S 1179

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 1179

To promote advanced placement and International Baccalaureate programs.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 9, 2011

Mr. BINGAMAN introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions


A BILL

To promote advanced placement and International Baccalaureate programs.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Advanced Programs Act of 2011'.

SEC. 2. PURPOSE.

    It is the purpose of this Act--

      (1) to raise academic achievement through advanced placement and International Baccalaureate programs by increasing the number of teachers serving high-need schools who are qualified to teach advanced placement courses or International Baccalaureate courses;

      (2) to increase, to 1,000,000 per year, the number of students attending high-need schools who--

        (A) take and score a 3, 4, or 5 on an advanced placement examination administered by the College Board; or

        (B) achieve a passing score on--

          (i) an examination administered by the International Baccalaureate Organization; or

          (ii) a test or examination for another advanced placement course or international baccalaureate course;

      (3) to increase the availability of, and enrollment in, advanced placement courses or International Baccalaureate courses, and pre-advanced placement or pre-International Baccalaureate courses, in high-need schools; and

      (4) to support statewide efforts to increase the availability of, and enrollment in, advanced placement courses or International Baccalaureate courses and pre-advanced placement or pre-International Baccalaureate courses in high-need schools.

SEC. 3. FUNDING DISTRIBUTION RULE; NATIONAL ACTIVITIES.

    (a) In General- From amounts appropriated under section 8 for a fiscal year, and subject to subsection (b), the Secretary shall give priority to funding activities under section 4 and shall distribute any remaining funds under section 5.

    (b) National Activities- The Secretary may reserve not more than 2 percent of the amount appropriated for a fiscal year under section 8 to be used for research, dissemination of best practices, evaluation, and technical assistance.

SEC. 4. ADVANCED PLACEMENT EXAMINATION FEE PROGRAM.

    (a) Grants Authorized- From amounts made available under section 3(a) for a fiscal year, the Secretary shall award grants to State educational agencies having applications approved under this section to enable the State educational agencies to reimburse low-income students to cover part or all of the costs of advanced placement examination fees or International Baccalaureate examination fees, if the low-income students--

      (1) are enrolled in an advanced placement course or International Baccalaureate course; and

      (2) plan to take an advanced placement examination or an International Baccalaureate examination.

    (b) Award Basis- In determining the amount of the grant awarded to a State educational agency under this section for a fiscal year, the Secretary shall consider the number of children eligible to be counted under section 1124(c) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6333(c)) in the State in relation to the number of such children so counted in all States.

    (c) Information Dissemination- A State educational agency that is awarded a grant under this section shall disseminate information regarding the availability of advanced placement examination and International Baccalaureate examination fee payments under this section to eligible students through secondary school teachers and guidance counselors.

    (d) Applications- Each State educational agency desiring to receive a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and accompanied by such information as the Secretary may require. At a minimum, each State educational agency application shall--

      (1) describe the advanced placement examination and International Baccalaureate examination fees the State educational agency will pay on behalf of low-income students in the State from grant funds awarded under this section;

      (2) provide an assurance that any grant funds awarded under this section shall be used only to pay for advanced placement examination fees and International Baccalaureate examination fees; and

      (3) contain such information as the Secretary may require to demonstrate that the State educational agency will ensure that a student is eligible for payments authorized under this section, including ensuring that the student is a low-income student.

    (e) Regulations- The Secretary shall prescribe such regulations as are necessary to carry out this section.

    (f) Report-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Each State educational agency awarded a grant under this section shall, with respect to each advanced placement course subject and International Baccalaureate course subject, annually report to the Secretary the following data for the preceding year:

        (A) The number of students in the State who are taking an advanced placement course or International Baccalaureate course in such subject.

        (B) The number of advanced placement examinations and International Baccalaureate examinations taken by students in the State who have taken an advanced placement course or International Baccalaureate course in such subject.

        (C) The number of students in the State scoring at different levels on advanced placement examinations or International Baccalaureate examinations in that subject.

        (D) Demographic information regarding students in the State taking advanced placement courses and examinations and International Baccalaureate courses and examinations in that subject, disaggregated by race, ethnicity, sex, English proficiency status, and socioeconomic status.

      (2) REPORT TO CONGRESS- The Secretary shall annually compile the information received from each State educational agency under paragraph (1) and report to the authorizing committees of Congress regarding the information.

    (g) BIA as SEA- For purposes of this section, the Bureau of Indian Affairs shall be treated as a State educational agency.

SEC. 5. ADVANCED PLACEMENT INCENTIVE PROGRAM GRANTS.

