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S. 2429 (is) To amend the Energy Conservation and Production Act to make changes in the Weatherization Assistance Program for Low-Income Persons. [Introduced in Senate] ...


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108th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                S. 2428

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


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                              May 17, 2004

   Mr. DODD (for himself, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Reed, Mr. Bingaman, Mrs. 
Clinton, Mr. Sarbanes, Mr. Reid, Mr. Akaka, Mr. Johnson, Ms. Stabenow, 
 Mr. Corzine, Mr. Lautenberg, and Mr. Durbin) introduced the following 
  bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, 
                     Education, Labor, and Pensions

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To provide for educational opportunities for all 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,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

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

SEC. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title.
Sec. 2. Table of contents.
Sec. 3. Findings and purposes.
    TITLE I--EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY IN STATE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEMS

             Subtitle A--Access to Educational Opportunity

Sec. 101. State public school systems.
Sec. 102. Fundamentals of educational opportunity.
                    Subtitle B--State Accountability

Sec. 111. State accountability plan.
Sec. 112. Consequences of failure to meet requirements.
             Subtitle C--Report to Congress and the Public

Sec. 121. Annual report on State public school systems.
                           Subtitle D--Remedy

Sec. 131. Civil action for enforcement.
  TITLE II--EFFECTS OF EDUCATIONAL DISPARITIES ON ECONOMIC GROWTH AND 
                            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. Rulemaking.
Sec. 303. Construction.

SEC. 3. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

    (a) Findings.--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 
        to achieve the historical aspiration to be one Nation of equal 
        citizens. It is therefore necessary and proper to overcome the 
        nationwide phenomenon of State public school systems that do 
        not meet the requirements of section 101(a), in which high-
        quality public schools typically serve high-income communities 
        and poor-quality schools typically serve low-income, urban, 
        rural, and minority communities.
            (2) There exists in the States a significant educational 
        opportunity gap for low-income, urban, rural, and minority 
        students characterized by the following:
                    (A) Continuing disparities within States in 
                students' access to the fundamentals of educational 
                opportunity described in section 102.
                    (B) Highly differential educational expenditures 
                (adjusted for cost and need) among school districts 
                within States.
                    (C) Radically differential educational achievement 
                among students in school districts within States as 
                measured by the following:
                            (i) Achievement in mathematics, reading or 
                        language arts, and science on State academic 
                        assessments required under section 1111(b)(3) 
                        of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act 
                        of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311(b)(3)) and on the 
                        National Assessment of Educational Progress.
                            (ii) Advanced placement courses taken.
                            (iii) SAT and ACT test scores.
                            (iv) Dropout rates and graduation rates.
                            (v) College-going and college-completion 
                        rates.
                            (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 can afford to live, and the detriments of 
        lower quality 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, Congress, exercising the power to admit new 
        States under section 3 of article IV 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, that the 
        State provide for the establishment and maintenance of systems 
        of public schools open to all children in such State.
            (5) Over the years since the landmark ruling in Brown v. 
        Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483, 493 (1954), when a unanimous 
        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 
        States have heard challenges to the establishment, maintenance, 
        and operation of State public school systems that are separate 
        and not educationally adequate.
            (6) In 1970, the Presidential Commission on School Finance 
        found that significant disparities in the distribution of 
        educational resources existed among 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 children.
            (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.'' (Exec. Order No. 13190, 66 Fed. Reg. 5424 
        (2001)).
            (9) According to the Secretary of Education, as stated in a 
        letter (with enclosures) from the Secretary to States dated 
        January 19, 2001--
                    (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 
                color.''.
            (10) In the amendments made by the No Child Left Behind Act 
        of 2001, Congress--
                    (A)(i) required each State to establish standards 
                and assessments in mathematics, reading or language 
                arts, and science; and
                    (ii) required schools to ensure that all students 
                are proficient in mathematics, reading or language 
                arts, and science not later than 12 years after the end 
                of the 2001-2002 school year, and held schools 
                accountable for the students' progress; and
                    (B) required each State to describe how the State 
                will help local educational agencies and schools to 
                develop the capacity to improve student academic 
                achievement.
            (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 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) The persistence of pervasive inadequacies in the 
        quality of education provided by State public school systems 
        effectively deprives millions of children throughout the United 
        States of the opportunity for an education adequate to enable 
        the children to--
                    (A) acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for 
                responsible citizenship in a diverse democracy, 
                including the ability to participate fully in the 
                political process through informed electoral choice;
                    (B) meet challenging student academic achievement 
                standards; and
                    (C) be able to compete and succeed in a global 
                economy.
            (15) Each State government has ultimate authority to 
        determine every important aspect and priority of the public 
        school system that provides elementary and secondary education 
        to children in the State, including whether students throughout 
        the State have access to the fundamentals of educational 
        opportunity described in section 102.
            (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 students have access to the fundamentals of 
        educational opportunity described in section 102 to enable the 
        students to succeed academically and in life.
    (b) Purposes.--The purposes of this Act are the following:
            (1) To further the goals of the Elementary and Secondary 
        Education Act of 1965 (as amended by the No Child Left Behind 
        Act of 2001), by holding States accountable for providing all 
        students with access to the fundamentals of educational 
        opportunity described in section 102.
            (2) To ensure that all students in public elementary 
        schools and secondary schools receive educational opportunities 
        that enable such students to--
                    (A) acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for 
                responsible citizenship in a diverse democracy, 
                including the ability to participate fully in the 
                political process through informed electoral choice;
                    (B) meet challenging student academic achievement 
                standards; and
                    (C) be able to compete and succeed in a global 
                economy.
            (3) To end the pervasive pattern of States maintaining 
        public school systems that do not meet the requirements of 
        section 101(a).

