Text: H.R.6174 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)

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Introduced in House (09/22/2010)

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[Congressional Bills 111th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 6174 Introduced in House (IH)]

  2d Session
                                H. R. 6174

   To direct the Secretary of Education to award grants to eligible 
 entities to establish or expand linked learning pathways and a system 
                  of pathways, and for other purposes.



                           September 22, 2010

    Ms. Chu (for herself and Ms. Lee of California) introduced the 
 following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and 


                                 A BILL

   To direct the Secretary of Education to award grants to eligible 
 entities to establish or expand linked learning pathways and a system 
                  of pathways, and for other purposes.

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


    This Act may be cited as the ``Linked Learning Pathways Affording 
College and Career Success Act''.


    The Congress finds the following:
            (1) Sixty-nine percent of students who drop out of high 
        school say that they were not engaged in their high school 
        curriculum or experience.
            (2) Too many high school graduates are not prepared for the 
        rigor of post-secondary education or training and 40 percent of 
        high school seniors who enrolled in post-secondary education in 
        2006 had to take remedial courses.
            (3) High schools need to transform to better serve the 
        needs and interests of a diverse student population.
            (4) Linked learning is an educational reform model that 
        operates in smaller learning communities, career academies, 
        themed high schools, regional occupational partnerships, and 
        other educational contexts.
            (5) Linked learning pathways have been used effectively to 
        expose students, especially disadvantaged students, to 
        opportunities in a variety of high pay, high growth, or high 
        skill industries, including healthcare, science, technology, 
        engineering, mathematics, the arts, law, and government.
            (6) Research on career academies, one linked learning 
        approach, demonstrates an 11 percent decrease in student drop 
        out rates.
            (7) Research demonstrates that students exposed to a 
        combination of academic and career related curriculum that 
        connects classroom learning to relevant experiences earned 18 
        percent more over a 4-year period after high school graduation.
            (8) Strong intermediaries help to create lasting 
        partnerships between schools and external stakeholders, and 
        these partnerships are crucial to student success in a linked 
        learning approach.
            (9) Evidence on the effectiveness of career academies 
        indicates that benefits occur--
                    (A) when students are scheduled to take a set of 
                classes together each year, including at least two core 
                academic classes and a career and technical education 
                class related to the academy theme; and
                    (B) when teachers work as a team to integrate 
                instruction across subjects and share responsibility 
                for students for at least two years.


    The purposes of this Act are the following:
            (1) To provide high school students with engaging, 
        challenging, and meaningful secondary school pathways that 
        integrate academic studies with practical career-focused 
            (2) To increase the number of students who graduate from 
        high school who are well prepared to pursue the full range of 
        post-secondary education choices, including 4-year college, 2-
        year college, apprenticeship, military, technical training, and 
        meaningful careers.
            (3) To provide students with high quality public education 
        options aligned with expectations in high pay, high growth, or 
        high skill industries through a system of linked learning 
            (4) To turn low-performing schools around and provide 
        students at these schools with a well rounded education.
            (5) To prepare students for life-long citizenship.


    For purposes of this Act:
     (a) Eligible Entity.--The term ``eligible entity'' means a local 
educational agency partnered with a qualified intermediary and at least 
one stakeholder from 3 of the following categories, and may include 
other stakeholders:
            (1) A post-secondary education institution.
            (2) A business or industry group in a high pay, high 
        growth, or high skill industry.
            (3) A community based organization.
            (4) A union or trade association.
            (5) A parent organization.
    (b) High Pay, High Growth, or High Skill Industry.--The term ``high 
pay, high growth, or high skill industry'' means an industry identified 
by the eligible entity and approved by the Secretary in consultation 
with the Secretary of Labor that--
            (1) has a significant current or potential impact on the 
        regional economy;
            (2) brings net dollars into a region or is critical to 
        attracting and sustaining businesses within the region;
            (3) stimulates the growth of other supporting businesses, 
        or the growth of other industries or economic sectors within 
        the region;
            (4) provides workers with competitive and family-supporting 
        wages and benefits that increase the strength and vitality of 
        the entire regional economy; and
            (5) provides opportunities for career advancement.
    (c) Linked Learning Pathways.--The term ``linked learning 
pathways'' means comprehensive, multi-year high school programs of 
study that integrate--
            (1) a rigorous academic core aligned with entrance 
        requirements for public colleges and universities in the State;
            (2) a career and technical education component organized 
        around themes in a high pay, high growth, or high skill 
        industry or industry sector;
            (3) a work-based learning component; and
            (4) supplemental services.
    (d) System of Pathways.--The term ``system of pathways'' means a 
district-wide strategy that provides students with a menu of options to 
participate in linked learning pathways.
    (e) Qualified Intermediary.--The term ``qualified intermediary'' 
means an entity that has demonstrated expertise to build, sustain, and 
measure partnerships with entities such as employers, schools, 
community-based organizations, post-secondary education institutions, 
social service organizations, economic development organizations, and 
workforce systems, to broker services, resources, and supports to youth 
and the organizations and systems that are designed to serve them, 
including connecting employers to classrooms, designing and 
implementing linked learning pathways, developing curricula, delivering 
professional development, and connecting students to internships and 
other work-based learning opportunities.
    (f) Graduation Rate.--The term ``graduation rate'' has the meaning 
given the term in section 1111(b)(2)(C)(vi) of the Elementary and 
Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311(b)(2)(C)(vi)), as 
clarified in section 200.19 of title 34, Code of Federal Regulations.
    (g) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 


