President's FY 2009 Education Budget: Building On Results
February 2008
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"We must trust students to learn if given the chance, and empower parents to demand results from our schools. In neighborhoods across our country, there are boys and girls with dreams — and a decent education is their only hope of achieving them."
— President George W. Bush

The President's FY 2009 Education Budget builds on his legacy of successful education reform by supporting programs and policies that produce results for both students and taxpayers. The focus remains on strengthening the No Child Left Behind Act so that all students will perform on grade-level or above by 2014, challenging high school students with rigorous coursework, closing the achievement gap, and making college more affordable.

Highlights of the President's 2009 Budget Proposal

No Child Left Behind Act

The FY 2009 budget provides $24.5 billion for No Child Left Behind, a $127 million increase over 2008 levels, and a 41 percent increase since 2001. Thanks to NCLB, test scores are up and the achievement gap is narrowing. Now that the law has helped identify the areas of greatest need, we must build on this progress by focusing resources where they will make the greatest difference.

  • Title I Program—$14.3 billion
    A $406 million increase (up 63% since 2001) to ensure that high-poverty schools have the extra resources they need to help all students reach proficiency.
  • Title I School Improvement Grants—$491 million
    To support strong, effective state leadership in helping turn around low-performing schools and districts.
  • State Assessment Grants—$409 million
    To maintain support for strong assessment systems, including high school assessments aligned with college and work-ready standards.
  • Statewide Data Systems—$100 million
    A $52 million increase to help create data systems to guide decision-making from kindergarten through college.
  • Teacher Incentive Fund—$200 million
    A $103 million increase to encourage our most experienced teachers to work in our neediest schools, and reward them for results.

Providing Teachers with Research-Proven Resources for Reading

The FY 2009 Budget restores Reading First funding because it is the largest, most effective reading program in our country's history.

  • Reading First Program—$1 billion
    A $607 million increase to provide training for teachers based on decades of scientifically based research and restore funding to the previous level required to implement this essential program.
  • Striving Readers Program—$100 million
    A $64.6 million increase to expand the development and implementation of research-based interventions to help teenage students who are reading below grade level.

Empowering Families with More Choices

When schools fall short of reaching goals for multiple years in a row, NCLB offers parents choices, such as free tutoring and school choice, to help ensure that their children are receiving a quality education.

  • New Pell Grants for Kids Program—$300 million
    To provide scholarships that enable low-income students who are currently enrolled in schools in restructuring or high school "dropout factories" to transfer to out-of-district public schools or local private schools. Scholarships would cover tuition, fees, transportation, and other costs.
  • Revised 21st Century Learning Opportunities Program—$800 million
    To transform the low-performing 21st Century Community Learning Centers program into a scholarship program enabling poor students in struggling schools to enroll in high-quality after-school and summer school programs.

Preparing Students to Compete in the Global Knowledge-Based Economy

The President's American Competitiveness Initiative, along with other programs, focuses on math, science, and other high-level skills needed to succeed in today's economy.

  • Math Now—$95 million
    To employ proven, research-based instructional methods—based in part on findings of the National Math Panel—to help ensure that all children can take and pass algebra and other advanced courses.
  • Expanded Advanced Placement Programs—$70 million
    A $26 million increase to expand AP and IB offerings in math, science, and critical foreign languages.
  • Adjunct Teacher Corps—$10 million
    To create opportunities for qualified professionals, especially those in math- and science-related fields, to lend their expertise to the educational system.
  • Advancing America Through Foreign Language Partnerships—$24 million
    To support partnerships with school districts for language learning from kindergarten through high school and into advanced language study at the postsecondary level.

Offering Extra Help for Students with Disabilities and Students Learning English

A signal achievement of No Child Left Behind was a new focus on the academic achievement of all students, including those with disabilities and those learning English as a second language.

  • Special Education Grants to States—$11.3 billion
    A $4.9 billion increase since 2001 to provide special education and other resources for students with disabilities.
  • English Language Acquisition—$730 million
    A $30 million increase to help meet the needs of the growing population of students with limited English skills.

Making College More Affordable

The President's FY 2009 budget raises the Pell grant maximum award to its largest annual amount ever. The budget also provides support for programs that will help more students access and afford a college degree.

  • Pell Grants—$18.9 billion
    A 116% increase since 2001 to help nearly 5.8 million low-income students afford higher education. This amount would increase the maximum award to $4,800.
  • Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education—$37.4 million
    $16 million, including a $10 million increase to facilitate the transfer of credits between higher education institutions, reducing the amount of time and money spent by the nearly 60% of students who transfer.
  • New Bridge to College—$5 million
    To provide rigorous coursework and bridge services for adults who want to attend college but need extra help.
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities Capital Financing—$10.4 million
    To support an additional $61 million in guaranteed loans for construction, reconstruction, and renovation.

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Last Modified: 01/27/2009