ERIC Number: ED426493
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Elementary and Secondary Education: Flexibility Initiatives Do Not Address Districts' Key Concerns about Federal Requirements. Report to Congressional Requesters.
General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Health, Education, and Human Services Div.
The Government Accounting Office (GAO) was asked to: (1) describe major federal requirements that affect school districts; (2) identify key issues school districts face in implementing these requirements; and (3) analyze the impact of the Department of Education's flexibility initiatives on school districts' ability to address these implementation issues. Some of school districts' key concerns lie beyond the scope of flexibility initiatives that have been implemented to date. Other concerns could be partially or fully addressed in the context of flexibility, although current initiatives are not targeting these issues. Findings suggest four lessons to be considered in refining existing federal initiatives and in designing new ones: (1) school districts' concerns are wide ranging rather than centered on a single program or issue; (2) school districts need adequate information to implement federal requirements and take advantage of flexibility options; (3) because states play a key role in overseeing and administering federal programs, state-education agencies must be able and willing to help school districts implement such programs; and (4) the Congress and Department of Education face potential conflicts between local officials' desire for flexibility and the important purposes underlying federal programs and mandates. Four appendices feature information on major federal laws and programs, funding for major Federal laws and programs, comments from the Department of Agriculture, and GAO contacts. (Contains 72 references.) (RJM)
Descriptors: Educational Innovation, Elementary Secondary Education, Federal Programs, Federal Regulation, Government Role, Government School Relationship, School District Autonomy, School Districts
U.S. General Accounting Office, P.O. Box 37050, Washington, DC 20013; Web site: www.gao.gov (1st copy free; $2 each additional copy).
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Health, Education, and Human Services Div.