Fiscal Year 2005 Budget Summary February 2, 2004
Section II. A. Elementary and Secondary Education
The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), closely followed the four pillars of education reform proposed by President Bush.
First, the new law greatly strengthens accountability for results in Federal elementary and secondary education programs. States must set challenging standards in reading and mathematics and develop statewide annual adequate yearly progress (AYP) objectives that will result in all groups of students achieving proficiency by the 2013-2014 school year. These objectives must be met by all groups of students, disaggregated by poverty, race and ethnicity, disability, and limited English proficiency. States must conduct annual reading and math assessments for all students in grades 3-8 and once in high school. States, school districts, and schools must report annually on their progress in helping all groups of students to reach proficiency. Biennial State participation in the State-level version of the National Assessment of Educational Progress will help gauge the rigor of State standards and assessments.
School districts and schools that do not make AYP will, over time, be subject to improvement, corrective action, and restructuring measures aimed at getting them back on course to meet State standards. To ensure that students in such schools do not fall further behind, districts must provide them with an option to transfer to a better public school or, if schools do not improve, to obtain supplemental educational services from a public- or private-sector provider. Schools that meet or exceed AYP objectives or close achievement gaps will be eligible for State Academic Achievement Awards.
Second, NCLB provides unprecedented State and local flexibility and reduced red tape in the operation of Federal elementary and secondary education programs. For example, local school districts now may transfer up to 50 percent of the funding they receive under four major State formula grant programs to any one of the programs, or to Title I. In addition, new flexibility demonstration programs would permit up to 7 States and 150 school districts to enter into performance agreements allowing them to consolidate all funding from certain formula grant programs for any educational purpose authorized under the ESEA. The covered programs include Improving Teacher Quality State Grants, Educational Technology, Innovative Programs, and Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities. Participating States also may consolidate their Title I, Part A administrative funding with other State level funds.
Third, the reauthorized ESEA better focuses Federal education resources on proven educational methods. For example, the Title I Grants to LEAs program now requires instructional strategies, school improvement plans, professional development, and assistance to low-performing schools to be based on methods proven effective through scientifically based research. In addition, the Reading First State Grants and Early Reading First programs help States and local communities use activities drawn from scientifically based reading research, such as professional development in evidence- based reading instruction, to help all children learn to read at grade level by the end of the third grade.
And fourth, the NCLB Act expands choices for parents, particularly for parents of students in low-performing schools. Parents of students in Title I schools identified for improvement (not making State adequate yearly progress objectives for 2 consecutive years) have the option to transfer their children to a better-performing public school, which may include a public charter school. If their school continues to not meet State standards for a third year, parents of low-income students may obtain supplemental educational servicespaid for by the districtfrom the State-approved public- or private-sector provider of their choice (including faith-based organizations). NCLB also includes provisions to help expand the number of public charter schools available for parents seeking educational options for their children.
The President's 2005 budget for elementary and secondary education provides significant resources in support of these reform principles. Highlights include:
Title I, Part A of the ESEA provides supplemental education funding, especially in high- poverty areas, for locally designed programs that provide extra academic support to help raise the achievement of students at risk of educational failure or, in the case of schoolwide programs, help all students in high-poverty schools to meet challenging State academic standards. The program serves more than 15 million students in nearly all school districts and more than half of all public schoolsincluding two-thirds of the Nation's elementary schools.
The 2005 request of $13.3 billionan increase of $1 billion or 8.1 percent over the 2004 levelwould help States, school districts, and schools meet the strong accountability and teacher quality requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB Act). If enacted, the request would result in a five-year increase for Title I of $5.4 billion, or almost 70 percent, and an increase of $4.6 billion, or 52 percent, since the passage of the NCLB Act.
The request would fund school year 2005-2006, the third year under the tougher adequate yearly progress (AYP) requirements set by States under the new law. These requirements are expected to lead to the identification of more schools and districts for improvement than under the previous law, and consequently to greater demand for public school choice and supplemental educational services options.
The request would support the twin goals of school improvement and expanded choice for parents and students, in part by making available about $520 million to States and school districts for school improvement activities under section 1003(a) of the ESEA, which requires States to reserve 4 percent of Title I Grants to LEAs for this purpose. These funds, which States must distribute to those districts with the greatest need for such funds, support the implementation of school improvement plans as well as public school choice and supplemental educational services options.
