Education has always been a fundamental part of achieving the American Dream. An educated citizen is more likely to hold a good job, escape poverty, own a home, start a business, be free from crime, and participate in America's democracy.
During the President's first week in office, he submitted a plan to reform our Nation's elementary and secondary schools to ensure that all children are proficient in reading and math by the 2013-14 school year. Passed by Congress with overwhelming bipartisan majorities and signed into law by President Bush, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) represents the most important Federal education reform in a generation. This law insists that testing, accountability, and high standards will join with record new funding to help ensure educational excellence for every child. And our Nation is seeing progress, especially in the early grades.
More Needs to Be Done: President Bush knows that more needs to be done to prepare our students for the future. The President's new education proposals build on his first successful reforms by:
Ensuring every high school student graduates with the skills needed to succeed in college and a globally competitive workforce. For 2006, President Bush proposed to increase funding for his Striving Readers program to $200 million annually, and to establish a $200 million fund for states to encourage schools to develop performance plans for entering high school students. To ensure that high school diplomas are truly meaningful, President Bush proposed requiring state assessments in grades three through eleven - and he will support this effort with $250 million in annual funding. To strengthen online educational opportunities, he is creating an eLearning Clearinghouse of online courses available to students and adults. To reward teachers who demonstrate success in preparing their students through increases in student achievement, he proposed a $500 million incentive fund for states and school districts.
Ensuring every adult can access the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the workplace. The President proposed establishing a new $125 million Community College Access Grants Fund to improve the services that community colleges provide and encourage high school students to continue on to college, especially for low-income and minority students. To make worker training more affordable, the President proposed to make loans available to help workers pay for short-term training that leads to an industry-recognized credential or certificate. And, the President's plan would increase post-secondary education options and eliminate needless student aid restrictions - particularly for adult students - giving them greater access to the skills they need to succeed.
Ensuring high-quality education opportunities so every child begins school ready to succeed. President Bush will expand efforts to strengthen early childhood education, including Head Start.
Record of Results: Since 2001, President Bush has worked tirelessly to improve education.
No Child Left Behind: A Record of Accomplishment
President Bush believes a high-quality education is fundamental to achieving the American Dream. The President signed the No Child Left Behind Act into law to ensure that all students become proficient in reading and math and to close the achievement gap that exists between students of different socio-economic backgrounds. Schools in states across the country are already making progress as achievement for African-American and Hispanic students is on the rise. President Bush has requested unprecedented funding increases for education with his overall FY 2005 budget which represents a 49% funding increase for elementary and secondary education since FY 2001. The President has increased Title I funding for America's low-income, public schools by 52 percent since 2001, including his FY 2005 request, and has requested a 75 percent increase in funding for special education since 2001. The goals of No Child Left Behind include:
Ensuring Funding and Flexibility for Schools to Improve
Giving Parents Options
Supporting Teachers including extra incentives for effective teachers
Reading First is the Key to Success
No Child Left Behind: High-Quality, High School Initiatives
While the No Child Left Behind Act is setting high standards and increasing student achievement for schools across America, the President believes there is more to be done to improve our Nation's high schools to prepare our students for the jobs and opportunities of the 21st century. The President's high school initiatives include:
Better Preparation for High School
Better Assessments with New High School Tests
Striving Readers Initiative
Mathematics and Science Partnership Program
Improved Advanced Placement
Adjunct Teacher Corps: Bringing Experience into the Classroom
Rigorous Courses with the State Scholars Program
Strengthening and Modernizing Support for Vocational Education
Assessing Whether High Schools Are Producing Educated Graduates
More On-line Opportunities with the eLearning Clearinghouse
Skills for the 21st Century: Better Training for Better Jobs
The President believes that America has the finest system of higher education in the world with a wide and diverse range of options available. Yet, there is a significant shortage of workers with the post-secondary education and training they need to be successful. The President's higher education proposals include:
Community College Access Grants
Opportunities for Life-Long Learning with new loans to pay for short-term training; increased flexibility in federal student aid programs; and year-round Pell Grants for low-income students
Enhanced Pell Grants
Increased funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic-Serving Institutions
Presidential Math and Science Scholars Fund
Doubling the Number of Workers Receiving Job Training
Expanded National Community Service
Community-Based Job Training Grants
Better Adult Literacy Tools
Good Start, Grow Smart: Strengthening Early Learning
The President believes that Head Start is an important opportunity to prepare low-income and disadvantaged children to enter school ready to learn and has worked to strengthen the program. The goals of the President's Good Start, Grow Smart initiative are:
Strengthening Head Start
Partnering with states to improve early childhood learning, and
Providing parents, teachers and caregivers with information on early learning.
