The Facts About...Local Control and Flexibility
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The Challenge: Local communities and school districts must meet diverse needs, whether it is for new teachers, better training, new schools or better curricula.

The Solution: Through program consolidation and new flexibility, No Child Left Behind allows local communities and school districts greater discretion in using federal funds while demanding accountability for how taxpayer money is spent.


It promotes local control and flexibility

  • This encourages local solutions for local problems.
  • No Child Left Behind encourages federal money to be used to solve problems, rather than to subsidize bureaucracy.
  • That means principals and administrators will spend less time filling out forms and less time dealing with federal red tape and more time focusing on student progress.

It provides states and local communities the option of combining federal resources to pursue their own strategies for raising student achievement.

  • It authorizes districts to transfer federal dollars they receive among the several programs without separate approval.
  • States and local school districts may transfer up to 50 percent of the funding they receive for Teacher Quality, Educational Technology, Innovative Programs and Safe and Drug-Free Schools to any one of these programs or to the program for disadvantaged children known as Title I.
It gives states and districts the flexibility to find innovative ways to improve teacher quality, including alternative certification, merit pay and bonuses for people who teach in high-need subject areas like math and science.

It offers unique partnerships between local communities and the federal government.

  • In return for more flexibility on how they spend their education dollars, states must set high academic standards for student academic achievement and hold students, teachers and principals accountable for results.
  • It provides for the creation of up to 150 local flexibility demonstration projects, where school districts will be allowed to consolidate virtually all of their federal funding in exchange for entering into performance agreements with the state and federal governments.
  • It provides rural schools and districts more flexibility in how they spend federal funds on priorities that are unique to those communities.

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Last Modified: 12/30/2003