    (a) In General.--The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary 
of Labor, and if appropriate other Federal agencies, shall award 
competitive grants to eligible entities to establish or expand linked 
learning pathways and a system of pathways.
    (b) Duration.--Each grant awarded shall be for a minimum of a 3-
year period and a maximum of a 5-year period and may be renewed based 
on performance and relative financial need as determined by the 
    (c) Priority.--The Secretary shall give priority to applications 
from eligible entities with plans to accomplish at least 3 of the 
            (1) Serve students who attend persistently low-performing 
        secondary schools with graduation rates below 60 percent and 
        high concentrations of economically disadvantaged students.
            (2) Offer multiple linked learning pathways.
            (3) Encourage students to seek careers in fields in which 
        the student's gender, race, or ethnicity is under-represented, 
        including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics 
            (4) Increase high school completion levels and post-
        secondary education enrollment levels for traditionally under-
        represented students.
            (5) Reduce the academic achievement gap.
            (6) Utilize research-based practices to implement linked 
        learning pathways.
    (d) Matching Requirement.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary shall require each recipient 
        of a grant under this Act to provide matching funds from non-
        Federal sources, including funding from the State, in an amount 
        determined under paragraph (2).
            (2) Determination of the amount of match.--
                    (A) Sliding scale.--Subject to subparagraph (B), 
                the Secretary shall determine the amount of matching 
                funds to require from a grantee based on a sliding fee 
                scale that takes into account--
                            (i) the relative poverty of the population 
                        that the grantee targets; and
                            (ii) the ability of the grantee to obtain 
                        such matching funds.
                    (B) Maximum amount.--The Secretary may not require 
                any grantee to provide matching funds in an amount that 
                exceeds the amount of the grant award.
            (3) In-kind contributions.--The Secretary shall permit 
        grantees to match funds in whole or in part with in-kind 
            (4) Consideration.--Notwithstanding this subsection, the 
        Secretary shall not consider an applicant's ability to match 
        funds when determining which applicants will receive grants 
        under this Act.
            (5) Waiver.--The Secretary may waive the matching 
        requirement under this subsection for eligible entities 
        demonstrating financial hardship.