"We want America to be promising for every single child of every background so that not one single child in America is left behind."
President George W. Bush
(May 11, 2004)
In January 2001, only 11 states were in full compliance with previous Federal education accountability standards. So, President Bush called for significant reforms to K-12 education through No Child Left Behind to set high standards and produce real results for every child in America. President Bush signed into law the No Child Left Behind Act to help the youngest Americans receive a quality education and learn the basic skills they need to succeed in the future. No Child Left Behind is providing increased funding for education, closing the achievement gap that exists between students of different socio-economic backgrounds, and providing more information and better options for parents.
All skills begin with the basics of reading and math, which should be learned in the early grades in America's schools. Yet for too long and for too many children, those skills were never mastered. With the bipartisan No Child Left Behind Act, America is making progress toward educational excellence for every child.
The President's Accomplishments:
Requiring Accountability to Measure Progress
President Bush, working closely with Republicans and Democrats, achieved significant and historic education reform with the No Child Left Behind Act, which promotes student achievement, accountability, and greater choices for parents.
All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have accountability plans for measuring progress in educating America's children. 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 using funding and support provided by the Federal government for these schools and districts.
For the first time, children in grades 3-8 will be tested every year on basic reading and math skills to measure their progress and keep them on grade level.
Annual test results are now published so parents can measure school performance and statewide progress, and evaluate the quality of their child's school, the qualifications of teachers, and student progress in key subjects.
Statewide reports reveal progress for all student groups, not just an average of scores.
Increased Funding and Flexibility to Improve Schools
With President Bush's budget requests, including his FY 2005 request, elementary and secondary education funding has increased by $12 billion - an increase of 49 percent since 2001.
Title I funding to America's public schools serving low-income students has increased by 52 percent since 2001, with the President's FY 2005 budget request.
President Bush has requested a 75 percent increase in funding for special education since 2001.
Funding for federal reading programs has quadrupled under the President's 2005 budget.
Giving Parents Options
No Child Left Behind expands options for parents with children in chronically under-performing schools. President Bush believes that no child should be forced to stay in a bad school. Now, with No Child Left Behind, parents can choose to send their children to a better-performing public or charter school.
For the first time, Title I funds from the Federal government are required to be used to provide supplemental educational services - including tutoring, after school services, and summer school programs - for children in under-performing and low-income schools.
Parents, educators, and community leaders have far more opportunities than ever before to open charter schools to serve the needs of the local community.
The President's Administration worked with the U.S. Congress to pass the D.C. School Choice program, providing scholarships to low-income students in Washington, D.C., to expand their options for education, including local private schools.
A well-prepared teacher is vitally important to a child's education, and No Child Left Behind helps ensure that students are taught by highly qualified teachers. NCLB requires states to develop a plan that will ensure that all teachers of core academic subjects are highly qualified by the end of the 2005-06 school year. The President's FY 2005 budget includes more than $5 billion in funding to support teachers - an increase of 61 percent since 2001.
Expanded Tax Relief for Teachers. As a result of the President's tax relief package signed into law in 2002, teachers were able to take a $250 tax deduction for out-of-pocket expenses in the classroom in the 2002 and 2003 tax years. The President's FY 2005 budget proposes to make this deduction permanent and to increase the deduction to $400.
Innovative Pathways to Teaching. President Bush has provided unprecedented support for innovative programs to recruit new teachers into the teaching profession, including the Troops to Teachers program with $14.9 million in funding in the President's FY 2005 budget, Transition to Teaching Program with $45.3 million in funding in FY 2005, and Teach for America with $4 million in funding in FY 2005.
Funding for Teacher Training. No Child Left Behind provides billions of dollars in funding for teacher training and gives teachers the skills and knowledge they need in the classroom to raise student achievement, including:
Improving Teacher Quality. No Child Left Behind makes Title II Teacher Quality funds available specifically to support teachers and improve teaching and learning. Title II Teacher Quality funding gives states and school districts the flexibility to improve teacher quality through recruitment, hiring, training, and retention activities. President Bush has requested $2.9 billion in funding in Fiscal Year 2005, a 39 percent increase in funding since 2001.
