WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today concerning the Bush Administration’s failure to fund the “No Child Left Behind Act:”
“When it comes to education, President Bush talks a good game and loves to take credit, but fails to make the grade.
“A year and a half ago, President Bush signed the bipartisan ‘No Child Left Behind Act,’ which focuses on improving quality and accountability in our public schools and calls for funding increases to help schools achieve those goals.
“But less than four weeks later, in February 2002, the President sent his budget to Congress which proposed $7.2 billion less for education programs than was called for under the law that he had just signed and for which he took credit. The President’s education budget for Fiscal Year 2004 also shortchanges education, providing an astounding $9.7 billion below the amount authorized in the No Child Left Behind Act. The President’s budget request for FY04 is even 5 percent below the amount provided by Congress in this current year (FY03).
“The President has joked that he received ‘Gentleman’s Cs’ during his undergraduate years at Yale University. But 18 months after he signed the No Child Left Behind Act, there is little doubt that he deserves a grade of “F” for failing to live up to his commitment to fund this important legislation. Real education reform requires more than ‘photo ops’ and rhetoric. It requires a real commitment to making our public schools the best they can be.”