For Immediate Release Office of the Press Secretary January 8, 2004
Fact Sheet: President Bush Celebrates 2nd Anniversary of No Child Left Behind Act
Today's Presidential Action
In a visit to West View Elementary School in Knoxville, Tennessee, President Bush celebrated the second anniversary of the signing of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 with educators from across the Nation and announced new resources to make a real difference for America's schools.
President Bush's overall Fiscal Year (FY) 2005 budget represents a 48% increase for elementary and secondary education since FY 2001. It includes an additional:
$1 billion in Title I funding for disadvantaged students, for a total that represents a 52% increase since FY 2001.
$138 million for reading programs, for a total that is over four times the amount spent in FY 2001.
$1 billion for special education programs, in total, an increase of 75% since FY 2001.
Through the No Child Left Behind Act, these historic levels of support are combined with an unprecedented commitment to achieving high standards and accountability to ensure that America's schools are producing real results for every child in America. And the new law has already begun to make a difference for students, teachers and administrators across the United States.
Two Years of Accomplishment With No Child Left Behind
High Standards and Accountability: Since President Bush signed No Child Left Behind (NCLB) into law, all states have a plan in place to ensure that all students become proficient at reading and math and that achievement gaps are closed between students of different socio-economic backgrounds. States, districts, and schools are using their unique accountability plans to measure the progress of student achievement, report student and school progress to parents, identify for improvement those schools not making adequate yearly progress, provide support for the improvement of schools and districts, and provide options -- including public school choice and tutoring -- for children in underperforming schools.
When President Bush entered office in January 2001, only 11 states were in full compliance with previous Federal education accountability standards. On June 10, 2003, President Bush announced that all 50 states have approved accountability plans under NCLB.
Reading First and Early Reading First: President Bush proposed and signed into law the Reading First and Early Reading First initiatives as part of his unequivocal commitment to ensuring that every child can read by the third grade. These programs enable more children to receive scientifically-based reading instruction programs in the early grades.
All 50 States and the District of Columbia have approved Reading First plans to ensure that every child is reading on grade level by the end of the third grade.
As of October 1, 2003, $1.78 billion in Reading First funds have been distributed to the states that have provided training to tens of thousands of teachers and provided instructional materials. In addition, since the passage of No Child Left Behind, states have received almost $200 million in funds for early childhood reading efforts through such initiatives as Early Reading First and the Early Childhood Educator Professional Development program.
Extensive technical assistance has been made available to states, districts, and schools as they develop and implement their Reading First programs. The Department of Education recently awarded a $36.8 million contract to establish the National Center for Reading First Technical Assistance to provide ongoing, high-quality technical assistance to states, districts and schools by the country's leading experts in the implementation of scientifically-based reading instruction.
Options Available for Parents
Supplemental Services -- Using tutoring money provided under NCLB, parents can select from the over 1600 supplemental service providers approved by the states. With this option, parents, for the first time can find a program that is focused, rigorous, and directed at the specific needs of their child.
Faith- and Community-Based Organizations -- To expand the options available to parents, more than $1.7 billion per year has been made accessible to faith- and community-based organizations through NCLB, enabling these groups to receive grants and to provide quality supplemental educational services. Faith- and community-based providers can participate in the 21st Century Community Learning Centers after school program, the Title I-Supplemental Educational Services program that provides extra academic help for disadvantaged students, the Early Reading First program, and physical education programs.
More Information for Parents -- Under NCLB, states and school districts publish report cards showing how well students in each socio-economic sub-group are achieving so communities and parents can know how well their schools are doing.
Supporting What Works
Institute for Education Sciences -- The Institute of Education Sciences reflects the intent of the President and Congress to advance the field of education research, making it more rigorous in support of evidence-based education and therefore a critical component to the success of No Child Left Behind.
Data Management Tools - Additionally, in September 2003, President Bush with Secretary Paige announced the School Information Partnership, a unique public-private partnership designed to assist states in meeting the letter and the spirit of NCLB as it relates to educational data reporting. Through the financial support of the Broad Foundation and the Department of Education, states have been given the opportunity, at no cost for the next two years, to report and analyze certain data through an easy-to-use web-based service. Further, the Partnership will enable states and their districts to communicate educational data to parents, educators, and the general public, consistent with the requirements of NCLB, while providing policymakers with better information to improve decision-making.
Unspent Federal Funds Available: No Child Left Behind has made significant new resources available to states and local school districts, but some states and school districts have not been able to take full advantage of these resources. According to the Department of Education, as of December 11, 2003, a total of nearly $6 billion in Federal education funds remained unspent, waiting to be drawn down by state officials. These funds are from amounts appropriated in 2000 through 2002.
The total includes nearly $2 billion in No Child Left Behind Title I funds intended to benefit disadvantaged children across America. The total also includes more than $1.6 billion in unspent No Child Left Behind school improvement funds that provide extra help to struggling schools, and nearly $2 billion to assist children with disabilities. Some of the money has been in the account since fiscal year 2000, more than a year before No Child Left Behind was even enacted.
In Tennessee alone, more than $116 million in Federal education funds have not been spent, including nearly $43 million in No Child Left Behind Title I funding for disadvantaged students and schools that was provided by Congress from fiscal year 2000 through fiscal year 2002. The total also includes more than $33 million in unspent No Child Left Behind school improvement funds that are meant to be used to provide extra help to schools, and more than $30 million to assist children with disabilities.