Laws & Guidance ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION
Subpart 1 — Fund for the Improvement of Education

SEC. 5411. PROGRAMS AUTHORIZED.

    (a) AUTHORIZATION- The Secretary is authorized to support nationally significant programs to improve the quality of elementary and secondary education at the State and local levels and help all children meet challenging State academic content and student academic achievement standards. The Secretary may carry out such programs directly, or through grants to, or contracts with —

      (1) States or local educational agencies;

      (2) institutions of higher education; and

      (3) other public and private agencies, organizations, and institutions.

    (b) USES OF FUNDS- Funds made available under section 5401 to carry out this subpart may be used for any of the following programs:

      (1) Activities to promote systemic education reform at the State and local levels, including scientifically based research, development, and evaluation designed to improve —

        (A) student academic achievement at the State and local level; and

        (B) strategies for effective parent and community involvement.

      (2) Programs at the State and local levels that are designed to yield significant results, including programs to explore approaches to public school choice and school-based decisionmaking.

      (3) Recognition programs, which may include financial awards to States, local educational agencies, and schools that have made the greatest progress, based on the Secretary's determination or on a nomination by the State in which the school is located (or in the case of a Bureau funded school, by the Secretary of the Interior) in —

        (A) improving the academic achievement of economically disadvantaged students and students from major racial and ethnic minority groups; and

        (B) closing the academic achievement gap for those groups of students farthest away from the proficient level on the academic assessments administered by the State under section 1111.

      (4) Scientifically based studies and evaluations of education reform strategies and innovations, and the dissemination of information on the effectiveness of such strategies and innovations.

      (5) Identification and recognition of exemplary schools and programs, such as Blue Ribbon Schools, including programs to evaluate the effectiveness of using the best practices of exemplary or Blue Ribbon Schools to improve academic achievement.

      (6) Activities to support Scholar-Athlete Games programs, including the World Scholar-Athlete Games and the U.S. Scholar-Athlete Games.

      (7) Programs to promote voter participation in American elections through programs, such as the National Student/Parent Mock Election and Kids Voting USA.

      (8) Demonstrations relating to the planning and evaluation of the effectiveness of programs under which local educational agencies or schools contract with private management organizations to reform a school or schools.

      (9) Other programs that meet the purposes of this Act.

    (c) BASIS OF AWARDS- The Secretary is authorized to —

      (1) make awards under this subpart on the basis of competitions announced by the Secretary; and

      (2) support meritorious unsolicited proposals for awards under this subpart.

    (d) EFFECTIVENESS OF PROGRAMS- The Secretary shall ensure that programs supported under this subpart are designed so that their effectiveness is readily ascertainable, and shall ensure that such effectiveness is assessed using rigorous, scientifically based research and evaluations.

SEC. 5412. APPLICATIONS.

    (a) SUBMISSION- To be eligible for an award under this subpart, an entity shall submit an application to the Secretary, at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.

    (b) CONTENTS- Each application submitted under subsection (a) shall —

      (1) establish clear objectives, which are based on scientifically based research, for the proposed program; and

      (2) describe the activities the applicant will carry out in order to meet the objectives described in paragraph (1).

    (c) PEER REVIEW- The Secretary shall use a peer review process in reviewing applications for awards under this subpart and in recognizing States, local educational agencies, and schools under section 5411(b)(3), only if funds are used for such recognition programs. The Secretary may use funds appropriated under this subpart for the cost of such peer review.

SEC. 5413. PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS.

    (a) EVALUATIONS- A recipient of an award under this subpart shall —

      (1) evaluate the effectiveness of the program funded under the award in achieving the objectives stated in applications submitted under section 5412; and

      (2) report to the Secretary such information as may be required to determine the effectiveness of such program, including evidence of progress toward meeting such objectives.

    (b) DISSEMINATION OF EVALUATION RESULTS- The Secretary shall provide for the dissemination of the evaluations of programs funded under this subpart by making the evaluations publicly available upon request, and shall provide public notice that the evaluations are so available.

    (c) MATCHING FUNDS- The Secretary may require recipients of awards under this subpart to provide matching funds from non-Federal sources, and shall permit the recipients to match funds in whole or in part with in-kind contributions.

    (d) SPECIAL RULE FOR RECOGNITION PROGRAMS- The application requirements of section 5412(b), and the evaluation requirements of subsections (a) and (b) of this section, do not apply to recognition programs under section 5411(b)(3).

SEC. 5414. STUDIES OF NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE.

    (a) STUDIES- The Secretary shall conduct the following studies of national significance:

      (1) UNHEALTHY PUBLIC SCHOOL BUILDINGS- A study regarding the health and learning impacts of environmentally unhealthy public school buildings on students and teachers. The study shall include the following information:

        (A) The characteristics of those public elementary school and secondary school buildings that contribute to unhealthy school environments.

        (B) The health and learning impacts of environmental unhealthy public school buildings on students that are attending or that have attended such schools.

        (C) Recommendations to Congress on how to assist schools that are out of compliance with Federal or State health and safety codes, and a cost estimate of bringing up environmentally unhealthy public school buildings to minimum Federal health and safety building standards.

      (2) EXPOSURE TO VIOLENT ENTERTAINMENT- A study regarding how exposure to violent entertainment (such as in movies, music, television, Internet content, video games, and arcade games) affects children's cognitive development and educational achievement.

      (3) SEXUAL ABUSE IN SCHOOLS- A study regarding the prevalence of sexual abuse in schools, including recommendations and legislative remedies for addressing the problem of sexual abuse in schools.

    (b) COMPLETION DATE- The studies under subsection (a) shall be completed not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

    (c) PUBLIC DISSEMINATION- The Secretary shall make the study conducted under subsection (a)(1) available to the public through the Educational Resources Information Center National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities of the Department.


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Last Modified: 09/15/2004