June 6, 2003, Extra Credit
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June 6, 2003
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The following letter to the editor was published in today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Bush Plan Puts Money Into Schools

The June 2 editorial "A nation still at risk" says: "Critics of No Child Left Behind say it is little more than wishful thinking from a president who has not put the money where his mouth is—and does not intend to." Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, never in the history of our country has a president invested so much in the education of our children. In this year alone, St. Louis city schools saw a 17.7 percent increase in funding for Title I, the federal government's main program designed to help low-income students.

Despite all the priorities competing for our tax dollars—strengthening our economy, defending our nation and expanding opportunities for all Americans—President George W. Bush's budget for next year boosts education funding to $53.1 billion. That is an incredible $11 billion increase since the president took office. Missouri alone will receive $865 million in federal education dollars, including $322 million to implement the No Child Left Behind reforms.

And just as important as the amount of spending is how the money is being spent. No Child Left Behind, with its emphasis on programs that have been proven to work, is using taxpayer dollars more wisely and more effectively than ever before. State and local leaders also have unprecedented flexibility to target federal resources where they are needed most.

The proof of No Child Left Behind's success already can be seen in cities, towns, and rural communities across the country as state after state, including Missouri, adopts strong accountability plans and uses the tools provided in the law to make more progress than ever before toward the goal of educating every child.

Rod Paige
Secretary of Education
Washington D.C.


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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: 08/23/2003