Teacher Training to Put Reading First. President Bush has also provided substantial funding for the Reading First program, with funding increasing from $286 million in FY 2001 to a proposed level of $1.1 billion in FY 2005. School districts are using this funding to implement proven, scientifically-based reading programs to have all students reading on grade level by the end of the third grade. Much of this Reading First funding goes for teacher training. So far, over 75,000 teachers across the country have been trained to use proven reading practices.
On-line Resources for Teachers. The U.S. Department of Education sponsors the Web site www.teacherquality.us. It includes links to information on improving teaching and learning from many successful state and district initiatives around the Nation, along with other information specifically designed for classroom teachers.
Teacher Protection Act. No Child Left Behind helps ensure that teachers, principals, and other school professionals can maintain order and discipline in the classroom without the fear of lawsuits. NCLB provides protection to teachers, instructors, principals, administrators, and other education professionals for reasonable actions taken to maintain discipline, order or control in the school or classroom.
Reading First 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. The Reading First program has already provided more than $2.5 billion to train over 75,000 teachers in effective reading instruction.
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.
Reading First is improving reading instruction and raising student achievement for more than 1.4 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 75,000 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.
The President's New Education Proposals for Teachers:
"Teaching is one of the great callings, one of the most noble professions, and America deeply appreciates the service of America's teachers."
President George W. Bush
(May 11, 2004)
Incentives for Effective Teachers
President Bush understands and appreciates the hard work of our Nation's teachers. The President proposed a $500 million Teacher Incentive Fund beginning in FY 2006 for states and school districts that choose to reward effective teachers. The Fund would serve two goals: rewarding effective teachers teaching in schools most in need; and rewarding effective teachers in schools that are top performers in closing the achievement gap and are meeting the annual targets of the No Child Left Behind Act. This Teacher Incentive Fund would provide a $5,000 award to approximately 100,000 teachers across the country. The President's Teacher Incentive Fund will:
Reward teachers and schools making great progress in closing the achievement gap that exists between students of different socio-economic backgrounds. States would receive funding to design and implement rewards for schools and teachers that have made the most significant progress in meeting adequate yearly progress and closing the achievement gap under NCLB.
Reward effective teachers who are successful at raising student achievement and producing real results for all children. School districts would be able to design programs to individually and fairly assess and reward teachers based on growth in student achievement in the classroom.
Provide incentives for the most effective teachers who choose to teach in low-income schools. Grants could also be used to give stipends to effective teachers who agree to teach in low-income schools, which will assist states in carrying out the NCLB requirement to ensure that low-income and minority students are taught by highly qualified teachers.
These grants will not only give states and districts a way to reward effective teachers, but states and districts could also use this information to identify particular strengths and weaknesses and provide the appropriate professional development in needed areas.
Well-trained Teachers for Advanced Placement. President Bush has proposed a $28 million increase for the Advanced Placement program authorized in the No Child Left Behind Act, bringing spending to nearly $52 million in FY 2005. The increase in funding will help ensure that teachers in low-income schools are well-trained to teach Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses. The President's support for Advanced Placement programs will not only encourage the growth of AP and IB courses, but also serve as a mechanism for upgrading the entire high school curriculum for all students.
Strengthening Instruction with the Adjunct Teacher Corps. The President has proposed a new $40 million initiative in FY 2005 to create the Adjunct Teacher Corps. The Adjunct Teacher Corps would provide opportunities for professionals to teach middle and high school courses in the core academic subjects, particularly in mathematics and science, by providing competitive grants for school district partnerships with public-private institutions. Many school districts need personnel to strengthen instruction in middle and high schools in the core academic subjects, especially mathematics and science. The Adjunct Teacher Corps would help alleviate this critical situation by bringing professionals with subject-matter knowledge and experience into the classroom.
Loan Forgiveness for Teachers. President Bush has proposed expanded loan forgiveness, from $5,000 to $17,500, for highly qualified math, science, and special education teachers who teach in low-income schools.
NCLB has already begun to make a difference for students, parents, teachers, and administrators across the United States. Every state that has released results this year has reported progress in one or more areas. More results include:
Urban Schools. According to a study released in March by the Council of Great City Schools, the achievement gap between African Americans and whites, and Hispanics and whites, is narrowing in both reading and math in urban schools. Between the 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 school years (the first year NCLB was in effect), the percentage of urban 4th graders scoring at or above proficiency levels on their respective state reading tests increased 4.9 percentage points. The percentage of urban 4th graders scoring at or above proficiency levels on their respective state math tests increased 6.8 percentage points.
