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President’s Budget Strengthens Nation’s Commitment to No Child Left Behind


Increases funding for Title I, Pell Grants; restores funding for Reading First
WASHINGTON, DC — Secretary Spellings today highlighted President Bush’s historic support for No Child Left Behind (NCLB), and said, “This budget provides the necessary resources for critical programs that equip American students with the skills they need to compete and succeed in the knowledge-based economy.”

Spellings made special mention of the budget request to restore funding for Reading First and to target resources to schools and students who need it most. The President’s budget includes an increase in funding for No Child Left Behind to $24.5 billion, up 41 percent since 2001, and support for Title I Grants to high poverty schools is stronger than ever at $14.3 billion, an increase of 63 percent since the enactment of NCLB.

“The budget process is one where we must balance process and priorities and I believe this budget does that for education,” Spellings noted. “In addition to Reading First, I am pleased the budget calls for increased funding for Pell Grants, Title I, and IDEA. All of these programs are essential to ensuring that our children not only have access to a rigorous education, but one suited for the global economy. I hope Congress acts to fund these important programs at the level requested by the President.”

The increase of $406 million in Title I Grants to Local Educational Agencies will target resources to high schools to strengthen and improve assessments and accountability. The increase in funding will also provide more choices for students and parents and encourage more effective restructuring of chronically low-performing schools. $491.3 million in Title I School Improvement Grants will continue to help turn around low-performing schools. The grants will help States take a greater role in developing and delivering comprehensive leadership and technical assistance to help reform schools and districts that are not making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

To better prepare students to succeed in the global economy, the President proposes $175 million for the American Competitiveness Initiative to strengthen instruction in math, science, and critical foreign languages. Increased funding for the Math Now and Advanced Placement programs will enable students to take more rigorous coursework in high school and graduate high school prepared to succeed in college and the workforce.

The FY 2009 budget request builds on President Bush’s record of progress for helping America’s students and families afford college. Pell Grant funding has increased 116 percent since 2001 to provide students with the largest maximum grant ever, totaling $4,800.

“Higher education is more expensive and more necessary for future success than ever before. For most families, a college degree is one of the most important investments they’ll ever make,” said Secretary Spellings. “The increase in funding and support for Pell Grants will help make college a reality for more of our students.”

Among the highlights of the FY 2009 education budget request are:

Improving Schools and Helping and Target Resources to Students Who Need it Most


$14.3 billion for the Title I Grants to Local Education Agencies program, up 63% since 2001, that would better distribute Title I resources to the high school level, strengthen assessment and accountability in our high schools.

$491.3 million for the Title I School Improvement Grants program that would build State and local capacity to identify and implement effective interventions to turn around low-performing schools.

$1 billion for Reading First State Grants, an increase of $607 million, to restore funding for this program that has proven its effectiveness in using research-based instructional methods to improve the reading skills of students in high-poverty, low-performing elementary schools.

$300 million for Pell Grants for Kids, a new K-12 scholarship program that would allow low-income students attending schools in restructuring or that have high dropout rates to transfer to local private schools or out-of-district public schools.

$200 million for the Teacher Incentive Fund to encourage States and school districts to reform compensation plans to reward principals and teacher who raise student achievement, close achievement gaps, and work in hard-to-staff schools.

$11.3 billion, a $337 million increase, for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B Grants to States to maintain the Federal contribution toward meeting the excess cost of special education at about 17% of the national average per pupil expenditure (APPE).

Investing in the American Competitiveness Initiative

* $175 million for programs aimed at improving math and science instruction in K-12 schools as part of the President’s American Competitiveness Initiative.

o $95 million for Math Now to help prepare students for rigorous high school math courses.
o $70 million for Advanced Placement to help prepare teachers in high-poverty high schools obtain the training needed to teach Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses.
o $10 million to create an Adjunct Teachers Corps of qualified professionals to help teach high school math and science course and other core academic subjects.
o $24 million for Advancing America through Foreign Language Partnerships to support partnerships with school districts for language learning from kindergarten through high school and into advanced language study at the postsecondary level.

Increasing Affordability of Postsecondary Education through Pell Grants

* $18.9 billion for Pell Grants, up 116% since 2001, to create the largest annual maximum grant ever.

o 28% increase, or $1,050, in Pell maximum award since 2001 to $4,800.
o 33% increase, or 1.5 million, in the number of additional Pell grant recipients since 2001 to 5.8 million recipients.

Targeting Resources to Save Taxpayer Money

* To save $3.3 billion in taxpayer dollars, the President’s budget recommends eliminating 47 programs that are duplicative, narrowly focused, or unable to demonstrate effectiveness.
* The President’s budget proposal also does not include $328 million for 759 earmarks that were contained in the 2008 Omnibus Appropriation for Education.

o For information about improving accountability in programs across the Federal government, please visit the new website With this website, taxpayers can see which programs work, which do not, and what the Federal government is doing to improve. will improve not only transparency, but also accountability in all Federal programs.

The FY 2009 Department of Education Budget Summary is available online at


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