The Administration also is proposing to shift $1.2 billion currently allocated through the Education Finance Incentive Grants (EFIG) formula to the Targeted Grants formula, which more fairly distributes funds to high-poverty school districts than EFIG. EFIG first allocates funding to States, on the basis of the formula's "effort" and "equity" factors, and only then targets funding within States on the basis of LEA counts of poor children. As a result, the EFIG formula produces two disparities at odds with the statutory purpose of the Title I program: first, it often provides sharply different levels of support to districts with similar numbers and percentages of poor children that are located in different States; and second, the EFIG formula often provides much smaller per-child amounts to higher-poverty districts than lower-poverty districts.
In addition, the Administration is proposing to reserve up to $10 million in Title I Grants to LEAs funding for National Leadership Activities aimed at building capacity at the LEA and school level to meet NCLB proficiency goals. In particular, the Administration believes that comprehensive technical assistance can help schools meet AYP requirements and avoid identification for improvement or, once identified, make the changes needed to move out of improvement status.
Proposed National Leadership Activities for 2005 would focus on identifying and disseminating promising interventions at schools that have successfully closed achievement gaps for poor and minority students, improvement of data collection and reporting systems at the State and local levels, promoting exemplary methods for providing information to help parents obtain the best possible education for their children, and providing expert-based technical assistance during the program monitoring process.
Title I schools help students reach challenging State standards through one of two models: "targeted assistance" that supplements the regular education program of individual children deemed most in need of special assistance, or a "schoolwide" approach that allows schools to use Title I fundsin combination with other Federal, State, and local fundsto improve the overall instructional program for all children in a school. Nearly three-fifths of the more than 47,000 schools participating in Title I use the schoolwide approach.
Both schoolwide and targeted assistance programs must employ effective methods and instructional strategies grounded in scientifically based research, including activities that supplement regular instruction, such as after-school, weekend, and summer programs. Schools also must provide ongoing professional development for staff working with disadvantaged students and implement programs and activities designed to increase parental involvement.
The NCLB Act reauthorized the ESEA to incorporate Title I reforms proposed by President Bush, particularly in the areas of assessment, accountability, and school improvement. The new law ensures that States will develop standards in reading and math, and assessments linked to those standards for all students in grades 3-8.
States also must develop annual adequate yearly progress (AYP) objectives that will result in all groups of students achieving proficiency in reading and math by the 2013- 2014 school year. These objectives must be met by all groups of students, disaggregated by poverty, race and ethnicity, disability, and limited English proficiency.
Under the NCLB Act, school districts must permit students in Title I schools that do not meet annual State AYP objectives for two consecutive years to transfer to a better public school, with transportation provided by the school district. If schools continue to not AYP, students may obtain educational servicespaid for by the districtfrom the public- or private-sector provider selected by their parents from a State-approved list.
The new law also ensures that Title I schools identified for improvement (after not making AYP for two consecutive years) will develop improvement plans incorporating strategies from scientifically based research. Schools that do not improve would be subject to increasingly tough corrective actionssuch as replacing school staff or significantly decreasing management authority at the school leveland could ultimately face restructuring, which involves a fundamental change in governance, such as a State takeover or placement under private management. In 2004, to help ensure that States, districts, and schools have the resources needed to carry out improvements, the NCLB Act doubled from 2 percent to 4 percent the statutory reservation of Part A allocations that States must use for this purpose.
The 2005 budget also includes a separate $9.5 million request for Title I Evaluations, primarily to support studies designed to produce rigorous scientific evidence on the effectiveness of education programs and practices, including practices critical to the effective use of Title I, Part A funds.
This program provides formula grants to States to pay the cost of developing the additional standards and assessments required by the NCLB Act and, if a State has put in place such standards and assessments, to pay for the administration of those assessments. Funds also may be used to develop standards and assessments in subjects other than those required by the NCLB Act and to improve the reliability and validity of assessment systems. Other allowable uses include paying the costs of working in voluntary partnership with other States to develop standards and assessments, professional development aligned with State standards and assessments, and support for data reporting and other components of the new State accountability systems.
Under the NCLB Act, States select and design their own assessments, so long as they are aligned with State academic achievement standards. The new assessments must be in place by the 2005-2006 school year. The 2005 request would provide $400 million for Grants for State Assessments, the same as the statutory 2005 "trigger amount." Failure to provide the requested amount could result in delay of State efforts to develop and implement the new assessments in reading and mathematics for all students in grades 3 through 8one of the Administration's highest priorities and a linchpin of the stronger accountability for student achievement promised by the NCLB Act. All funds in excess of the trigger level are to be used for competitive Grants for Enhanced Assessment Instruments to support State efforts to improve the quality and use of State assessments. The request would provide $10 million for a new round of Enhanced Assessment awards.