    Each eligible entity that desires to receive a grant under this Act 
shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such 
manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may reasonably 
require, including the following:
            (1) The quantifiable goals that the eligible entity intends 
        to achieve through the implementation of linked learning 
        pathways and a system of pathways, and a description of the 
        measures of performance for those goals.
            (2) A needs and resources assessment, including--
                    (A) an assessment of relevant district and school 
                board policies;
                    (B) a demonstration of support from stakeholders;
                    (C) the demographic makeup of the student body to 
                be served;
                    (D) student academic performance, graduation, and 
                college attendance data;
                    (E) information on high pay, high growth, or high 
                skill industries and job sectors in the district and 
                surrounding region; and
                    (F) the industry and community partnership 
                opportunities that can be leveraged to implement the 
                linked learning pathways and the system of pathways to 
                improve academic achievement and graduation rates.
            (3) A plan for how the eligible entity will implement the 
        linked learning pathways and the system of pathways, including 
        the following:
                    (A) A description of the partnerships that are in 
                place or that the eligible entity will develop to 
                provide necessary support services to students, 
                including partnerships with--
                            (i) high pay, high growth, or high skill 
                        industries and other business groups;
                            (ii) post-secondary education institutions 
                        and apprenticeship programs;
                            (iii) partnerships with qualified 
                            (iv) community-based organizations and 
                        educators who are equipped to provide necessary 
                        support services to students; and
                            (v) other stakeholders, which may include 
                        stakeholders such as parent groups, organized 
                        labor groups, workforce investment boards, and 
                        community-based organizations.
                    (B) Information about the internal capacity of the 
                eligible entity and its specific plans to implement 
                linked learning pathways and a system of pathways, 
                            (i) a description of the capacity of 
                        facilities the eligible entity plans to use;
                            (ii) an outreach strategy to inform 
                        parents, students, and community members about 
                        the opportunities and activities that will be 
                        available to students through grants under this 
                            (iii) a plan to facilitate effective middle 
                        to high school transitions for participating 
                            (iv) a plan to ensure rigorous academics, 
                        the career and technical education theme of the 
                        Linked Learning pathway, and subsequent work 
                        based learning opportunities are meaningfully 
                        and coherently integrated as part of each 
                        participating student's experience;
                            (v) a plan to ensure that students receive 
                        personalized and coherent learning experiences 
                        through activities such as facilitating smaller 
                        learning communities, cohort scheduling, and 
                        professional learning communities among staff 
                        that encourages frequent and effective 
                        collaboration for purposes of program 
                        coordination, curricular integration, and 
                        resolution of student problems;
                            (vi) budgeting, governance, curriculum, and 
                        scheduling autonomies that the eligible entity 
                        will grant to participating schools to ensure 
                        that linked learning pathways will meet 
                        individual student needs and reduce or 
                        eliminate barriers to effective implementation;
                            (vii) a plan to assign students to a high 
                        school with a career or thematic focus that, if 
                        possible, matches the linked learning pathway 
                        of their choice;
                            (viii) the means by which the eligible 
                        entity will encourage and support diverse 
                        learners and students with disabilities, 
                        including students with limited English 
                        proficiency, to participate in the 
                        opportunities and activities funded under this 
                            (ix) a plan to ensure that the eligible 
                        entity will not use the linked learning 
                        pathways and the system of pathways to track 
                        students into specific career themes or job 
                        placements and that various linked learning 
                        pathways that the eligible entity provides to 
                        students are of comparable rigor;
                            (x) a plan to address the staffing needs of 
                        the eligible entity, including a plan to hire 
                        teachers and staff with specialized skills, if 
                        needed, and to provide professional development 
                        and technical assistance;
                            (xi) a plan for sustainability, including 
                        plans to leverage non-Federal funding 
                        (including in-kind resources) to ensure 
                        continuing implementation of linked learning 
                        pathways and the system of pathways once the 
                        eligible entity exhausts federal funds;
                            (xii) a plan to create an advisory group or 
                        reconstitute an existing advisory group that 
                        meets not less than once per quarter and 
                        includes district personnel, members of 
                        teachers' unions, school staff, industry 
                        partners, community partners, post secondary 
                        partners, parents, students, and others 
                        identified by the Secretary; and
                            (xiii) a plan to measure the progress of 
                        students in each linked learning pathway and 
                        compare their progress with the progress of 
                        other students using longitudinal data on 
                        individual student outcomes.
                    (C) A description of how grants awarded under this 
                Act will compliment, reinforce, and not duplicate 
                existing efforts, including--
                            (i) a description of how the eligible 
                        entity will leverage, coordinate, and integrate 
                        Federal, State, and local private and public 
                        funds to implement linked learning pathways and 
                        the system of pathways; and
                            (ii) a description of how a grant under 
                        this Act strengthens, leverages, does not 
                        duplicate, and aligns with efforts in the 
                        community that the eligible entity serves that 
                        are funded under the Workforce Investment Act 
                        of 1998, the Carl D. Perkins Career and 
                        Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006, 
                        and the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
                    (D) A description of how funds will facilitate a 
                systemic approach to meet the comprehensive needs of 
                students in order to facilitate students' success in 
                college, in their careers, and as citizens.


    Any student who attends a secondary school served by a local 
educational agency, including any student who attends a charter school, 
is eligible to participate in the linked learning pathways and the 
system of pathways funded under this Act that are available in the 
student's school district.