    (a) Grants Authorized-

      (1) IN GENERAL- From amounts made available under section 3 for a fiscal year, the Secretary shall award grants, on a competitive basis, to eligible entities to enable such entities to carry out the authorized activities described in subsection (e).

      (2) DURATION AND PAYMENTS-

        (A) DURATION- The Secretary shall award a grant under this section for a period of not more than 5 years.

        (B) PAYMENTS- The Secretary shall make grant payments under this section on an annual basis.

    (b) Definition of Eligible Entity- The term `eligible entity' means--

      (1) a State educational agency;

      (2) a local educational agency; or

      (3) a partnership consisting of--

        (A) a national, regional, or statewide nonprofit organization, with expertise and experience in providing advanced placement course or International Baccalaureate course services; and

        (B) a State educational agency or local educational agency.

    (c) Application-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Each eligible entity desiring a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and accompanied by such information as the Secretary may require.

      (2) CONTENTS- The application shall, at a minimum, include a description of--

        (A) the goals and objectives for the project supported by the grant under this section, including--

          (i) increasing the number of teachers serving high-need schools who are qualified to teach advanced placement courses or International Baccalaureate courses;

          (ii) increasing the number of advanced placement courses or International Baccalaureate courses that are offered at high-need schools; and

          (iii) increasing the number of students attending a high-need school, particularly low-income students, who enroll in and pass--

            (I) advanced placement courses or International Baccalaureate courses; and

            (II) if offered by the school, pre-advanced placement courses or pre-International Baccalaureate courses;

        (B) how the eligible entity will ensure that students have access to courses, including pre-advanced placement courses or pre-International Baccalaureate courses, that will prepare students to enroll and succeed in advanced placement courses or International Baccalaureate courses;

        (C) how the eligible entity will provide professional development for teachers that will further the goals and objectives of the grant project;

        (D) how the eligible entity will ensure that teachers serving high-need schools are qualified to teach advanced placement courses or International Baccalaureate courses;

        (E) how the eligible entity will provide for the involvement of business and community organizations and other entities, including institutions of higher education, in carrying out the activities described in subsection (e);

        (F) how the eligible entity will use funds received under this section; and

        (G) how the eligible entity will evaluate the success of the grant project.

    (d) Priority- In awarding grants under this section, the Secretary shall give priority to applications from eligible entities that--

      (1) are of a statewide or districtwide strategy, as applicable, for increasing the availability of advanced placement courses or International Baccalaureate courses, and pre-advanced placement courses or pre-International Baccalaureate courses, in high-need schools;

      (2) demonstrate a focus on increasing the availability of advanced placement courses or International Baccalaureate courses in the core academic areas of English, mathematics, and science; and

      (3) propose to carry out activities that target schools with a high concentration of low-income students.

    (e) Authorized Activities-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Each eligible entity that receives a grant under this section shall use the grant funds to carry out activities designed to increase--

        (A) the number of qualified teachers serving high-need schools who are teaching advanced placement courses or International Baccalaureate courses; and

        (B) the number of students attending high-need schools who enroll in, and pass, the examinations for such courses, including through reimbursing low-income students attending high-need schools for part or all of the cost of advanced placement examination fees or International Baccalaureate examination fees.

      (2) PERMISSIVE ACTIVITIES- In addition to the activities described in paragraph (1), an eligible entity that receives a grant under this section may use grant funds for--

        (A) teacher professional development, in order to expand the pool of teachers in the participating State, local educational agency, or high-need school who are qualified to teach advanced placement courses or International Baccalaureate courses;

        (B) pre-advanced placement courses or pre-International Baccalaureate teacher and counselor professional development in secondary school to prepare students for success in advanced placement courses or International Baccalaureate courses;

        (C) coordination and articulation between grade levels to prepare students to enroll and succeed in advanced placement courses or International Baccalaureate courses;

        (D) purchase of instructional materials for advanced placement courses or International Baccalaureate courses;

        (E) activities to increase the availability of, and participation in, online advanced placement courses or International Baccalaureate courses;

        (F) carrying out the requirements of subsection (g);

        (G) in the case of an eligible entity described in subsection (b)(1), awarding subgrants to local educational agencies to enable the local educational agencies to carry out authorized activities described in subparagraphs (A) through (F); and

        (H) providing salary increments or bonuses to teachers serving high-need schools who--

          (i) become qualified to teach, and teach, advanced placement courses or International Baccalaureate courses in mathematics, science, or a critical foreign language; or

          (ii) increase the number of low-income students who take advanced placement examinations or International Baccalaureate examinations with the goal of successfully passing such examinations.