President Bush made the implementation of the Reading First initiative one of his highest priorities for education because of compelling evidence that far too many young people are struggling through school without having mastered reading, the most essential and basic skill. On the 2003 National Assessment of Educational Progress, 60 percent of all fourth graders in high-poverty schools scored below the "basic" reading level. Research shows that students who cannot read well by fourth grade have a greater likelihood of dropping out and a lifetime of diminished success. Consistent, early support for reading success through Reading First activities helps improve reading gains, reduce the number of children who fall behind in reading, provide additional help to children who need it, and lower the number of children referred to special education programs based on low reading scores.
The request includes almost $1.3 billion for the two components of Reading First. The Reading First State Grants program is a comprehensive, nationwide effort to implement high-quality, research-based reading instruction to help reach the President's goal of ensuring that every child can read at grade level or above by the end of third grade. The request is consistent with the President's commitment, in his original No Child Left Behind initiative, to provide $5 billion for Reading First over a 5-year period.
State grant funds are used to help school districts and schools provide professional development in reading instruction for teachers and administrators, adopt and use diagnostic reading assessments for students in kindergarten through third grade to determine where they need help, implement reading curricula that are based on recent research, and provide reading interventions for young grade-school children to ensure they can read at grade level by the end of the third grade.
Early Reading First complements Reading First State Grants by providing competitive grants to school districts and non-profit organizations to support activities in existing pre- school programs designed to enhance the verbal skills, phonological awareness, letter knowledge, and pre-reading skills of children from birth through age 5. Funds are targeted to communities with high numbers of low-income families.
As part of the President's Jobs for the 21st Century initiative, the request includes $100 million to involve States and school districts in developing and implementing research-based interventions to help improve the skills of secondary school students who are reading below grade level. Many of those students are at risk for dropping out of school because of their poor reading skills, which can affect their performance in all core subject areas.
The No Child Left Behind Act calls upon educators to adopt scientifically proven educational practices and programs designed to raise student achievement at all levels, including high schools. However, secondary school educators currently have little information to guide their decisions about which practices and programs are effective in helping to raise the reading achievement of teenage students. This initiative, which would be funded under the ESEA Section 1502 Title I demonstration authority, would test a variety of interventions through experimental studies to assess their effectiveness, and disseminate the results widely to school districts and schools.
The Advanced Placement (AP) program makes grants to State educational agencies to pay Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate (IB) test fees for low-income students, and also supports State and local efforts to make pre-advanced placement and advanced placement courses more widely available to low-income students. Low-income students who take such courses are much more likely to enroll and be successful in college than their peers, and offering AP and IB programs helps to upgrade the entire school curriculum for all students. In addition, participation in middle-school pre-advanced placement classes prepares students for AP and IB classes at the high school level.
The increasepart of the President's Jobs for the 21st Century initiativewould more than double funding for the program to help ensure that teachers are well trained to teach AP courses at schools that serve large populations of low-income students. A key element of high school reform is increasing the rigor of the curriculum, and AP courses set a high standard, in American high schools, for providing rigorous curriculum.
The No Child Left Behind Act requires States and school districts to ensure that all teachers are highly qualifiedas defined by individual States according to statutory requirementsby the end of the 2005-2006 school year. This program gives States and school districts a flexible source of funding to meet the highly qualified teacher requirement. State-level activities may include changes to teacher certification or licensure requirements, alternative certification, tenure reform, merit-based teacher performance systems, and differential and bonus pay for teachers in high-need subject areas. School districts may use funds for professional development, class size reduction, recruitment and retraining of teachers and principals, merit pay, mentoring, and other activities.
This program is designed to improve academic achievement in mathematics and science by promoting strong teaching skills for elementary and secondary school teachers. Grants to partnerships of State educational agencies, higher education institutions, and school districts support activities to develop rigorous mathematics and science curricula, distance learning programs, and incentives to recruit college graduates with degrees in math and science into the teaching profession. Currently, the program finances formula grants to States, and States, in turn, make competitive grants to local partnerships. The $120 million increase requested for 2005part of the President's Jobs for the 21st Century initiativewould finance a new program of Federally competed grants focused on accelerating the mathematics learning of secondary-school students, especially those who are at risk of dropping out of school because they lack basic skills in mathematics. The initiative, which would incorporate similar teacher training activities currently supported by the National Science Foundation, would emphasize the use of research-based mathematics instruction.
