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 Home > News & Policies > September 2004

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 22, 2004

Fact Sheet: America’s Teachers: Fulfilling the Promise of No Child Left Behind

High-quality education is fundamental to achieving the American Dream. In 2001, President Bush called for significant reforms to K-12 education through the No Child Left Behind Act to set high standards and produce real results for every child in America. 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. President Bush has requested unprecedented funding increases for education with his overall Fiscal Year 2005 budget which represents a 49% funding increase for elementary and secondary education since FY 2001.

America's great teachers are fulfilling the promise of No Child Left Behind, and regardless of the challenges faced, are improving student achievement across the Nation. In an era of increasing standards and accountability in education, teacher quality and teacher training are more important than ever. Recent studies offer compelling evidence that the quality of a teacher is one of the most critical components of how well students perform.

Great teachers deserve America's thanks, praise, and acknowledgement of success. It is essential, however, to student achievement to have fair data evaluating teacher effectiveness and to reward these effective teachers. Further, the Federal government will partner with states and school districts and encourage investment in high- quality teachers.

Incentives for Effective Teachers

President Bush understands and appreciates the hard work of our Nation's teachers. As part of his new education proposals, President Bush proposed a $500 million Teacher Incentive Fund for states and school districts that choose to reward effective teachers. 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 No Child Left Behind (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.

President Bush's Strong Support for America's Teachers

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% since 2001.

  • President Bush supports teachers with programs that provide financial relief to those in 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. The President's FY 2005 budget includes $227 million in loan forgiveness for math, science, and special education teachers in low-income schools.
    • 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.
  • President Bush supports teachers by providing them with tools they need to better serve students in the classroom and to use research-based practices to improve academic achievement.
  • 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 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.
    • 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 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.
  • Strengthening Instruction with the Adjunct Teacher Corps. The President has proposed a new $40 million initiative to create the Adjunct Teacher Corps. The Adjunct Teacher Corps provides 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.
  • On-line Resources for Teachers. The U.S. Department of Education sponsors the Web site 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.
  • President Bush supports teacher protection and understands they can do their jobs better when discipline in the classroom is maintained and a supportive school climate exists.
    • 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.