Congresswoman Debbie Lesko Reintroduces Legislation to Allow States to Set Their Own Education Policy

Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (AZ-08) reintroduced legislation to put individual states in charge of their education policies. H.R. 2263, the Make Education Local Act, would allow individual states to submit their own education plans, known as a State Management Decision, to the Secretary of Education. After approval by the Department of Education, all federal funding programs would roll into one pot of money for the state to implement their individualized education plan.

“Arizonans know their schools better than any bureaucrat,” said Congresswoman Lesko. “Our state empowers local schools and parents—not regulators in Washington. As a result, our students have been leading the nation in academic gains. Our robust educational environment should not be impeded by burdensome regulations and mandates. That is why I am proud to reintroduce this legislation to protect Arizona’s educational innovation and get more money back into our classrooms.”

“In Arizona, parents have embraced charter schools and innovation in education,” said Jake Logan, President and CEO of Arizona Charter Schools Association. “The Make Education Local Act will allow us to continue to improve education outcomes for Arizona students. We appreciate Congresswoman Lesko for pursuing this important reform.  The Make Education Local Act is another example of the thoughtful approach Congresswoman Lesko has demonstrated throughout her career to improving the lives of Arizonans.” 

“There are unfortunately too many examples of the federal government exerting its influence over K-12 education decisions that are best left to state-level leaders. We applaud Rep. Lesko for ensuring that states don’t take a backseat to Washington when it comes to shaping their own educational environment. Her work to increase accountability, promote educational choice and innovation, and strengthen state-level influence is timely and necessary.” - Glenn Hamer, president and CEO, Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Background: H.R. 2263 will put states like Arizona back in the driver seat of their education policy and reduce federal intrusion and regulation on public schools. The bill directs federal funding right to students and teachers instead of being spent to comply with federal regulations. It will also require each state to focus on student achievement and outcomes, while letting the states figure out how to do that best and how to spend those dollars. Specifically, this bill:

  • Allows states to submit a State Management Decision to the Secretary of Education that is valid for between 5 and 10 years.
  • A State Management Decision allows a state to be waived from all provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act and allows for that state to consolidate all federal education dollars into one single grant.
  • Protects the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act dollars from being consolidated and provisions of the law from being waived.
  • Increases transparency by requiring a state in their State Management Decision to outline their plan for using the dollars and how they will inform parents of student achievement.
  • Ensures accountability by requiring participating states to publish a yearly report of student performance and a description of how the state used federal funds to improve academic achievement and a yearly report with information for the public regarding other high-quality school options and choices.
  • Gives states the flexibility to financially account and consolidate federal education dollars in any way they choose.

Stay Connected

Use the form below to sign up for my newsletter and get the latest news and updates directly to your inbox.