Preliminary Overview of Programs and Changes Included in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
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Civic Education
(Title II, Part C, Subpart 3)


Authorizes grants to improve the quality of civics and government education for students in the United States, foster civic competence and responsibility, and improve civic and economic education in emerging democracies through cooperative exchange programs.

Changes from Current Law

  • Authorization - Creates a combined authorization for the "We the People" civic education program and the cooperative civic education and economic education exchange (Title II, Part C, subpart 3). Previously, the civic education program was authorized in the ESEA (Part F, section 10601) and the cooperative civic education and economic education exchange was authorized as the International Education Exchange Program in the Goals 2000: Educate America Act (Title VI, section 601).

  • Use of Funds - Explicitly authorizes grantees to use program funds to provide materials and methods of instruction, including teacher training, that use the latest advancements in educational technology. Also permits the Center for Civic Education to use funds available under the Project Citizen program to address specific problems, such as the prevention of school violence and the abuse of drugs and alcohol.

  • We the People Program - Expands program availability for We the People program to include schools administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and by the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

  • Exchange Programs - Expands eligibility for Cooperative Civic Education and Economic Education Exchange Program to include the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and any developing country determined by the Secretary and the Secretary of State to have a democratic form of government. Also, eliminates use of funds for home stays in the United States or in participating countries.

  • Other changes - Repeals use of Department personnel and technical experts to assist eligible countries in improvements to educational delivery systems, structure, and organization. Repeals required studies of educational systems in other nations, particularly Great Britain, France, Germany, and Japan.


  • No specific provision.


  • Noncompetitive grant awards to the Center for Civic Education and the National Council on Economic Education.


  • Up to 40 percent for Cooperative Civic Education and Economic Education Exchange Programs, of which, 37.5 percent is to be awarded to the Center for Civic Education, 37.5 percent to the National Council on Economic Education, and 25 percent for not less than one but not more than 3 grants or contracts to organizations for civic education activities under the Cooperative Education Exchange Program.

Teaching of Traditional American History
(Title II, Part C, Subpart 4)


Authorizes a discretionary grant program for local educational agencies to promote the teaching of traditional American history in elementary and secondary schools as a separate academic subject (not as a component of social studies). Although this is a new authority in the reauthorized ESEA, in fiscal year 2001 the Congress funded a very similar activity under the Fund for the Improvement of Education through appropriations language.

Program Description

  • Use of Funds - Grants may be used to improve the quality of history instruction and to provide professional development for teachers of American history.

  • Partnership - In order to receive a grant, an LEA must agree to carry out the proposed activities in partnership with: (1) an institution of higher education; (2) a nonprofit history or humanities organization; or (3) a library or museum.


  • No specific accountability provisions.


  • Grants are made to the highest-quality applications without regard to geography.


  • None.

Teacher Liability Protection
(Title V, Part C, Subpart 5)


Subpart 5 of Chapter C of Title II (the "Paul D. Coverdell Teacher Protection Act of 2001"):

  • Limits the financial liability of teachers for harm they may cause acting on behalf of the school in disciplining students or maintaining classroom order;

  • Shields teachers from liability when they act within the scope of their employment and in accordance with applicable Federal, State, and local laws (including civil rights laws);

  • Limits the availability of punitive and non-economic ("pain and suffering") damages against teachers when they are determined to be liable for their acts; and

  • Extends protections not only to teachers, but also to administrators and school professionals, nonprofessional employees responsible for maintaining discipline or safety, and individual school board members.

State and Local Technology Grants
(Title II, Part D, Subpart 1)


Consolidates the current Technology Literacy Challenge Fund (TLCF) and Technology Innovation Challenge Grant programs into a single State formula grant program to support the integration of educational technology into classrooms to improve teaching and learning.

Changes from Current Law

  • Within-State Allocations - Requires each State to award half of the amount available for LEAs through a formula based on Title I shares and half through a competitive process. Currently, States award the entire amount available for LEAs through a competitive process.

