How ‘Super’ Ed-Flex Would Work

Published May 1, 1999

Under the Super Ed-Flex proposal developed by Heritage Foundation education policy analysts Nina Shokraii Rees and Kirk A. Johnson, the federal government would give maximum flexibility to interested states and large school districts in administering up to 18 formula-based K-12 federal education programs. In return, the states would be required to demonstrate that their efforts had boosted academic achievement.

States or school districts that did not wish to participate in the Super Ed-Flex plan would continue to operate the categorical programs required by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, which Congress is expected to reauthorize later this year.

Stats participating in the Super Ed-Flex plan could expect substantial funding from the consolidation of categorical programs. Rees and Johnson estimate, for example, that California would receive over $1.5 billion, and Texas almost $1.1 billion.

The Super Ed-Flex program would set clear performance objectives and would offer rewards for meeting goals.

Clear Performance Objectives

Similar to the performance commitment that charter school operators make to their sponsors, each state or qualifying school district would be required to enter into a binding agreement with the federal government, establishing clear performance objectives and a timetable for academic improvement. Academic improvement could be measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a commercial test, a state test, or another mutually acceptable test.

Rewards for Meeting Goals

The federal government would create a bonus funds pool to use in rewarding states or school districts that met their performance goals.