Chicago, IL. In an April, 2004, Chicago Sun-Times analysis, Chicago, Illinois public school children who transferred from schools in need of improvement to higher performing schools under NCLB showed substantial improvements in reading and math scores. These transfer students averaged eight percent greater gains in reading and math than the national average - compared to their achievement the previous year at their original school where their gains were 24 percent less in reading and 17 percent less in math than the national average.
Maryland. The percentage of African-American third graders scoring in the proficient range on state tests in reading increased 16 points in one year in the state of Maryland. The percentage of Hispanic fifth-graders scoring in the proficient range in math increased nearly 10 points in one year.
Wisconsin. The number of schools identified as needing improvement in the state of Wisconsin decreased from 68 schools last year to 54 schools this year. Twenty-eight schools left the school improvement list because they met annual state performance objectives for two straight years.
Pennsylvania. In 2004, the percentage of schools making adequate yearly progress in Pennsylvania was 81 percent, up from 61 percent in 2003.
Georgia. The state of Georgia has seen a closing of the achievement gap in its third grade reading scores. In 2002, there was a 13-point difference between the percentage of African American and white students meeting standards. In 2004, the gap was reduced to only eight points. In addition, Hispanic students narrowed the gap by four points with their white classmates. In addition, the percentage of schools making adequate yearly progress this past school year in Georgia increased from 64 percent in 2003 to 78 percent in 2004. A total of 278 schools came off of the school improvement list this year.
New Mexico. Fourth- and eighth-grade students made substantial increases in reading and math in the state of New Mexico. In 4th grade, student proficiency in math increased by five percent, and reading proficiency increased by four percent. In 8th grade, reading proficiency increased by six percent and math proficiency increased by three percent.
North Carolina. In 2004, the percentage of schools making adequate yearly progress under NCLB in the state of North Carolina was 70 percent, up from 47 percent last year.
Massachusetts. The percentage of African American, Asian, and Hispanic students performing at proficient or advanced in Language arts increased in all tested grades (3, 4, 7, and 10) in the state of Massachusetts.
California. The percentage of schools making AYP in California was 64 percent, up from 54 percent last year.
West Virginia. The percentage of schools making AYP in West Virginia was 71 percent, up from 60 percent last year.
Delaware. The percentage of schools making AYP in Delaware increased from 44 percent last year to 74 percent this year.
No Child Left Behind is already beginning to show results in elementary reading and math scores, but President Bush also wants to ensure that all high school students will be better prepared to enter higher education or the workforce. Unfortunately, recent results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) demonstrate that, while achievement for our Nation's fourth- and eighth-graders is on the rise, scores for twelfth-graders have declined in both reading and mathematics. In addition, today's middle and high school students did not have the chance to benefit from the reforms of the No Child Left Behind Act in elementary school, and many of these students need additional help to graduate from high school and enter college or the workforce prepared to succeed. Statistics show:
Students who fall behind in reading have a greater chance of dropping out of high school altogether. Nationally, of 100 ninth-graders, only 68 will graduate from high school on time, only 40 will directly enter college, only 27 are still enrolled in college their sophomore year, and only 18 will end up graduating from college. The rates for minority students are even lower. Of 100 African-American ninth-graders, only 49 will graduate from high school on time, only 27 will directly enter college, and only 9 will end up graduating from college.
Only 24 states require at least three years of math to graduate from high school, and only 21 states require at least three years of science.
According to the College Board, only 60 percent of high schools offer at least one Advanced Placement course.
According to the American Diploma Project, 73 percent of employers rate high school graduates' writing, grammar, and spelling skills as "fair" or "poor"; 63 percent rate their basic math skills as "fair" or "poor." College professors give very similar ratings.
The President's New High School Initiatives:
President Bush's proposals will help to ensure that every high school student graduates with the skills needed to succeed in college and a globally competitive workforce. Proposals include:
Better Preparation for High School. President Bush proposed to establish a $200 million fund in FY 2006 for states to encourage schools, with the input of parents, to use 8th grade test data to develop performance plans for entering high school students. The proposal also utilizes computer technology by requiring periodic classroom-based assessment of individual students. Research shows that providing teachers with weekly information on the performance of individual students, with computer-generated suggestions on what to teach, what to review, and specific lessons for remedial work, is effective in accelerating student achievement and ensuring that students do not fall behind during an individual school year.
