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June 10, 2005

House Committee Cuts Funding for No Child Left Behind

Children and public schools paid the price of misplaced political priorities yesterday, when the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Education passed a bill that cuts, freezes or comes up short on funding for key No Child Left Behind programs and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Because of the insistence by President Bush and Republican Congressional leadership on tax cuts, appropriators have placed the needs of children at the back of the line.

Slated for cuts are Safe and Drug Free Schools, Education Technology, and Comprehensive School Reform. Overall, funding for No Child Left Behind will decrease by $806 million. The bill freezes funding for critical NCLB programs, as well. Among these: After School Centers, Rural Education, Teacher Quality and Reading First. Title I receives a 0.8 percent increase, while the federal share of special education funding declines. Some programs are eliminated altogether, such as Community Technology Centers, Arts Education and Parent Assistance Centers. In another major setback, the bill includes $100 million for President Bush's Teacher Incentive Fund, which would fund teacher merit pay.

NEA believes Congressional leaders and President Bush have the wrong priorities when they eliminate, cut or freeze funding for vital education programs while America's public schools struggle to meet the needs of increasing numbers of disadvantaged students and students with special needs.

The bill is expected to go before the full House Appropriations Committee next week.

5-Minute Activist

  • Contact your Representative and ask them to urge the members of the Appropriations Committee to craft a bill that makes children and families a priority by keeping as close as possible to the funding levels promised for No Child Left Behind programs, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Pell Grants.

Ed Dept. Policy Threatens To Undo Progress for Girls, Women

The U.S. Department of Education recently issued a policy "clarification" that threatens to reverse decades of progress women and girls have made under Title IX in sports and academics. Title IX requires all education programs that receive taxpayer dollars to give girls and women opportunities equal to those offered boys and men.

Under the new policy, all a school has to do to show it is providing its female students with equal opportunities to play sports is to send each of its female students an e-mail survey asking whether they have the interest and ability to play additional sports. Each failure to reply can be counted as a lack of interest. Given the low response rates to surveys generally and electronic surveys specifically, NEA believes the Department's new policy undermines the law's intent.

5-Minute Activist

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