Fighting for Florida

Today Senator Rubio demonstrated his commitment to providing American children with the finest Elementary and Secondary Education by signing on as co-sponsor of three pieces of education legislation:

1.    The Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act: (The Charter Schools Act) would: provide financial assistance for the planning, program design, and initial implementation of charter schools; expand the number of high-quality charter schools available to students across the nation; evaluate the impact of such schools on student achievement, families, and communities, and share best practices between charter schools and other public schools; encourage States to provide support to charter schools for facilities financing in an amount more nearly commensurate to the amount the States have typically provided for traditional public schools; improve student services to increase opportunities for students with disabilities, English language learners, and other traditionally underserved students to attend charter schools and meet challenging state academic achievement standards; and support efforts to strengthen the charter school authorizing process to improve performance management, including transparency, monitoring, and evaluation of such schools.

2.    The Elementary and Secondary Education Amendments Act of 2011: This bill includes provisions necessary to return educational power and decision making from the federal government to the states and local educational authorities. The Elementary and Secondary Education Amendments Act ensures that any accountability measures or requirements will be created and enforced by states and local school districts in order to better prepare students. This bill focuses on serving and preparing our nation’s school children by taking education decision-making authority from the federal government and returning power to the states and local education agencies.

3.    The State Innovation Pilot Act of 2011: (The Waiver Bill): The Secretary of the Department of Education, Arne Duncan, recently announced he intends to issue waivers to No Child Left Behind (NCLB) in exchange for compliance of administration-backed education reform. Not only is this a blatant overstep of authority, but it is not permitted under NCLB legislation. These actions violate the constitutional separation of powers. The State Innovation Pilot Act of 2011 will be introduced in an effort to clarify waiver authority that is contained in current law.

The Daily Caller also reported on Senator Rubio’s letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan this week about the administration’s push to provide illegal NCLB waivers.