"Putting money into a system that believes in the worth of every child and is focused on results is money well spent."
President George W. Bush
(January 8, 2004)
Better Assessments with New High School Tests. The No Child Left Behind Act requires assessments in grades three through eight and once in high school to determine if a student needs assistance in early grades. To ensure that high school diplomas are truly meaningful, President Bush proposed requiring two additional state assessments in grades nine through eleven, so that students are assessed in grades three through eleven. This proposal would require states to phase in the assessments in high school over several years, and Federal funding would cover the costs of these new assessments with $250 million in annual funding beginning in FY 2006.
Striving Readers Initiative. The President has proposed a $100 million Striving Readers Initiative in FY 2005 making available competitive grants to develop, implement, and evaluate effective reading interventions for middle or high school students reading significantly below grade level, and the President has pledged to increase total funding to $200 million in FY 2006. This program complements the President's Reading First state grants program, which provides comprehensive, scientifically based reading instruction for children in kindergarten through third grade. The proposal provides funds to approximately 100 to 200 school districts for reading intervention programs to help middle and high school students catch up to their peers in reading.
Mathematics and Science Partnership Program. The President has proposed a $120 million increase in FY 2005, for a total of $269 million, for the Mathematics and Science Partnership program authorized in the No Child Left Behind Act. The increase supports direct, Federal competitive grants to partnerships to increase achievement in mathematics for secondary students. The new 3-year competitive grants would support projects that have significant potential to accelerate the mathematics achievement of all secondary students, but especially low-achieving students. The program would focus on ensuring that states and school districts implement professional development projects for mathematics teachers that are strongly grounded in research and that help mathematics teachers strengthen their skills.
Advanced Placement. President Bush has proposed a $28 million increase in FY 2005 for the Advanced Placement program authorized in the No Child Left Behind Act, bringing spending to nearly $52 million per year. The increase in funding will help ensure that teachers in low-income schools are well-trained to teach Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses. The President's support for Advanced Placement programs will not only encourage the growth of AP and IB courses, but also serve as a mechanism for upgrading the entire high school curriculum for all students.
Adjunct Teacher Corps: Bringing Experience into the Classroom. The President has proposed a new $40 million initiative in FY 2005 to provide competitive grants to school district partnerships with public-private institutions to create the Adjunct Teacher Corps, with opportunities for professionals to teach middle and high school courses in the core academic subjects, particularly in mathematics and science. Many school districts need personnel to strengthen instruction in middle and high schools in the core academic subjects, especially mathematics and science. The Adjunct Teacher Corps would help alleviate this critical situation by bringing professionals with subject-matter knowledge and experience into the classroom.
Rigorous Courses with the State Scholars Program. President Bush has proposed $12 million in funding in FY 2005 for the successful State Scholars program to make grants available nationwide. In August 2002, President Bush announced the State Scholars Initiative, modeled on the successful Texas Scholars program, to encourage high school students to take more rigorous high school courses. Under the State Scholars Initiative, 12 states have already received assistance in developing and promoting strong courses of study, as well as providing special incentives for students enrolled in these programs.
Strengthening and Modernizing Support for Vocational Education. President Bush has proposed to modernize the major Federal program for vocational education, the Perkins Vocational Education program, to better serve the needs of the 21st Century worker. The President's proposal redirects $1 billion in FY 2005 in annual funding from the Perkins Vocational Education program into a new Secondary and Technical Education program and requires that schools participating in the program offer 4 years of English, 3 years of math and science, and 3½ years of social studies as part of their vocational education curriculum.
Assessing Whether High Schools Are Producing Educated Graduates. The President's plan includes testing 12th graders in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a nationally representative assessment that allows policymakers to evaluate America's education system. Today, states are required to participate in the NAEP in 4th and 8th grades in reading and math every two years. Extending this requirement to 12th grade will enable parents and educators to assess whether high schools are meeting the needs of students. It will also help to identify areas where schools are not meeting the needs of students and to strengthen teaching methods to ensure improvement in those areas.
