Roby discusses education with Daleville High School faculty

October 26, 2011
Roby in the News
Congresswoman Martha Roby heard Daleville teachers' concerns about education and discussed flexibility in education funding and other issues when she visited a recent Daleville High School faculty meeting.

Roby serves on the Education and Workforce Committee in Congress, and she told the faculty what the committee proposed in regards to the No Child Left Behind Act.

"Instead of reauthorizing No Child Left Behind as one bill, what Chairman (John) Kline  has suggested is that we take seven different bills and take the good parts and keep them and take the bad stuff and get rid of it or change it to make it good," she said. "The very first thing we did was we voted out of committee a bill that did away with 42 duplicative federal programs."

Roby then discussed another bill aimed at broader flexibility of federal education funds.

"You may have more special education children than one of your neighboring school districts or you may have other situations that qualify you for federal funding. Right now, you have to keep those (funds) separate and if you don't use all of one too bad, you can't convert that money into use for the other," she said. "What this act does is it frees up those strings attached to that money, allowing you the school district, you the principal, the superintendent and the school board alongside your teachers to make the decisions that best suit your school."

Roby also offered her stance on judging whether a school is successful.

"I believe we ought to be looking at successes of schools based on growth models," Roby said. "Where you start and how far you've come."

Because Daleville's school system and individual schools are different from each other and those around the country, Roby said they should be held to their own measures.

"This student population, you the faculty, the parents, the community, there's not another place in the world like it," she said. "There's no reason that we ought to be comparing apples to oranges for purposes of making the decision of whether or not you're a successful school."

Asked about fine arts in schools, Roby said she supported them, and schools should have a choice in what to offer.

"I think that is the benefit of you having those dollars and getting to make that choice. It's all based on your student population and what that looks like," Roby said. "That's the point of flexibility in funding. If you have a school in a school district that has a heavily-weighted special education population, you ought to be able to use your dollars for that and not have strings attached."