    (a) Required Activities.--The eligible entity shall use grants 
awarded under this Act for the following:
            (1) The eligible entity shall provide the planning time and 
        resources necessary to design the linked learning pathways and 
        the system of pathways.
            (2) To facilitate high quality teaching and learning 
        experiences to ensure that students have access to linked 
        learning pathways, the eligible entity shall implement--
                    (A) a multidisciplinary and integrated curriculum, 
                curriculum mapping, and curriculum alignment;
                    (B) professional development for teachers, school 
                leaders, and staff, such as project based learning, 
                interdisciplinary teaching and curriculum development, 
                integration of career and technical education and 
                thematic components with rigorous academic curricula 
                and instruction, master scheduling, and interacting 
                with and leveraging community and industry 
                    (C) technological support, including investments in 
                data systems, performance based assessments to monitor 
                and evaluate student progress, and investments in 
                equipment and technology either relevant to a specific 
                pathway or used to assign students to a pathway; and
                    (D) activities that support effective 
                implementation of Linked Learning pathways, such as 
                common planning time, teacher release time, induction, 
                and externships.
            (3) To connect students to quality work-based learning 
        opportunities, the eligible entity shall--
                    (A) develop coordinated, sequenced, and scaled 
                work-based learning opportunities for students that are 
                integrated with academic and technical coursework, 
                which may include opportunities such as semester-long 
                service-learning projects, mentorships, job shadowing, 
                school enterprises, internships, and virtual 
                    (B) facilitate capacity building activities, which 
                may include activities such as hiring full or part time 
                district or school work-based learning coordinators to 
                provide needed outreach to industry and community 
                partners in order to encourage active community and 
                business involvement in school and work-based learning 
                activities or using funds to support such outreach with 
                existing staff and existing staff scheduling; and
                    (C) provide technical assistance to employers to 
                help them design work-based learning opportunities.
            (4) To ensure students have access to supplemental support 
        services as part of linked learning pathways, the eligible 
        entity shall facilitate the development of--
                    (A) academic intervention;
                    (B) student supports, which may include supports 
                such as health services, mental health services, child 
                care, substance abuse treatment and prevention, 
                housing, and other services to meet students' 
                comprehensive needs;
                    (C) transportation to linked learning pathway 
                associated activities; and
                    (D) post-secondary education and career counseling.
    (b) Allowable Activities.--The eligible entity may use grants 
awarded under this Act for the following:
            (1) Activities designed to begin and sustain reforms by--
                    (A) providing students, employers, community based 
                organizations, and other partners with outreach and 
                recruitment activities;
                    (B) building a broad based coalition; and
                    (C) facilitating online and distance learning.
            (2) Activities designed to leverage innovative ways to 
        expand and enhance learning time, including--
                    (A) after school programs;
                    (B) extended day;
                    (C) applied learning opportunities both in and 
                outside of school time;
                    (D) short-term service learning projects and other 
                project-based learning;
                    (E) paid year-round and summer work opportunities; 
                    (F) summertime opportunities that help over-aged 
                and under-credited students catch up and re-engage in 
                their education.
            (3) Other activities that the Secretary approves to 
        implement the linked learning pathways and the system of 


    (a) Annual Report.--An eligible entity that receives a grant under 
this Act shall submit an annual report to the Secretary at such time, 
in such manner, and providing such information as the Secretary may 
reasonably require, including--
            (1) characteristics of the eligible entity;
            (2) information about the system of pathways created, 
        including leveraging of existing dollars and resources;
            (3) the number of linked learning pathways created;
            (4) the services and supports provided;
            (5) data about student participation in work-based 
        learning, service-learning, project-based learning, and other 
        applied learning opportunities; and
            (6) the educational and career related outcomes resulting 
        from the activities funded under this Act, including--
                    (A) student academic achievement;
                    (B) student attendance;
                    (C) graduation rates;
                    (D) college attendance rates;
                    (E) success levels on performance-based tasks that 
                demonstrate preparation for careers in high pay, high 
                growth, or high skill industries; and
                    (F) progress of students in each linked learning 
                pathway compared to other students in the district.
    (b) Evaluation.--The Secretary shall provide for an independent 
evaluation of the grants awarded under this Act that shall--
            (1) include an analysis and documentation of the strategies 
        implemented and the key lessons learned related to program 
        design, systems coordination, and implementation;
            (2) measure the outcomes and progress of the strategies 
        implemented, including student enrollment in various school 
        settings, academic gains (including literacy and numeracy gains 
        as well as results on performance based assessments), academic 
        and employment credentials earned, job and college placement, 
        wages, and job and college retention over 2 years; and
            (3) document the incremental progress of students over time 
        based on the measures in paragraph (2).


    The Secretary shall provide technical assistance to an eligible 
entity that receives a grant under this Act if the Secretary determines 
that such assistance is needed.


    The Secretary shall determine and disseminate best practices that 
emerge to support linked learning pathways to ensure that all high 
schools are aware of the program and the opportunities it provides to 
students to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in post-
secondary education, careers, and as citizens.


    (a) In General.--There are authorized to be appropriated to carry 
out this Act--
            (1) $100,000,000 for fiscal year 2011; and
            (2) such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 
        2012 through 2015.
    (b) Allocation.--Of the amounts appropriated to carry out this Act 
for each fiscal year, the Secretary shall use--
            (1) 90 percent for grants to eligible entities; and
            (2) 10 percent for--
                    (A) the evaluation of grants described in section 
                    (B) the technical assistance described in section 
                10; and
                    (C) the evaluation and dissemination of best 
                practices described in section 11.