More On-line Opportunities with the eLearning Clearinghouse. President Bush proposed creating a clearinghouse of online learning opportunities available to students and adults. Today, there is no single place where students, parents, and adults can search and compare available online courses. Under the President's proposal, students will be able to easily search for specific courses based on various criteria including price, schedule, and type of provider including non-profit, for-profit, and higher education establishments. The eLearning Clearinghouse would also provide a user-rating system that would provide feedback from customers on both providers and courses.
President Bush believes that America has the finest system of higher education in the world with a wide and diverse range of options available. Yet, there is a significant shortage of workers with adequate post-secondary education. Eighty percent of the fastest-growing jobs of the 21st century require post-secondary education or training. Approximately 650,000 adults are in need of short-term training and are not receiving the training today.
"We want every citizen in this country to be able to get the skills necessary to fill the jobs of the 21st Century. There are new jobs being created. We just want to make sure the people have got the skills necessary to fill those jobs."
President George W. Bush
(April 6, 2004)
Traditionally, the system of higher education, including student aid formulas, was designed for full-time students between the ages of 18 and 24, who attend post-secondary education once in their lifetimes. Today's statistics indicate that only about one-third of the 15 million students enrolled in post-secondary education are these once-in-a-lifetime students, and changes in technology and the new economy are increasingly requiring individuals to return for additional post-secondary education to upgrade their skills.
The President's higher education proposals make the system more user-friendly - more oriented to the needs of today's students - and ensure students have access to programs that will provide the skills needed in the globally competitive 21st century economy. These proposals will also allow students greater access to programs based on recent technological advances.
The President's Accomplishments:
Increased Pell Grant Funding: Since 2001, funding for the Pell Grant program, which provides grants to low-income undergraduate students, will have increased $4.1 billion, or 47%, including the President's FY 2005 budget. In addition, the number of Pell Grant recipients has risen by approximately one million since 2001, and the Pell Grant maximum award has risen from $3,750 in 2001 to $4,050 in the President's FY 2005 budget.
Increased Student Financial Aid: The President's FY 2005 budget expands overall, available student financial aid to $73.1 billion, an increase of $4.4 billion or 6% over the 2004 level. The number of recipients of grant, loan, and work-study assistance would grow by 426,000 to 10 million students and parents.
Strengthened Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic-Serving Institutions: President Bush signed an Executive Order supporting the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities to help find new ways to strengthen these schools. The President's Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities is helping these schools benefit from Federal programs, obtain private-sector support for their endowments, and build partnerships to strengthen faculty development and cooperative research. The President's FY 2005 budget meets his goal of increasing funding for minority-serving institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic-Serving institutions, by 30 percent over the 2001 funding level.
Expanded National Community Service: AmeriCorps is on track to support 75,000 members this year, a 50 percent increase from the year before. Upon successful completion of the program, all full-time AmeriCorps members receive an Education Award of $4,725, which can be used to pay for college, graduate school, or to pay back school loans within a seven year time frame. Additionally, some colleges and universities are matching the Education Award as a way to attract AmeriCorps members to their schools.
The President's New Higher Education Initiatives:
Community College Access Grants. The President proposed establishing a new Community College Access Grants Fund at $125 million in FY 2006 to improve the services that community colleges provide. Dual-enrollment and early college programs play an important role in encouraging high school students to continue on to college, especially for low-income and minority students. Current state funding rules discourage dual-enrollment programs because high schools and community colleges each receive funds on a per-student basis, and are therefore hesitant to share students and share funds. The Community College Access Grants Fund would provide:
An incentive for community colleges to provide dual-enrollment programs, which allow high schools students to earn college credit;
Incentives for states to make it easier for students to transfer credits earned at community colleges to four-year institutions;
Funding to give scholarships to students who enroll in and complete a dual-enrollment program and who continue on to receive a bachelor's degree.
Opportunities for Life-Long Learning:
Provide New Loans to Pay for Short-Term Training. The President proposed to make loans available to help workers pay for short-term training that leads to an industry-recognized credential or certificate. These loans would help many non-traditional students upgrade their skills - including older workers, workers transitioning to new jobs, and older workers pursuing a second career.
Increase Flexibility of Federal Student Aid Programs. The President's proposal increases post-secondary education options and eliminates needless student aid restrictions. Specifically, the President's proposal would:
Expand the availability of competency-based programs, as an alternative to traditional credit-hour programs. Competency-based programs award students with degrees or certifications when they have acquired the necessary skills and knowledge, as measured through assessments tailored to their degree program.
Encourage post-secondary education programs that allow students to enroll when ready and not only at the traditional start of the semester.