This program supports the Department of Defense Troops-to-Teachers program that encourages and helps train retiring military personnel to teach in high-poverty school districts. A 2001 survey by the General Accounting Office showed that almost 4,000 former military personnel had been hired as teachers nationwide since the program was established in 1994. Teachers recruited through Troops-to-Teachers are twice as likely as traditional public school teachers to teach in such high-need subject areas as mathematics, science, and special education.
This program addresses the national challenge of training and recruiting more than 2 million teachers over the next 10 yearsdue to the retirements of long-time teachers, high attrition rates among new teachers, and booming enrollmentsby supporting alternatives to traditional teacher certification routes and other approaches for recruiting, training, and placing mid-career professionals and recent colleges graduates. The request would pay continuation costs for more than 100 5-year projects involving comprehensive approaches to train, place, and support candidates as teachers in high-need schools.
The Administration is requesting, as part of the President's Jobs for the 21st Century initiative, $40 million to create an Adjunct Teacher Corps that would draw on the skills of well-qualified individuals outside of the public education system to meet specialized teaching needs in secondary schools. Instead of the usual focus on certification or licensure of such individuals, the initiative would concentrate on helping schools find experienced professionals who would be able to provide real-world applications for some of the abstract mathematical concepts being taught in the classroom and, in some cases, provide individuals to temporarily teach in hard-to-fill positions.
Funds would be used to make competitive grants to partnerships of school districts, higher education institutions, and nonprofit organizations to create opportunities for professionals to teach specific high-school courses in the core academic subjects, particularly in mathematics and the sciences. Adjunct teachers might teach one or more courses on the school site on a part-time basis, teach full-time in secondary schools while on leave from their jobs, or teach courses that would be available on-line or through other distance learning arrangements.
This program makes competitive grants to school districts to promote the teaching of traditional American history in elementary and secondary schools as a separate academic subject. The request recognizes the need to create and expand efforts to raise the level of student knowledge in this core academic area in order to prepare future generations of students to become responsible citizens who vote and who fully participate in our democratic traditions. At the request level, the program would fund up to 145 new awards, and about $500,000 would be reserved to complete a 3-year evaluation of the program.
This program supports the development of advanced credentials based on the content expertise of master teachers. Funds also support related activities to encourage and support teachers seeking advanced credentials. The 2005 request would support the American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence's development of an Initial Certification and a Master Certification to give States and districts more options for improving teacher quality and, most importantly, raising student achievement.
This program focuses on professional development, especially in teaching pre-reading skills to young children, for early childhood educators and caregivers working in high- poverty communities. The request would fund a new round of competitive grants to support training for preschool and other early childhood educators to help ensure that young children enter school ready to learn to read.
This program is administered through a contract with Reading is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF), a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution. RIF allocates funds to local community associations that select and distribute inexpensive books to children free-of-charge. RIF currently reaches about 5 million children through 23,000 projects. By increasing preschool children's access to books, and involving their parents as their child's first teachers, this program supports the President's goal that all children will be able to read well by third grade.
The program supports the development and distribution of educational video and related materials for preschool children, elementary school children, and their parents in order to facilitate student academic achievement. Funding has supported the development of two highly acclaimed children's shows, Between the Lions and Dragon Tales, along with a bilingual newsletter that provides suggestions for books and learning activities related to PBS children's programs. Activities supported through Ready-to-Learn play an important role in helping to ensure that young children are prepared to start school.
This program helps school districts improve student literacy skills by providing students with increased access to up-to-date school library materials and professionally certified school library media specialists. The 2005 request would fund an estimated 125 grants that would support the role of libraries in helping all children to read well by making information available to all students, training students and teachers about how to obtain and make use of information, and increasing access for low-income students to technology and information.
While upgraded infrastructure now permits most teachers to access technology in their classrooms, few teachers have the knowledge, skills, and curricula needed to use technology effectively to improve student achievement. This program supports State, district, and school efforts to integrate technology into classroom activities and instruction. States distribute half of their allocations to districts by formula and half competitively to high-need districts, or consortia that include such a district, in partnership with an entity having expertise in integrating technology into the curriculum. District-level activities include training teachers to integrate technology into the curriculum and serve as technology experts in their schools, developing and implementing high-quality information technology courses, and purchasing effective technology-based curricula.