    (f) Contracts- An eligible entity that is awarded a grant to provide online advanced placement courses or International Baccalaureate courses under this Act may enter into a contract with an organization to provide the online advanced placement courses or International Baccalaureate courses, including contracting for necessary support services.

    (g) Collecting and Reporting Requirements-

      (1) REPORT- Each eligible entity receiving a grant under this section shall collect and report to the Secretary annually such data regarding the results of the grant as the Secretary may reasonably require, including--

        (A) the number of students served by the eligible entity enrolling in advanced placement courses or International Baccalaureate courses and pre-advanced placement courses or pre-International Baccalaureate courses, disaggregated by grade level of the student, and the grades received by such students in the courses;

        (B) the number of students taking an advanced placement examination or International Baccalaureate examination and the distribution of scores on those examinations, disaggregated by the grade level of the student at the time of examination;

        (C) the number of teachers who are currently, as of the date of the report, receiving training to teach advanced placement courses or International Baccalaureate courses and will teach such courses in the next school year;

        (D) the number of teachers becoming qualified to teach advanced placement courses or International Baccalaureate courses; and

        (E) the number of qualified teachers who are teaching advanced placement courses or International Baccalaureate courses in high-need schools served by the eligible entity.

      (2) REPORTING OF DATA- Each eligible entity receiving a grant under this section shall report the data required under paragraph (1)--

        (A) disaggregated by subject area;

        (B) in the case of student data, disaggregated in the same manner as information is disaggregated under section 1111(b)(2)(C)(v) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311(b)(2)(C)(v)); and

        (C) in a manner that allows for an assessment of the effectiveness of the grant program.

    (h) Matching Requirement-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding paragraph (2), each eligible entity that receives a grant under this section shall provide toward the cost of the activities assisted under the grant, from non-Federal sources, an amount equal to 100 percent of the amount of the grant, except that an eligible entity that is a high-need local educational agency, as determined by the Secretary, shall provide an amount equal to not more than 50 percent of the amount of the grant.

      (2) WAIVER- The Secretary may waive all or part of the matching requirement described in paragraph (1) for any fiscal year for an eligible entity if the Secretary determines that applying the matching requirement to such eligible entity would result in serious hardship or an inability to carry out the authorized activities described in subsection (e).

SEC. 6. SUPPLEMENT, NOT SUPPLANT.

    Grant funds provided under this Act shall supplement, and not supplant, other non-Federal funds that are available to assist low-income students to pay for the cost of advanced placement examination fees or International Baccalaureate examination fees or to expand access to advanced placement and pre-advanced placement courses or International Baccalaureate and pre-International Baccalaureate courses.

SEC. 7. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:

      (1) IN GENERAL- Except as otherwise provided, the terms used in this Act have the meanings given the terms in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801).

      (2) ADVANCED PLACEMENT COURSE- The term `advanced placement course' means--

        (A) a course of instruction at the level of an institution of higher education, as described in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)), provided to secondary school students, terminating in an examination administered by the College Board, or another such examination approved by the Secretary; or

        (B) another highly rigorous, evidence-based, postsecondary preparatory program terminating in an examination administered by a nationally recognized educational association, as approved by the Secretary.

      (3) ADVANCED PLACEMENT EXAMINATION- The term `advanced placement examination' means an advanced placement examination administered by the College Board or approved by the Secretary.

      (4) HIGH-NEED SCHOOL- The term `high-need school' means a secondary school--

        (A) with a pervasive need for advanced placement courses or International Baccalaureate courses; and

        (B) that--

          (i) has a high concentration of low-income students; or

          (ii) is designated with a school locale code of 41, 42, or 43, as determined by the Secretary.

      (5) INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE COURSE- The term `International Baccalaureate course' means--

        (A) a course of instruction at the level of an institution of higher education, as described in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)), provided to secondary school students, terminating in an examination administered by the International Baccalaureate Organization, or another such examination approved by the Secretary; or

        (B) another highly rigorous, evidence-based, postsecondary preparatory program terminating in an examination administered by a nationally recognized educational association, as approved by the Secretary.

      (6) INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE EXAMINATION- The term `International Baccalaureate examination' means an International Baccalaureate examination administered by the International Baccalaureate Organization or approved by the Secretary.

      (7) LOW-INCOME STUDENT- The term `low-income student' means a student who is eligible for a free or reduced-price lunch under the school lunch program established under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.).

SEC. 8. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2012 and each of the 4 succeeding fiscal years.

END