Eliminate the so-called 90-10 rule to expand higher education opportunities for low-income students. Under current Federal law, the 90-10 rule requires an institution to derive at least 10 percent of its revenue from non-Federal sources. This can be a disadvantage for institutions that serve lower-income populations.
Increase online post-secondary education opportunities by eliminating current Federal student aid restrictions on distance education.
Year-Round Pell Grants for Low-income Students. The President's proposals would permit the availability of year-round Pell Grants for students who are accelerating their program of study with the intent of graduating early. Currently, students are allowed to receive only one Pell Grant during a single award year, which discourages students from attending school throughout the entire school year so they can graduate earlier, including completing a four-year program in three years.
Enhanced Pell Grants. The President has proposed establishing a $33 million program in FY 2005 to enhance Pell Grants to reward low-income students who participate in the State Scholars Program by taking a rigorous high school curriculum. This Enhanced Pell Grants program would provide up to an additional $1,000 per year to students in the first two years of college who complete the rigorous State Scholars curriculum in high school, enroll in college full-time, and are Pell Grant recipients. The State Scholars Initiative encourages high school students to take more rigorous high school courses. In its first year, approximately 36,000 low-income graduating high school seniors would be eligible to receive an enhanced Pell Grant under this proposal.
Presidential Math and Science Scholars Fund. To ensure that America remains the world leader in the innovation economy - and to ensure that America's graduates have the training they need to compete for the best jobs of the 21st century - President Bush seeks to expand opportunities for math and science education in colleges and universities. The President has proposed establishing a new public-private partnership to provide $100 million in grants in FY 2006 to low-income students who study math or science. Under this plan, approximately 20,000 low-income students would receive up to $5,000 each to study math or science. Students would have to be eligible for Pell Grants to receive this additional $5,000, although this new fund would be run separately from the Pell Grant program.
Community-Based Job Training Grants. The President's Jobs for the 21st Century Initiative includes a $250 million proposal in FY 2005 to help America's community colleges train 100,000 additional workers for the industries that are creating the most new jobs. This proposal expands the Department of Labor's successful High Growth Job Training Initiative, launched under President Bush in 2002, which has provided $92 million to 47 partnerships nationwide between community colleges, public workforce agencies, and employers. These new grants will help community colleges produce graduates with the skills most in demand by local employers.
Modernized and Reformed Student Financial Aid Programs: The President proposed to modernize the Federal student aid programs to help millions of students and families realize their dreams through higher education. To help students meet rising tuition costs, the President's proposal increases loan limits for first-year students, extends the favorable interest rate framework currently available to students, and eases and expands repayment options so millions of students can manage higher debts. In total, the President's budgets would provide $7.4 billion in additional benefits to students over the next 10 years. These costs are offset by proposals that help strengthen the financial stability of the student loan programs.
Improving Adult Literacy. The President proposed developing a comprehensive web-based literacy tool for adults, which would be made available in public libraries, community colleges, and at social service offices, including Head Start Centers and One-Stop job centers. This new, web-based literacy tool will increase adult literacy across the U.S.
"On the first day of school, children need to know letters and numbers. They need a strong vocabulary. And they need to love books. These are the building blocks of learning."
President George W. Bush
(April 3, 2002)
Early childhood development is one of the best investments America can make to help ensure that children are successful in school and later in life. Studies show vocabulary, letter knowledge, and phonological awareness, in addition to social and emotional factors, have a significant impact on later success in school. Whether in pre-school or at home with parents or other caregivers, every young child should have the opportunity to develop the skills needed to succeed in school.
Good Start, Grow Smart
The President's Good Start, Grow Smart initiative has three goals:
Strengthening Head Start
Partnering with states to improve early childhood learning, and
Providing parents, teachers and caregivers with information on early learning.
The President's Accomplishments:
Since announcing the Good Start, Grow Smart initiative, the President's Administration has made significant progress:
Strengthening Head Start
The President's Administration believes that Head Start is an important opportunity to prepare low-income and disadvantaged children to enter school ready to learn and has worked to strengthen the program, including:
Training teachers in early learning: Over 50,000 Head Start teachers have received training in early language and literacy development and in state-of-the-art early literacy teaching strategies through a Train the Trainers program.