This new initiative would provide $10 million to help support State and local efforts to ease the education transitions for children from military families that frequently change duty stations. These families face problems of educational disruption when their children transfer between schools in States and districts that have different education requirements. The initiative would provide competitive grants to consortia of States, districts, and other appropriate organizations to address these problems by, among other things, developing strategies to ensure quick placement and enrollment of these students in classes and services; promoting continuity in educational coursework and opportunities for participation in extra-curricular activities; providing extra support needed for military students to meet high-school graduation requirements; and supporting data management systems to help facilitate the transfer of information between school districts.
This program helps communities establish or expand community learning centers that provide extended learning opportunities for students and related services to their families. The request provides an estimated 1,800 grants that support nearly 7,000 after-school centers, and technical assistance informed by the initial findings of a rigorous evaluation showing that the centers funded in the program's first 3 years, on average, had little effect on participants' academic performance, feelings of safety, and behavior. These findings showed that past investments in the program have not paid off. At the same time, however, the findings, which were released shortly after the program made the transition from Federal competitive grants to a State-administered competitive grant program in 2002, provided a timely focus for the new State-supported programs.
The request recognizes that the new grantees funded by States need some time to achieve better outcomes for students, and that national evaluation and technical assistance activities can play a key role in successful implementation. Current national activities include developing model after-school programs in reading and mathematics based on sound theory and scientific evidence and rigorously testing their effectiveness, improving the availability of research-based practices, and expanding technical assistance at both the State and local levels that focuses on increasing the academic achievement of participants in funded programs.
From their formula grants, States make competitive awards of at least $50,000 to school districts, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, and other public or private entities for projects that primarily serve students attending high-poverty schools. States give priority to projects serving students who attend schools identified for improvement or corrective action under Title I, and projects emphasize activities that prepare students to meet State and local student performance standards in core academic subjects. The request would enable districts to provide after-school learning opportunitiesparticularly for children who attend high-poverty or low-performing schoolsto more than 1.3 million students.
This program provides flexible funding to State and local educational agencies for promising, evidence-based education reforms that meet the educational needs of all students. School districts may use funds to reduce class size, provide professional development, pay for Title I supplemental educational services, support smaller learning communities, and other activities. The program also provides a significant source of funding to support the transferability provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act, which permits school districts to transfer funds among four State grant programs (Improving Teacher Quality State Grants, Educational Technology State Grants, State Grants for Innovative Programs, and Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities State Grants) and from those programs to the Title I, Part A program.
This program increases public school choice options by supporting the planning, development, and initial implementation of public charter schools. A total of 41 States and the District of Columbia have charter school laws that relieve such schools from most education rules and regulations in exchange for greater accountability for improving student performance. The number of charter schools nationwide has grown to more than 2,700. Funds above $200 million would maintain support for the Per-Pupil Facilities Aid program, which provides matching funds to States that offer financial assistance to charter schools to obtain facilities.
Expanding the number of charter schools is a key Administration strategy for increasing the options available to parents seeking the best educational opportunities for their children. A major obstacle to the creation of charter schools in many communities is limited access to suitable academic facilities. The Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities program helps overcome this problem by providing grants to public and nonprofit entities to leverage funds to help charter schools purchase, construct, renovate, or lease academic facilities. With the proposed increase of almost $63 million over 2004, the program will be able to leverage, through such means as guarantees and insurance on leases and bonds to reduce the risk to landlords and bondholders, an estimated $963 million and support nearly 600 charter schools.
This initiative would provide the parents of students who attend low-performing schools with expanded opportunities for transferring their children to a higher-performing public, charter, or private school. The Department would make competitive awards to States, local educational agencies, and community-based nonprofit organizations with a proven record of securing educational opportunities for children. In making awards, priority would be given to applicants that, among other things, would provide large numbers of students with expanded choice opportunities. The Choice Incentive Fund complements a $14 million request in the 2005 District of Columbia Budget for opportunity scholarships to help increase the capacity of the District to provide parentsparticularly low-income parentswith more options to obtain a quality education for their children who are trapped in low-performing schools.