    TITLE I--EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY IN STATE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEMS

             Subtitle A--Access to Educational Opportunity

SEC. 101. STATE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEMS.

    (a) Requirements.--Each State receiving Federal financial 
assistance for elementary or secondary education shall ensure that the 
State's public school system provides all students within the State 
with an education that enables the students to acquire the knowledge 
and skills necessary for responsible citizenship in a diverse 
democracy, including the ability to participate fully in the 
political process through informed electoral choice, to meet 
challenging student academic achievement standards, and to be able to 
compete and succeed in a global economy, through--
            (1) the provision of fundamentals of educational 
        opportunity described in section 102, at adequate or ideal 
        levels as defined by the State under section 111(a)(1)(A) to 
        students at each public elementary school and secondary school 
        in the State;
            (2) the provision of educational services in school 
        districts that receive funds under part A of title I of the 
        Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311 
        et seq.) that are, taken as a whole, at least comparable to 
        educational services provided in school districts not receiving 
        such funds; and
            (3) compliance with any final Federal or State court order 
        in any matter concerning the adequacy or equitableness of the 
        State's public school system.
    (b) Determinations Concerning State Public School Systems.--Not 
later than October 1 of each year, the Secretary shall determine 
whether each State maintains a public school system that meets the 
requirements of subsection (a). The Secretary may make a determination 
that a State public school system does not meet such requirements only 
after providing notice and an opportunity for a hearing.
    (c) Publication.--The Secretary shall publish and make available to 
the general public (including by means of the Internet) the 
determinations made under subsection (b).

SEC. 102. FUNDAMENTALS OF EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY.

    The fundamentals of educational opportunity are the following:
            (1) Highly qualified teachers, principals, and academic 
        support personnel.--
                    (A) Highly qualified teachers.--Instruction from 
                highly qualified teachers in core academic subjects.
                    (B) Highly qualified principals.--Leadership, 
                management, and guidance from principals who meet State 
                certification standards.
                    (C) Highly qualified academic support personnel.--
                Necessary additional academic support in reading or 
                language arts, mathematics, and other core academic 

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