< Back to H.R. 1623 (106th Congress, 1999–2000)

Text of the Class Size Reduction and Teacher Quality Act of 1999

This bill was introduced on April 29, 1999, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Apr 29, 1999 (Introduced).

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H 1623 IH

106th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1623

To reduce class size, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 29, 1999

Mr. CLAY (for himself, Mr. KILDEE, and Mr. MARTINEZ) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce


A BILL

To reduce class size, 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. CLASS SIZE REDUCTION.

    Title VI of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7301 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

‘PART E--CLASS SIZE REDUCTION

‘SEC. 6601. SHORT TITLE.

    ‘This part may be cited as the ‘Class Size Reduction and Teacher Quality Act of 1999’.

‘SEC. 6602. FINDINGS.

    ‘Congress finds as follows:

      ‘(1) Rigorous research has shown that students attending small classes in the early grades make more rapid educational progress than students in larger classes, and that these achievement gains persist through at least the elementary grades.

      ‘(2) The benefits of smaller classes are greatest for lower achieving, minority, poor, and inner-city children. One study found that urban fourth-graders in smaller-than-average classes were 3/4 of a school year ahead of their counterparts in larger-than-average classes.

      ‘(3) Teachers in small classes can provide students with more individualized attention, spend more time on instruction and less on other tasks, cover more material effectively, and are better able to work with parents to further their children’s education.

      ‘(4) Smaller classes allow teachers to identify and work more effectively with students who have learning disabilities and, potentially, can reduce those students’ need for special education services in the later grades.

      ‘(5) Students in smaller classes are able to become more actively engaged in learning than their peers in large classes.

      ‘(6) Efforts to improve educational achievement by reducing class sizes in the early grades are likely to be more successful if--

        ‘(A) well-prepared teachers are hired and appropriately assigned to fill additional classroom positions; and

        ‘(B) teachers receive intensive, continuing training in working effectively in smaller classroom settings.

      ‘(7) Several States have begun a serious effort to reduce class sizes in the early elementary grades, but these actions may be impeded by financial limitations or difficulties in hiring well-prepared teachers.

      ‘(8) The Federal Government can assist in this effort by providing funding for class-size reductions in grades 1 through 3, and by helping to ensure that the new teachers brought into the classroom are well prepared.

‘SEC. 6603. PURPOSE.

    ‘The purpose of this part is to help States and local educational agencies recruit, train, and hire 100,000 additional teachers over a 7-year period in order to--

      ‘(1) reduce class sizes nationally, in grades 1 through 3, to an average of 18 students per classroom; and

      ‘(2) improve teaching in the early grades so that all students can learn to read independently and well by the end of the third grade.

‘SEC. 6604. PROGRAM AUTHORIZED.

    ‘(a) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- For the purpose of carrying out this part, there are authorized to be appropriated, $1,400,000,000 for fiscal year 2000, $1,500,000,000 for fiscal year 2001, $1,700,000,000 for fiscal year 2002, $1,735,000,000 for fiscal year 2003, $2,300,000,000 for fiscal year 2004, and $2,800,000,000 for fiscal year 2005.

    ‘(b) ALLOTMENTS-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- From the amount appropriated under subsection (a) for a fiscal year the Secretary--

        ‘(A) shall make a total of 1 percent available to the Secretary of the Interior (on behalf of the Bureau of Indian Affairs) and the outlying areas for activities that meet the purpose of this part; and

        ‘(B) shall allot to each State the same percentage of the remaining funds as the percentage it received of funds allocated to States for the previous fiscal year under section 1122 or section 2202(b), whichever percentage is greater, except that such allotments shall be ratably decreased as necessary.

      ‘(2) DEFINITION OF STATE- In this part the term ‘State’ means each of the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

      ‘(3) STATE-LEVEL EXPENSES- Each State may use not more than a total of 1/2 of 1 percent of the amount the State receives under this part, or $50,000, whichever is greater, for a fiscal year, for the administrative costs of the State educational agency.

    ‘(c) WITHIN STATE DISTRIBUTION-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- Each State that receives an allotment under this section shall distribute the amount of the allotted funds that remain after using funds in accordance with subsection (b)(3) to local educational agencies in the State, of which--

        ‘(A) 80 percent of such remainder shall be allocated to such local educational agencies in proportion to the number of children, aged 5 to 17, who reside in the school district served by such local educational agency and are from families with incomes below the poverty line (as defined by the Office of Management and Budget and revised annually in accordance with section 673(2) of the Community Services Block Grant Act (42 U.S.C. 9902(2)) applicable to a family of the size involved) for the most recent fiscal year for which satisfactory data is available compared to the number of such individuals who reside in the school districts served by all the local educational agencies in the State for that fiscal year, except that a State may adjust such data; and

        ‘(B) 20 percent of such remainder shall be allocated to such local educational agencies in accordance with the relative enrollments of children, aged 5 to 17, in public and private nonprofit elementary schools and secondary schools in the school districts within the boundaries of such agencies.