A growing body of evidence shows that providing parents and students with expanded choice options can improve the academic performance of the students exercising choice and the performance of schools at risk of losing students. For example, the September 2002 General Accounting Office report, School Vouchers: Characteristics of Privately Funded Programs, found that rigorous evaluations of private school choice programs in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Dayton, Ohio "provide some evidence that African American students who used vouchers to attend private schools showed greater improvements in math and reading than students in the comparison group." Additional studies have found that regular public schools improved their performance and responsiveness to parent and student needs when exposed to competition.
This program supports efforts to establish intradistrict and interdistrict public school choice programs to provide parents, particularly parents whose children attend low- performing public schools, with greater choice for their children's education. Grant funds support planning and implementation costs associated with new programs, tuition transfer payments to public schools that students choose to attend, and efforts to expand the capacity of schools to meet the demand for choice. The request would support the fourth year of 5-year grant awards to 13 grantees who are taking different approaches to increase school capacity by, among other things, augmenting school curricula to attract students and providing academic tutoring to help students who transfer succeed in their new environments, and developing ways to expand choice options in rural areas.
The request would support approximately 50 continuation grants to local educational agencies to operate magnet schools that are part of a court-ordered or approved desegregation plan to eliminate, reduce, or prevent minority group isolation in elementary and secondary schools. Magnet schools address their desegregation goals by providing a distinctive educational program that attracts a diverse student population. About $1 million would initiate a rigorous assessment of the impact of magnet schools on student outcomes.
The Administration is requesting $27.7 million to support the comprehensive centers authorized under Title II of the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002. By statute, the Department makes competitive awards to research organizations, institutions, agencies, institutions of higher education, or partnerships of such entities to establish not less than 20 centers, with at least one center in each of the 10 geographic regions served by the regional educational laboratories. The regional locations of the remaining centers are determined on the basis of the number of school-aged children, the proportion of disadvantaged students, the increased cost burdens of service delivery in sparsely populated areas, and the number of schools identified for improvement under Title I of ESEA.
Centers will provide services to State educational agencies, LEAs, regional educational agencies, and schools. At a minimum, each center would provide training and technical assistance in: the implementation and administration of programs authorized under the ESEA; the use of scientifically valid teaching methods and assessment tools in mathematics, science, reading and language arts, English language acquisition, and educational technology; and facilitating communication among education experts, school officials, teachers, parents, and librarians. In addition, centers will disseminate information and reports on improving academic achievement, closing achievement gaps, and sustaining school improvement to schools, teachers, parents and policymakers.
The Rural Education Program funds two separate programs that assist rural school districts in carrying out activities to help improve the quality of teaching and learning in their schools. The Small, Rural School Achievement program provides formula funds to rural school districts serving small numbers of students, and the Rural and Low-Income School program provides formula grants to States, which have the option of suballocating funds to high-poverty rural districts competitively or by formula. The request recognizes that small, often geographically isolated rural districts face special challenges in implementing some of the provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act.
Teaching and learning to the high standards demanded by the NCLB Act requires that our schools are safe and our students are drug-free. For 2005, the request would provide an overall increase of $41.8 million, or 18 percent, for Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities (SDFSC) activities. All of the new funds are requested for National Programs, while State Grants would be funded at the 2004 level of nearly $441 million.
The request would provide $100 million to more than double the number of youth served by the Mentoring Program, the largest component of the Administration's multi-agency, 3-year mentoring initiative in conjunction with the USA Freedom Corps. This program will harness millions of volunteer hours to support school-based mentoring programs that meet the needs of at-risk students in the middle school grades and assist them in the successful transition to secondary school.
Other National Programs activities focused on drug prevention and school safety include $30 million for school safety initiatives, including grants to school districts to improve local emergency response and crisis management planning and preparedness; $90 million for comprehensive, community-wide "Safe Schools/Healthy Students" drug and violence projects that are coordinated with local law enforcement, and also include mental health preventive and treatment services; and $12 million for "incentive grants" for school districts to help improve the outcomes of State Grant-funded projects. The request also includes $25 million for school-based drug testing programs for students and $5 million for Project SERV (School Emergency Response to Violence), which funds emergency response services to school districts in which the learning environment has been disrupted due to a violent or traumatic crisis.
This program makes competitive awards to States and school districts for such activities as developing character education curricula, implementing model character education programs that involve parents and community members, including private and nonprofit organizations, and training teachers to incorporate character-building lessons and activities into the classroom. Programs must be integrated into classroom instruction, consistent with State academic content standards, and coordinated with other State education reforms. Elements of character include such qualities as caring, civic virtue and citizenship, justice, respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, and giving.
