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S. 696 (114th): Next Generation High Schools Act


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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 10, 2015.


Next Generation High Schools Act

Directs the Secretary of Education to award competitive grants to local educational agencies (LEAs) or charter schools that partner with at least one institution of higher education, at least one community-based partner, and a qualified intermediary to provide high school students with challenging, engaging, and relevant academic and career-related learning opportunities that are aligned with rigorous, challenging academic content that prepares them to transition to postsecondary education and careers.

Sets the grant term at five years, with up to three one-year renewals that are conditioned on the grantee making satisfactory progress toward performance indicators and targets.

Requires grant applicants to make make specified equity assurances, including that their LEAs will allocate school improvement funds to eligible high schools in amounts that are proportionate to those schools' share of low-income students.

Defines "eligible high schools" as those that: (1) serve students at least 65% of whom are from low-income families; (2) have a graduation rate at or below 67%, excepting new high schools; (3) do not receive school improvement funds under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965; and (4) are identified by their state as low-performing.

Requires the grants to be used to:

develop and implement partnerships to help schools prepare students to apply academic concepts to real world challenges; implement an early warning indicator system in eligible high schools and, where applicable, feeder middle schools to identify struggling students; provide support and credit recovery opportunities for struggling students at the grantee's secondary schools or in other appropriate settings; provide high schools with dropout recovery or reentry programs that enable returning dropouts to graduate college and career ready; provide evidence-based middle school to high school transition programs and supports; and provide high school leaders, staff, students, and families with high-quality, easily accessible, and timely information concerning graduation requirements, postsecondary admission requirements, the availability of financial assistance, labor markets, and other programs and services to improve the prospects of traditionally underserved students. Lists, separately, the required grant activities in eligible high schools and their feeder middle schools.

Requires each grantee, immediately after receiving its grant, to contract with an outside evaluator to evaluate the effects of such grant.