Several education issues are being considered by the 105th Congress. Some of the congressional action results from expiring legislation, such as the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA). Other action may occur because of debate over the appropriate federal role in education, including federal support for school reform or national testing. This report provides a brief summary of education issues anticipated for the 2nd Session, as well as a synopsis of education activity during the 1st Session.
The Court’s decisions permit a limited degree of public aid to be provided directly and a broader range of assistance indirectly. This report sketches the constitutional standards that apply to public aid to sectarian schools and especially to programs of indirect assistance such as education vouchers. It also summarizes recent significant state court decisions involving vouchers.
Charter schools are public elementary or secondary schools which are released from a variety of state, local, and possibly federal regulations in return for new forms of accountability in terms of outcomes for pupils. Approximately one-half of the states authorize the establishment of charter schools, and a federal Public Charter Schools (PCS) program provides start-up funds for such schools. The House has passed (H.R. 2616), and the Senate is considering (S. 1380) legislation to modify and expand the PCS program. This report provides background information on charter schools and their characteristics, plus discussion and analysis of current legislation regarding the PCS program. Issues have also arisen regarding the participation of charter schools in other federal aid programs.
Date: April 6, 1998
Creator: Riddle, Wayne C.; Stedman, James B. & Aleman, Steven R.
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