“YES” on Walker’s A-PLUS Amendment

This week, the House will finally vote on an amendment offered by  Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) 86% and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) 91% to the Student Success Act (H.R. 5).  The amendment, known as A-PLUS, would give the states the ability to escape No Child Left Behind’s prescriptive programmatic requirements, consolidate their federal education funds and use them for any lawful education purpose they deem beneficial.

The Heritage Foundation’s Lindsey Burke explains that the Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success (A-PLUS) proposal “has long been part of the conservative vision for restoring state and local control of education.”  In fact, between 110th and 113th Congresses, 91 current members of the House Republican Conference sponsored some version of A-PLUS.

The concept behind A-PLUS is simple: States can opt out of NCLB by making a “declaration of intent.”  End of story, Burke explains:

“The Education Department does not have veto power over these declarations; they’re not like a waiver which can be approved or disapproved depending on the whims of federal bureaucrats. The A-PLUS proposal allows states to opt-out, no strings attached.”

At its core, A-PLUS delivers on the promise of “restoring state and local control over the 10 percent of education funding financed by the federal government,” moving dollars out of the hands of federal bureaucrats and political appointees and into the hands of those closer to the students.

Now is the time for Congress to restore federalism in education, empower parents and students instead of bureaucrats and unions, and remove archaic obstacles that have prevented true opportunity for all.  If A-PLUS is adopted, Heritage Action will support final passage of the underlying bill.

Heritage Action supports the Walker Amendment and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.

Related:
Allowing States to Opt Out of NCLB Through A-PLUS: Empowering Parents and State and Local Leaders—Not Teachers Unions
The A-PLUS Alternative to Reauthorizing No Child Left Behind
The Conservative Education Debate (and Solution)