2American Enterprise Institute |Reauthorization o the Elementary and Secondary Education Act Oers a New Chance to Improve Education
and ohers as “caps.” Tese requiremens ensure ha minimum or maximum levels,respecively, o agencies’ ile I allocaions serve specic purposes. Fiscal requiremenslie a he hear o compliance regimes ha have grown up wih ESEA wih he nominalpurpose o ensuring ha ile I unds heed congressional inen. We did no ackle every se-aside, cap, or scal requiremen on he books, nor could we say enirely away rom he subjec o accounabiliy. Ye our projec provides anenry poin or a wide range o sakeholders, rom amilies served by ile I o chie sae school ocers o U.S. Deparmen o Educaion ocials. Moreover, our joinrecommendaions, i adoped, would enail momenous shis away rom “sandardoperaing procedure” in elemenary and secondary educaion. We’re cerain here’s alo o chew on here, beginning wih he ollowing jawbreaker.
Supplement, not supplant
Te supplemen-no-supplan, or SNS, requiremen aims o preven school disricsrom using ile I unds o ree up sae and local unds or purchasing goods and ser- vices hey would no oherwise have been able o aord or o provide ax relie. In heirpaper, “How he Supplemen-No-Supplan Requiremen Can Work Agains he Policy Goals o ile I,” atorneys Melissa Junge and Sheara Krvaric—ounders o he FederalEducaion Group, a rm ha helps cliens comply wih ederal regulaions—oerseveral opions or modiying his long-sanding requiremen. We embrace he opionha would make SNS amenable o innovaion while grealy reducing he burden o compliance. Te idea is o replace he primary es currenly in use wih a simpler, moreobjecive es, specically:
I disrics can documen ha he manner in which hey allocae sae and localresources o schools is “ile I neural,” hey should be clear o suspicion around sup-planing nonederal unds wih ile I dollars.Te neuraliy es does no arise ou o hin air. I’s rooed, as he auhors explain, in aes originally designed or schoolwide ile I programs. Bu he neuraliy es does rep-resen a major deparure rom he radiional cos-by-cos approach required o reuepresumpions o supplaning.Tis deparure makes sense o us or he ollowing hree reasons:
Firs, he cos-by-cos approach is inherenly hosile o innovaion. Each purchase o a good or service made wih ile I unds is mached wih an unobserved, counerac-ual speculaion abou wheher he purchase would have been made in he absence o ile I unds. Tus, he subjecive judgmens o sae audiors play a prominen role inSNS enorcemen, and i’s simply wrong o characerize SNS as a crisp scal require-