  • Targeting - Requires LEAs to make competitive awards to high-need LEAs or partnerships that include a high-need LEA and at least one entity that can assist the high-need LEA to integrate technology effectively into classroom instruction. Defines a high-need LEA as an LEA that: (1) serves concentrations of poor students; and (2) (a) serves at least one school identified as in need of improvement under Title I or (b) has a substantial need for assistance in acquiring and using technology. Also requires States, when making competitive awards, to give a priority to LEAs that receive a formula allocation that is too small to carry out effectively the purposes of the program.

  • Providing Professional Development - Requires each LEA receiving formula funds to use at least 25 percent of its formula allocation for high-quality professional development activities to prepare teachers to integrate technology into instruction. (The current statute does not have a similar requirement.) Allows States to exempt from this requirement an LEA that can demonstrate that it already provides high-quality professional development in the integration of technology into instruction.

  • Emphasis on Proven Strategies - Requires local applicants to describe how they would identify and promote strategies, based on relevant research, that integrate technology effectively into curricula and instruction.

  • National Activities - Requires a national study (described below) and authorizes the Department to provide technical assistance to recipients of program funds.


  • Federal - Requires the Secretary to conduct an independent study, using an experimental research design, to identify the conditions and practices under which educational technology: (1) is effective in increasing student achievement; and (2) increases the ability of teachers to integrate technology effectively into curricula and instruction. Requires wide dissemination of the study.

  • State and Local - Requires each State and LEA to develop accountability measures and a process for evaluating the extent to which the activities carried out with program funds are effective in supporting the integration of technology into curricula and instruction.


  • Federal to State - Formula allocations based on each State's current-year share of Title I, Part A funds.

  • Within State - Requires States to award one-half of the amount available for LEAs by formula based on each LEA's prior-year share of Title I, Part A. States must use the remaining funds for competitive awards to high-need LEAs or partnerships that include high-need LEAs.


  • Federal - (1) up to 2 percent for national activities, including conducting the required study and providing technical assistance to grantees; (2) one-half of 1 percent for the Outlying Areas; (3) three-quarters of 1 percent for the BIA; and (4) the amount needed for continuation awards under the Technology Innovation Challenge Grants program.

  • State - Authorizes SEAs to reserve up to 5 percent for State-level activities, such as providing technical assistance to grantees and developing performance measurement systems to evaluate the effectiveness of technology programs.

  • Local - No specific set-aside for administrative expenses but, under the Education Department General Administrative Regulations, LEAs can use a reasonable amount for necessary administrative expenses.

Ready-to-Learn Television
(Title II, Part D, Subpart 3)


The Ready-to-Learn Television program supports the development and distribution of educational video and ancillary material for preschool children, elementary school children, and their parents.

Changes from Current Law

  • Clearinghouse - Eliminates the authority for the Secretary to establish, within the Department, a clearinghouse to compile and provide information, referrals, and model program materials and programming obtained or developed by the program.

  • Digital television and the Internet - Specifically authorizes the development of material for distribution over digital broadcasting channels and the Internet.

  • Eligibility - Restricts eligibility to public telecommunications entities; previously, non-profit entities, including public telecommunication entities, were eligible. Requires applicants to have the ability to negotiate contracts in a manner that allows them an appropriate share of any ancillary income from sales of program-related materials.


  • Annual Report - Continues to require recipients of awards to submit an annual report describing program activities to the Secretary.


  • Federal - Discretionary, competitive awards. At least 60 percent of the funds must be used to: facilitate the development of educational programming and support materials and services; facilitate the development or programming and digital content specifically designed for nationwide distribution of public television stations' digital broadcast channels and the Internet; and contract with entities to distribute the programming and materials produced. The remainder of the funds may be used to develop and disseminate education and training materials that are designed to promote school readiness and promote the effective use of the programming and digital resources.


  • None

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Last Modified: 01/19/2005