These programs support activities to help students to understand, care about, and act on core ethical and citizenship values, while also helping to create safe and inclusive learning environments that foster student academic achievement along with increased social responsibility and tolerance for others.
Under We the People, a noncompetitive grant is awarded to the nonprofit Center for Civic Education in Calabasas, California. The program promotes civic competence and responsibility through teacher training and curriculum materials for upper elementary, middle, and high school students.
Cooperative Education Exchange supports education exchange activities in civics and economics between the United States and eligible countries in Central and Eastern Europe, any country that was formerly a republic of the Soviet Union, the Republic of Ireland, the province of Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom, and any democratic developing country. Award recipients provide educators from eligible countries with exemplary curriculum and teacher training programs in civics and economic education.
This program provides competitive grants to local educational agencies (LEAs) and community-based organizations to pay the Federal share of the costs of initiating, expanding, and improving physical education programs (including after-school programs) for students in kindergarten through 12th grade, in order to make progress toward meeting State standards for physical education. Funds may be used to provide equipment and support to enable students to participate actively in physical education activities and for training and education for teachers and staff. The request includes level funding to support the second year of funding for an estimated 230 projects initiated in 2004. The budget also includes proposed appropriations language that would make a portion of the funds available to support the Special Olympics.
The Fund for the Improvement of Education (FIE) provides authority for the Secretary to support nationally significant programs to improve the quality of elementary and secondary education at the State and local levels and help all students meet challenging State academic content standards and student achievement standards. The request would support national recognition activities, fund continuation costs of the 2003 Teacher Quality Initiative grants, and fund a number of other nationally significant activities that show promise for improving American education, including Reach Out and Read, a program designed to promote early literacy. In addition, funds will be used for continuation costs of other grants awarded in earlier fiscal years. The 2004 total includes $179.3 million for one-time projects and $74.1 million for Comprehensive School Reform, for which funding is not requested in 2005.
Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) authorizes formula grants to States based on each State's share of the Nation's limited English proficient (LEP) and recent immigrant student population. Grants enable States to design and implement a statewide response to the needs of their LEP students. The statute also provides a .5 percent set-aside for the Outlying Areas and a $5 million set-aside for elementary, secondary, and postsecondary schools operated predominantly for Native American children.
States must use at least 95 percent of formula funds for subgrants to school districts, based primarily on each district's share of the State's LEP students. In addition, States must use up to 15 percent of the 95 percent to increase the size of grants to districts that have experienced a significant increase in the percentage or number of recent immigrant students over the preceding two years.
States must develop annual measurable achievement objectives for LEP students that measure their success in achieving English language proficiency and meeting challenging State academic content and achievement standards. If a school district does not make progress toward meeting these objectives for two consecutive years, the State must require the district to develop and implement an improvement plan. If the district still is not meeting the State's annual achievement objectives after four consecutive years, the State must require the district to take corrective action to include approaches more likely to bring about meaningful change, such as comprehensive implementation of a new instructional method or replacing educational personnel responsible for the LEA's inability to meet the objectives. The State also may terminate assistance to the district.
Title III requires the Department to set aside 6.5 percent of the appropriation for National Activities, including the National Professional Development Project, a National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition and Language Instructional Programs, and evaluation. Under the National Professional Development Project, the Department makes 5-year competitive grants to institutions of higher education that have entered into consortium arrangements with State or local educational agencies. The purpose of these grants is to increase the pool of teachers prepared to serve limited English proficient students and increase the skills of teachers already in classrooms. The purpose of the National Clearinghouse contract is to collect and disseminate information about instructional programs for LEP students.
The Department is required to continue grants initiated under the antecedent statute. Thus, instructional services grantees funded under Subpart 1 of Title VII as it existed prior to enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act and professional development grantees under subpart 3 receive continuation awards consistent with their original grant terms. Since many projects concluded in 2004, the estimated funding needed for these continuations in 2005 is about $44.5 million (compared to $83.8 million in 2004).
The budget provides $394 million for Migrant Education to help nearly 750,000 children of migrant agricultural workers meet State academic standards. Migrant grants help States identify migrant children and pay the higher costs often associated with serving those children. The request also includes $48 million for the Title I Neglected and Delinquent program to provide educational services to an estimated 171,000 children and youth in State-operated institutions.
