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WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after President Bush’s speech in Glen Burnie, Maryland, on the No Child Left Behind Act, which was signed into law on January 8, 2002:
“A world-class education system that prepares Americans for a lifetime of learning is essential to our future and our economic strength. Today in Glen Burnie, President Bush spoke about the No Child Left Behind Act, a law that was designed to improve our schools and increase accountability in order to ensure that all students reach their full academic potential.
“However, four years after this Act was signed into law, it is clear that the Administration and Congressional Republicans deserve a grade of ‘F’ for failing to follow through on their promise to commit the resources necessary to properly implement the Act. In total, No Child Left Behind has been under funded by nearly $40 billion since it was signed into law. Just last month, Republicans pushed an education bill through the House that cut NCLB funding by some $1 billion.
“Simply stated, America’s children, and the American people, have been shortchanged by the Republican Party’s shortsighted approach to education – an approach that is nothing less than a bait-and-switch. When Republicans are slashing funding for No Child Left Behind but insisting on $70 billion more in tax cuts, it is pretty clear where their priorities lie.
“As we near the beginning of the Second Session of the 109th Congress, I urge President Bush and Congressional Republicans to revisit the promises they made when the Act was signed into law and to resolve in this New Year to keep them. Democrats stand ready with plans to improve education, promote economic growth, strengthen national security, and reform government, and we hope that Republicans will join us to find solutions to these pressing national issues.”