                students' access to the fundamentals of educational 
                opportunity described in section 112(a).
                    (C) Radically differential educational achievement 
                among public school districts within the States, as 
                measured by the following:
                            (i) Achievement in mathematics, reading or 
                        language arts, and science on State academic 
                        achievement tests and measures, including the 
                        academic assessments described in section 
                            (ii) Advanced placement courses offered and 
                            (iii) Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and 
                        ACT Assessment scores.
                            (iv) Dropout rates and graduation rates.
                            (v) College-going and college-completion 
                            (vi) Job placement and retention rates and 
                        indices of job quality.
            (3) As a consequence of this educational opportunity gap, 
        the quality of a child's education depends largely upon where 
        the child's family lives, and the detriments of lower quality 
        public education are imposed particularly on--
                    (A) children from low-income families;
                    (B) children living in urban and rural areas; and
                    (C) minority children.
            (4) Since 1785, the Congress of the United States, 
        exercising the power to admit new States under article IV, 
        section 3 of the Constitution (and previously, the Congress of 
        the Confederation of States under the Articles of 
        Confederation), has imposed upon every State, as a fundamental 
        condition of the State's admission, the following requirements:
                    (A) One, and sometimes two, square-mile lots in 
                every township were to be ``granted and . . . reserved 
                for the maintenance and use of public schools''.
                    (B) ``[S]chools and the means of education [are to] 
                be forever encouraged''.
                    (C) ``State conventions [were to] provide, by 
                ordinances irrevocable without the consent of the 
                United States and the people of said States . . . that 
                provision . . . be made for the establishment and 
                maintenance of systems of public schools which shall be 
                open to all children of said States''.
        (See Ordinances of May 20, 1785, and July 13, 1787; Act of 
        March 3, 1845, 28th Cong. 2d Sess., 5 Stat. 789, Chap. 76 
        (admitting Iowa and Florida); Act of February 22, 1889, 50th 
        Cong., 2d Sess., Chap. 180 (admitting States created from the 
        Dakota Territories); and the Acts of Congress pertaining to the 
        admission of each of the States.)
            (5) Over the years since the landmark ruling in Brown v. 
        Board of Education, when a unanimous United States Supreme 
Court held that ``the opportunity of an education . . . , where the 
state has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made 
available to all on equal terms'', courts in 44 of the States have 
heard challenges to the establishment, maintenance, and operation of 
educationally inadequate or inequitable State public school systems. 
(347 U.S. 483, 493 (1954).
            (6) In 1970, the Presidential Commission on School Finance 
        found that significant disparities in the distribution of 
        educational resources existed among public school districts 
        within States because the States relied too significantly on 
        local district financing for educational revenues, and that 
        reforms in systems of school financing would increase the 
        Nation's ability to serve the educational needs of all 
            (7) In 1999, the National Research Council of the National 
        Academy of Sciences published a report entitled ``Making Money 
        Matter, Financing America's Schools'', which found that the 
        concept of funding adequacy, which moves beyond the more 
        traditional concepts of finance equity to focus attention on 
        the sufficiency of funding for desired educational outcomes, is 
        an important step in developing a fair and productive 
        educational system.
            (8) In 2001, the Executive order establishing the 
        President's Commission on Educational Resource Equity declared, 
        ``A quality education is essential to the success of every 
        child in the 21st century and to the continued strength and 
        prosperity of our Nation. . . . [L]ong-standing gaps in access 
        to educational resources exist, including disparities based on 
        race and ethnicity.'' (Executive Order 13190, Sec. 1 (January 
        15, 2001); 66 Fed. Reg. 5424.)
            (9) According to the Secretary of Education, as stated in a 
        letter (with enclosures) dated January 19, 2002, from the 
        Secretary to States--
                    (A) racial and ethnic minorities continue to suffer 
                from lack of access to educational resources, including 
                ``experienced and qualified teachers, adequate 
                facilities, and instructional programs and support, 
                including technology, as well as . . . the funding 
                necessary to secure these resources''; and
                    (B) these inadequacies are ``particularly acute in 
                high-poverty schools, including urban schools, where 
                many students of color are isolated and where the 
                effect of the resource gaps may be cumulative. In other 
                words, students who need the most may often receive the 
                least, and these students often are students of 
            (10) The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 
        U.S.C. 6301 et seq.), as amended by the No Child Left Behind 
        Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-110), provides that--
                    (A) States must establish standards and assessments 
                in mathematics, reading or language arts, and science;
                    (B) elementary schools and secondary schools must 
                ensure that all students are proficient in such 
                subjects within 12 years after the end of the 2001-2002 
                school year; and
                    (C) elementary schools and secondary schools will 
                be held accountable for the students' progress.
            (11) The standards and accountability movement will succeed 
        only if, in addition to standards and accountability, all 
        schools have access to the educational resources necessary to 
        enable students to achieve.
            (12) Raising standards without ensuring adequate and 
        equitable access to educational resources may, in fact, 
        exacerbate achievement gaps and set children up for failure.
            (13) According to the World Economic Forum's Global 
        Competitiveness Report 2001-2002, the United States ranks last 
        among developed countries in the difference in the quality of 
        schools available to rich and poor children.
            (14) Each State Government has ultimate authority in 
        determining every important aspect and priority of the public 
        school system that provides elementary and secondary education 
        to children in the State, including whether children throughout 
        the State have high access to the fundamentals of educational 
        opportunity described in section 112(a).
            (15) Since 1965, the Congress, in exercising its spending 
        authority, has provided substantial Federal financial 
        assistance to the States for the improvement of their public 
        school systems. In their expenditure and oversight of this 
        assistance, the States have failed systematically to achieve 
        the purpose of the Congress in providing the assistance, namely 
        the effective education of all the children of the United 
            (16) Because a well-educated populace is critical to the 
        Nation's political and economic well-being and national 
        security, the Federal Government has a substantial interest in 
        ensuring that States provide a high-quality education by 
        ensuring that all children have access to the fundamentals of 
        educational opportunity described in section 112(a) to enable 
        the children to succeed academically and in life.
    (b) Purposes.--The purposes of this Act are the following:
            (1) To further the goals of the No Child Left Behind Act of 
        2001 (Public Law 107-110) and the Elementary and Secondary 
        Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq.) by holding 
        States accountable for providing all students access to the 
        fundamentals of educational opportunity described in section 
            (2) To ensure that all students in public elementary 
        schools and secondary schools receive educational opportunities 
        that enable the students--
                    (A) to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary 
                for responsible citizenship, including the ability to 
                participate fully in the political process through 
                informed electoral choice;
                    (B) to meet challenging State student academic 
                achievement standards; and
                    (C) to be able to compete and succeed in a global 
            (3) To end the pervasive pattern of educationally 
        inadequate or inequitable State public school systems.


             Subtitle A--Access to Educational Opportunity


    Each State receiving Federal financial assistance for elementary or 
secondary education shall maintain a public school system that meets 
the requirements of section 112 and provides all students in the State 
            (1) the educational resources needed to succeed 
        academically and in life; and
            (2) an education that enables the students--
                    (A) to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary 
                for responsible citizenship;
                    (B) to participate fully in the political process 
                through informed electoral choice; and
                    (C) to be able to compete and succeed in a global 


    (a) Fundamentals of Educational Opportunity.--A State shall provide 
for all public schools in the State access, at levels defined by the 
State under section 113 as ideal or adequate, to each of the following 
fundamentals of educational opportunity:
            (1) High-quality classroom teachers and school 
        administrators.--High-quality classroom instruction and school-

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