Ed-Flex on Fast Track Eisenhower Professional Development Can be Waived in Both Senate and House Bills
The Education Flexibility Partnership Act of 1999 (Ed-Flex) now appears to be on a fast track for passage in the Senate, and similar legislation is expected to do the same in the House. Senate Republicans have said they consider this legislation a number one priority.
Background: Ed Flex is currently a pilot program in 12 states. Ed-Flex gives the Department of Education authority to waive the requirements on specific federal programs (including Title I and Eisenhower) and allows states to use these funds in other areas.
The Senate bill, introduced by Senator Frist (R-TN), would expand the program to all 50 states. It was approved by the Senate Education subcommittee a few weeks ago and is scheduled for a debate/vote on the Senate floor very soon. On Thursday the House Education and Workforce Committee is expected to introduce their Ed Flex legislation; mark-up is expected shortly thereafter.
NSTA believes this legislation undermines the longstanding federal priority in support of science and math education. In letters to the Hill, we told legislators that while we agree with the concept of greater flexibility, we can not support legislation that comes at the expense of a worthwhile program already in place to help science teachers improve their teaching.
We urge you to call your representative and Senators immediately and tell them you are concerned with Ed Flex and its potential impact on teacher professional development. Ask them to support any amendment to Ed Flex which would exempt the PRIORITY FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN MATH AND SCIENCE from the list of eligible waivers.
To contact your representatives by phone: Call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Ask to be connected to your representative/senators offices.
We especially need readers of this list with these elected representatives to call:
Rep. Bill Goodling (R-PA) 202-225-2836 Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) 202-225-4165 Senator Bill Frist (R-TN) 202-224-3344 Senator Jim Jeffords (R-VT)202-224-5141 Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) 202-224-4543
Many other education groups are also opposed to this legislation and want this issue addressed during ESEA reauthorization. For more information, or to see the letter sent to Senator Frist, go to the NSTA website at http://www.nsta.org and click Legislative Updates.
**************************************** * Jerry P. Becker Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL 62901-4610 USA Fax: (618)453-4244 Phone: (618)453-4241 (office) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org