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Activist Alert
January 9, 2004


Budget Negotiators
Shortchange Kids
January 9, 2004

5-Minute Activist Alert #2

Tell your U.S. Senators: The federal government holds schools accountable for student achievement. The federal government should hold itself accountable for their support. Don't shortchange our students. Send the Omnibus Bill back to the drawing board.

Shortchanging Kids
On January 20, the U.S. Senate will vote on funding education programs. The Omnibus Budget Bill shortchanges kids. The Senate should send this flawed bill back to the drawing board.

  • ESEA/No Child Left Behind (NCLB) - States and local taxpayers are left with the bill, even as they struggle to meet children's needs.

    • Title I - Children remain at the end of the dollars. More than half of all children in poverty and children with limited English proficiency will not receive the additional intensive instruction they need. Yet these children must meet all the new and higher standards.
    • Professional Development - Over 50,000 teachers will not receive high-quality professional development to implement ESEA/NCLB programs.

  • IDEA Funding - At the level of funding provided, special education will never achieve full funding. This year alone, states are left to shoulder an $11 billion shortfall.
  • Higher Education fares no better. The Pell Grant maximum remains frozen at $4,050 despite state budget cuts and rising college tuitions.

  • Can Congress go back to the drawing board?
    While this year's funding is almost four months late - the budget year began on October 1, 2003 - 'Continuing Resolutions' continue the programs at last year's funding levels. The current 'Continuing Resolution' runs through January 31. Congress can and should reject and redraft this flawed bill.

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