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 Home > News & Policies > May 2004

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 11, 2004

Fact Sheet: No Child Left Behind Is Making a Difference for America's Children

Today's Presidential Action

Today, President Bush visited Van Buren, Arkansas to highlight the No Child Left Behind Act, which is producing real results for every child in America with an absolute commitment to closing the achievement gap so every child can receive a quality education.

President Bush has requested unprecedented funding increases for education with his overall Fiscal Year (FY) 2005 budget which represents a 49% funding increase for elementary and secondary education since FY 2001. For the first time, this funding is tied to real accountability for results, and the FY 2005 budget includes:

  • $13.3 billion in Title I funding, to support increased academic achievement for disadvantaged students, for a total that represents a 52% increase since FY 2001.
  • $11.1 billion for special education programs, in total, an increase of 75% since FY 2001.
  • $1.3 billion for reading programs, for a total that is quadruple the amount spent in FY 2001.

No Child Left Behind is Making a Difference

Closing the Achievement Gap for All Students: President Bush signed No Child Left Behind (NCLB) into law to ensure that all students become proficient at reading and math and to close the achievement gap that exists between students of different socio-economic backgrounds. Using unique state-designed accountability plans, schools are measuring the progress of student achievement, keeping parents informed of student and school progress, identifying schools in need of improvement, and providing support for these schools and districts.

  • In January 2001, only 11 states were in full compliance with previous Federal education accountability standards. With the President's unwavering commitment to education, by June 2003, all 50 states had approved accountability plans under NCLB to ensure that students become proficient in reading and math.
  • NCLB has already begun to make a difference for students, teachers, and administrators across the United States. Math scores have increased by 9 points for fourth-graders and 5 points for eighth-graders since the 2000 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP). Low-income fourth-graders have improved even more dramatically on the NAEP, with an increase of 14 points.
  • According to a study released in March 2004 by the Council of Great City Schools, the achievement gap in both reading and math in urban schools between African-Americans and whites, and Hispanics and whites, is narrowing. The report shows that all children can learn if given the chance.

Reading is the Key to Success: President Bush believes reading is the cornerstone of a good education. So the President proposed and signed into law the Reading First and Early Reading First initiatives, the largest Federal reading programs, to ensure that every child learns to read by the third grade. These programs promote scientifically-based reading instruction programs that are proven to work for every child.

  • All 50 States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa and the Bureau of Indian Affairs are participating in Reading First to ensure that every child is reading on grade level by the end of the third grade. Reading First funds also provide training to tens of thousands of teachers. Already, states have received over $1.8 billion in Reading First grants as part of the President's five-year, $5 billion initiative.
  • Reading First is improving reading instruction and raising student achievement for more than 1.2 million students in kindergarten through third grade. Effective early reading instruction can prevent the difficulties that too many American students, especially disadvantaged students, now face. Progress in reading programs is closely monitored to provide immediate intervention and prevent students from falling behind.
  • President Bush supports America's teachers through Reading First by providing professional development to more than 73,000 kindergarten through third grade teachers. This training ensures that teachers, including special education teachers, have the skills they need to teach reading and monitor student progress.