Enacting a National Reporting System: Through the National Reporting System, Head Start programs engage in a brief procedure to assess all 4 and 5 year-olds on a limited set of language, literacy, and numeracy indicators. These indicators are predictive of a child's later success in school, especially with reading. By using the same set of tools to collect information from every Head Start program, the Department of Health and Human Services will be able to document Head Start's effectiveness nationally in a new, valid, and reliable way.
Greater flexibility for local programs: The Head Start Bureau redesigned the national training and technical assistance system for Head Start programs that maximizes the benefits to local programs, provides greater flexibility and responsiveness to local programs' needs and increased the amount of funds available for support of national training and technical assistance by $20 million through administrative savings.
Partnering with States to Improve Early Learning
The President's Good Start, Grow Smart initiative called on states to develop quality criteria for early childhood education, including voluntary guidelines on pre-reading and language skills activities that align with State K-12 standards. Since that time, the President's Administration has undertaken a number of steps to form partnerships with states to improve early childhood programs, including:
Encouraging states to develop quality criteria for early childhood education: The President's Administration established the new planning requirements for states and trained state officials on early research and Good Start, Grow Smart requirements. Child Care Development Fund applications last year show that all states are making progress on early learning guidelines, professional development plans, and coordination of early childhood programs.
Expanding state flexibility in meeting Federal Child Care Development Fund match requirements.
Establishing early childhood educator training academies and providing guidance to states on ways to coordinate services.
Providing Parents, Teachers, and Caregivers Information on Early Learning
Children need parents, teachers, and others to prepare them for success in school and in life. Scientific research clearly demonstrates that parents and preschool programs can use specific activities to prepare children for school. But there is a gap between what we know and what we do in early childhood education. In order to close this gap, the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services are establishing partnerships with private, public, and civic groups to highlight the importance of early childhood development. These partnerships provide parents, pre-school providers, teachers, policy-makers, and the public, with information and curricula to help guide children effectively toward successful vocabulary development, pre-reading, and numeracy skills.
Providing information to parents and caregivers: The President's Administration has provided millions of guides to parents and caregivers featuring the latest research, including 17.5 million copies in English and Spanish of Healthy Start, Grow Smart, a 13-pamphlet series on infant health care and child development. In addition, the President's Administration has distributed over 900,000 copies of Teaching Our Youngest, an early learning guide for teachers and child care providers and over 150,000 copies of A Child Becomes a Reader: Birth to Preschool, a guide providing advice for parents of children from birth to preschool on how to support reading development at home, and how to recognize preschool and day care activities that start children on the road to becoming readers.
Launching early childhood education research: The President directed that research and program development in early childhood education be given high priority and stressed the need for research and programmatic efforts in early childhood education to be comprehensive by linking together programs and curricula to ensure optimal development of cognitive abilities, social competencies, and emotional health along with ensuring physical health and family-school relationships. Since the Good Start, Grow Smart program was launched both the Department of Education and the National Institute of Child Health and Development have undertaken significant new research projects.
President Bush's Proposals Support and Improve Head Start
Funding for Head Start has increased by nearly $750 million with the President's Fiscal Year 2005 budget request, a 12% increase over FY 2001.
Training for Head Start Teachers: More than 50,000 Head Start teachers have been provided training in early learning.
Significant improvements to Head Start have been proposed, including a new focus on preparing children for school. And a National Reporting System has been established to determine which Head Start centers are successful in preparing children for school and which centers are in need of assistance. The Bush Administration has also proposed giving states greater opportunity to coordinate Head Start, state Pre-K programs, and child care programs.
The President's Continued Efforts to Strengthen Early Learning
President Bush continues his efforts to strengthen early childhood education through the Good Start, Grow Smart program, including his proposal to strengthen Head Start. Additionally, the President will:
Give priority consideration for Federal funding to early childhood programs in states that have a coordinated early childhood plan involving Head Start, pre-K, and childcare services;
Continue volunteer parent early literacy training through Head Start;
Continue to fund research to: develop the most effective curricula and programs for teaching children early literacy and math skills; develop developmentally appropriate measurements; and identify effective adult and family literacy programs;
Expand the Reach Out and Read program, which seeks to make early literacy a standard part of pediatric primary care;
Continue and expand distribution of Healthy Start, Grow Smart booklets to provide parents the information they need to enhance their children's early development;
Engage faith-based and community-based organizations to help provide parents with the skills they need to advance their children's healthy development; and
Increase outreach efforts to minority families to better disseminate effective early childhood development strategies.