January 5, 2004, Extra Credit
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January 5, 2004
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 December 19
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"Complaints About Underfunding Should Be Wearing Thin Right About Now"

Following is the complete text of an editorial from the Dec. 20, 2003, edition of the Charleston Daily Mail:

Some officials in West Virginia have tried to portray the federal No Child Left Behind Act as an unfunded federal mandate.

The facts are contrary to that assertion. In three years under President Bush, federal spending on education has increased by $13.2 billion to $55.4 billion.

In West Virginia, federal funding for public schools has increased from $297 million in 2001 to $358 million in 2003.

Federal funding for Title 1 efforts to help the state's low-income students under No Child Left Behind have risen from $76 million in 2001 to $94 million in 2003.

In Kanawha County, federal funding for Title 1 initiatives under the act have risen from $6.6 million to $9.1 million

House Education Chairman John Boehner, R-Ohio, told Daily Mail editors last week that the state has yet to draw down $32 million in federal funds. More than half of that -- $17 million -- is supposed to help schools that have not made yearly progress under No Child Left Behind.

"All of these arguments about not enough money make me just want to scratch my head," Boehner said.

Federal funding for education has more than doubled in the past eight years, rising from $23 billion in fiscal year 1996 to more than $52 billion in fiscal year 2003.

Complaints about underfunding should be wearing thin right about now.

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NCLB Extra Credit is a regular look at the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's landmark education reform initiative passed with bipartisan support in Congress.

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Last Modified: 01/06/2004