The High School Equivalency Program (HEP) funds projects to help low-income migrant and seasonal farm workers gain high school diplomas or equivalency certificates. The College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) provides stipends and special services such as tutoring and counseling to migrant students who are in their first year of college. The 2005 request provides sufficient funding for approximately 75 HEP and CAMP continuation grants. In addition, about 16 new HEP projects and 9 new CAMP projects will be initiated with funds released from projects that conclude in 2004.
This program provides formula grants to States to facilitate the enrollment of homeless students in school and give them access to services available to other children. States subgrant most funds to LEAs for tutoring, transportation, and other services that help homeless children to enroll in, attend, and succeed in school. Besides academic instruction, services help ensure access for these children to preschool programs, special education, and gifted and talented programs.
Since this program began in 1988, nearly all States have revised their laws, regulations, and policies to improve educational access for homeless students. States have typically eased residency requirements and improved transportation and immunization policies to ensure greater access for homeless students. Nevertheless, homeless children and youth continue to be at significant risk of educational failure and the request would maintain support for State and local activities designed to reduce that risk.
Indian Education programs supplement the efforts of State and local educational agencies, and Indian tribes, to improve educational opportunities for Indian children. The programs link these efforts to broader educational reforms underway in States and localities to ensure that Indian students benefit from those reforms and achieve to the same challenging academic standards as other students.
Grants to Local Educational Agencies provide funds to public and BIA-supported schools for activities to improve the educational achievement of Indian students. Special Programs for Indian Children includes $9.7 million to continue the American Indian Teacher Corps, which will support training for Indian teachers to take positions in schools that serve concentrations of Indian children, funding for a new round of grants for an American Indian Administrator Corps, and $10 million for demonstration grants to improve educational opportunities for Indian children in areas such as early childhood education and college preparation programs.
Finally, the request provides $5.2 million to implement a comprehensive research agenda that responds to the national need for better research, evaluation, and data collection on the educational status of Indians. This agenda focuses on filling gaps in national information on the educational status and needs of Indians, and on identifying educational practices that are effective with Indian students. The program also provides technical assistance to school districts and other entities receiving Indian Education formula and discretionary grants.
The Education for Native Hawaiians program provides supplemental education services and activities for Native Hawaiians, many of whom perform below national norms on achievement tests of basic skills in reading, science, and math. Grants support a variety of authorized activities. Other Department elementary and secondary education programs, particularly the State formula grant programs, also support improved achievement for Native Hawaiians.
The Alaska Native Education Equity program provides educational services to meet the special needs of Native Alaskan children. By statute, a portion of funds must be awarded annually to specific entities. The remaining funds support competitive grants for teacher training, student enrichment, and other activities that address the special needs of Alaska Native students in order to enhance their academic performance. Other Department elementary and secondary education programs, particularly the State formula grant programs, also support improved achievement for Alaska Native students.
This program supports 10 regional Equity Assistance Centers that provide services to school districts on issues related to discrimination based on race, gender, and national origin. Typical activities include disseminating information on successful practices and legal requirements related to nondiscrimination, providing training to educators to develop their skills in specific areas, such as identification of bias in instructional materials, and technical assistance on selection of instructional materials.
The Impact Aid program provides financial support to school districts affected by Federal activities. The property on which certain children live is exempt from local property taxes, denying districts access to the primary source of revenue used by most communities to finance education. Impact Aid helps to replace the lost local revenue that would otherwise be available to districts to pay for the education of these children.
The $1.1 billion request for Basic Support Payments would provide grants for both regular Basic Support Payments and Basic Support Payments for Heavily Impacted LEAs.
The $50.4 million request for Payments for Children with Disabilities would help eligible districts meet the mandate under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to provide a free appropriate public education for federally connected children with disabilities.
The Department of Education owns and maintains 41 school facilities that serve large numbers of military dependents. The $7.9 million request for Facilities Maintenance would fund essential repair and maintenance of these facilities and allow the Department to continue to transfer these schools to local school districts.
School districts also generally pay for most of their school construction costs using their own resources and rely on property taxes to finance these costs. The $45.9 million proposed for Construction would provide both formula and competitive grants to school districts. Formula grants assist districts with large proportions of military dependent students and students residing on Indian lands. Competitive grants focus on helping LEAs make emergency renovations and modernization changes.
The $61.6 million request for Payments for Federal Property would provide payments to districts that generally have lost 10 percent or more of their taxable property to the Federal Government.
For further information contact the ED Budget Service.
This page last modifiedFebruary 2, 2004 (mjj).