      ‘(2) AWARD RULE- Notwithstanding paragraph (1), if the award to a local educational agency under this section is less than the starting salary for a new teacher in that agency, the State shall not make the award unless--

        ‘(A) the local educational agency agrees to form a consortium with not less than 1 other local educational agency for the purpose of reducing class size; or

        ‘(B) the local educational agency agrees to supplement the award with non-Federal funds sufficient to pay the cost of hiring a teacher.

‘SEC. 6605. USE OF FUNDS.

    ‘(a) IN GENERAL- Each local educational agency that receives funds under this part shall use such funds to carry out effective approaches to reducing class size with highly qualified teachers to improve educational achievement for both regular and special-needs children, with particular consideration given to reducing class size in the early elementary grades for which some research has shown class size reduction is most effective.

    ‘(b) CLASS REDUCTION-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- Each such local educational agency may pursue the goal of reducing class size through--

        ‘(A) recruiting, hiring, and training certified regular and special education teachers and teachers of special-needs children, including teachers certified through State and local alternative routes;

        ‘(B) testing new teachers for academic content knowledge, and to meet State certification requirements that are consistent with title II of the Higher Education Act of 1965; and

        ‘(C) providing professional development to teachers, including special education teachers and teachers of special-needs children, consistent with title II of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

      ‘(2) RESTRICTION- A local educational agency may use not more than a total of 15 percent of the funds received under this part for each of the fiscal years 2000 through 2003 to carry out activities described in subparagraphs (B) and (C) of paragraph (1), and may not use any funds received under this part for fiscal year 2004 or 2005 for those activities.

      ‘(3) SPECIAL RULE- A local educational agency that has already reduced class size in the early grades to 18 or fewer children may use funds received under this part--

        ‘(A) to make further class-size reductions in grades 1 through 3;

        ‘(B) to reduce class size in kindergarten or other grades; or

        ‘(C) to carry out activities to improve teacher quality, including professional development activities.

    ‘(c) SUPPLEMENT NOT SUPPLANT- A local educational agency shall use funds under this part only to supplement, and not to supplant, State and local funds that, in the absence of such funds, would otherwise be spent for activities under this part.

    ‘(d) PROHIBITION- No funds made available under this part may be used to increase the salaries of or provide benefits to (other than participation in professional development and enrichment programs) teachers who are, or have been, employed by the local educational agency.

    ‘(e) PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT- If a local educational agency uses funds made available under this part for professional development activities, the agency shall ensure the equitable participation of private nonprofit elementary and secondary schools in such activities. Section 6402 shall not apply to other activities under this section.

    ‘(f) ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES- A local educational agency that receives funds under this part may use not more than 3 percent of such funds for local administrative expenses.

‘SEC. 6606. COST-SHARING REQUIREMENT.

    ‘(a) FEDERAL SHARE- The Federal share of the cost of activities carried out under this part--

      ‘(1) may be up to 100 percent in local educational agencies with child-poverty levels of 50 percent or greater; and

      ‘(2) shall be no more than 65 percent for local educational agencies with child-poverty rates of less than 50 percent.

    ‘(b) LOCAL SHARE- A local educational agency shall provide the non-Federal share of a project under this part through cash expenditures from non-Federal sources, except that if an agency has allocated funds under section 1113(c) to one or more schoolwide programs under section 1114, it may use those funds for the non-Federal share of activities under this program that benefit those schoolwide programs, to the extent consistent with section 1120A(c) and notwithstanding section 1114(a)(3)(B).

‘SEC. 6607. REQUEST FOR FUNDS.

    ‘Each local educational agency that desires to receive funds under this part shall include in the application submitted under section 6303 a description of the agency’s program under this part to reduce class size by hiring additional highly qualified teachers.

‘SEC. 6608. REPORTS.

    ‘(a) STATE- Each State receiving funds under this part shall report on activities in the State under this section, consistent with section 6202(a)(2).

    ‘(b) SCHOOL- Each school receiving assistance under this part, or the local educational agency serving that school, shall produce an annual report to parents, the general public, and the State educational agency, in easily understandable language, regarding student achievement that is a result of hiring additional highly qualified teachers and reducing class size.’.