February 9, 2005 Extra Credit
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February 9, 2005

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FY 2006 Budget Facts: Expanding Options For Parents

The No Child Left Behind Act significantly expanded educational choice for students and their parents, primarily by requiring public school choice and supplemental educational services options for students attending schools identified for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring. In most school districts, however, there are too few alternatives for parents seeking a quality education for their children. The 2006 request includes the following proposals to help ensure that students and parents have meaningful choices:

  • $50 million for a new Choice Incentive Fund that would provide competitive awards to States, school districts, and community-based nonprofit organizations to provide parents the opportunity to transfer their children to a higher-performing public, private, or charter school. This proposal would complement $14.6 million in the 2006 request for the District of Columbia to continue funding opportunity scholarships for low-income students in low-performing schools.
  • $27 million for Voluntary Public School Choice grants to give families better education options by encouraging States and school districts to establish or expand public school choice programs, including those providing choice across a State or across districts. Grants support planning, transportation, tuition transfer payments, and efforts to increase the capacity of schools to accept students exercising a choice option.
  • $219 million for Charter Schools Grants, which would support approximately 1,200 new and existing charter schools. The request includes $19 million for the State Charter School Facilities Incentive Grants program, which assists charter schools in obtaining facilities by matching funds from State programs that make payments, on a per-pupil basis, to finance charter schools facilities.
  • $37 million for the Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities program to maintain assistance for charter schools in acquiring, leasing, and renovating school facilities by encouraging public and nonprofit entities to provide financing through such means as providing loan guarantees, insuring debt, and other activities to encourage private lending.

About Extra Credit
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: 02/10/2005