WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding the third anniversary of the signing of the "No Child Left Behind Act" tomorrow (January 8):
"Three years ago, Democrats and Republicans joined together to pass the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act to give every American child the opportunity for a quality education. The legislation incorporated Clinton-era educational reforms, including increased accountability for educators and students and higher academic standards, as well as more federal resources to achieve these goals.
“Although our teachers and educators are dedicated to fulfilling NCLB’s reforms, they confront mounting obstacles each year as President Bush and the Republican Congress continually shortchange the budget for NCLB. Without the additional promised resources, schools are having difficulty achieving the increased standards Congress and the president set for them.
“America will not remain the world’s superpower if our children are not prepared to compete in the global marketplace. Lawmakers from both parties came together to write this legislation, and they must come together once again to ensure that we are fulfilling its promises.
“Unfortunately, the Republican Congress refused to even consider a Democratic bill to fully fund NCLB in 2005 and gave America’s schools almost $10 billion less than had been promised. As a result, thousands of schools across the country are not able to afford the services necessary to success, such as after-school programs, individual tutoring, and teacher training.
“I hope that President Bush and Secretary of Education-designate Margaret Spellings will join with Democrats in 2005 to fulfill the promise of the No Child Left Behind Act. Proposing a reasonable 2006 budget next month for this landmark education reform will be an important first step.”