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Published:February 9th, 2007 02:45 EST

President's Budget Makes Strong Investments

By SOP newswire

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today praised President Bush's FY 2008 Department of Education budget request for providing increased resources to improve our public schools, increase rigor in our nation's high schools, and help more Americans afford college.

"President Bush believes that every student can learn and today he is reaffirming his commitment to a good education for every child, regardless of race, income or zip code," said Secretary Spellings. "This budget builds on the great progress our children have made under No Child Left Behind while at the same time targeting dollars more strategically to meet our students' most pressing needs and priorities," said Secretary Spellings.

The President's request of $56 billion makes bold investments in the core priorities of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) by increasing funding for the landmark law to $24.5 billion, up 41 percent since 2001. The President proposes an overall increase of $1.2 billion to help fund his priorities for NCLB reauthorization this year. (Building on Results: A Blueprint for Strengthening the No Child Left Behind Act is available at

More than $1.2 billion in funding will be invested in Title I to improve and strengthen our public schools. Additionally, $500 million in Title I School Improvement Grants will help states turn around low-performing schools and direct resources to students who need additional instruction to succeed. And for low-income families with students trapped in chronically underperforming schools, Promise and Opportunity Scholarships will provide a choice of intensive tutoring or the opportunity to attend a quality public, private or charter school.

"We're committed to fixing our public schools and providing help to children who need it the most," said Secretary Spellings. "We know that education is the key to a bright and hopeful future and it's never been more important that we ensure that opportunity is available to all our students."

To better prepare students to succeed in the global economy, the President proposes $365 million for the American Competitiveness Initiative to strengthen instruction in math, science, and critical foreign languages, the new currencies of the world economy.

To help more Americans afford and attend college, the President's budget proposes to increase the maximum Pell Grant to $4600 in 2008, the largest increase in over 30 years, and to $5400 by 2012, the largest five-year increase ever.

"With 90 percent of the fastest-growing jobs requiring post-secondary education or training, a college education is fast becoming a necessity," said Secretary Spellings. "Yet, as costs skyrocket it has become increasingly difficult for middle class and low-income families to afford college. The President's action will help make the dream of a college education the reality for more Americans."

Increases for new programs and priorities are possible through $2.2 billion in savings in out-dated or ineffective programs. In line with the President's target to reduce the federal deficit over the next five years and produce a balanced budget by 2012, the U.S. Department of Education's FY 2008 budget prioritizes effective policies and programs on behalf of America's students, parents, teachers, and taxpayers.

Among the highlights of the FY 2008 education budget request are:

Building on the Results of No Child Left Behind. $24.5 billion for priorities under NCLB. The President's top education priority for 2008 is reauthorization of NCLB, and his 2008 request is fully aligned with the goal of every child reading and doing math at grade level by 2014. Particular emphasis will be placed on bringing more resources and rigor to the high school level, as well as placing priority on providing low-income students with educational resources through Title I funds.

  • $1.2 billion increase for Title I, up 59 % since 2001, to increase high school share of Title I allocations and expand the impact and rigor of NCLB standards into high school.

  • $500 million in first-time School Improvement Grants for states to support school improvement and increase support for Local Educational Agencies improvement efforts.

  • $300 million for Promise Scholarships ($250 million) and Opportunity Scholarships ($50 million) to expand school choice options for students in low-performing schools.

Preparing Students for Global Competitiveness. $365 million to advance the goals of the American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI). The ACI focuses on early instruction and high school rigor in core subjects like math and science.

  • $365 million for American Competitiveness Initiative, including:
    • $250 million for Math Now ($125 million each for Elementary Math Now and Middle School Math Now)
    • $90 million increase for Advanced Placement/IB
    • $25 million for Adjunct Teacher Corps
    • $199 million for the Teacher Incentive Fund for locally developed incentive-based compensation and assignment systems

Helping Students Afford Higher Education. Rising college costs have a disparate impact on low-income families. Federal grant money provides many low and middle-income families with the resources to offset rising college costs.

  • Increase maximum Pell Grant to $4,600 in 2008, (up $550 for largest increase since 1974) and to $5,400 by 2012, with 5.5 million recipients in 2008.

  • Raise Academic Competitiveness Grants (ACG) by 50%, from $750 to $1,125 for first-year students and from $1,300 to $1,950 for second-year students;

Spending Taxpayer Dollars Wisely. To save $2.2 billion in taxpayer dollars, the President's budget recommends eliminating 44 programs that are duplicative, narrowly focused, or unable to demonstrate effectiveness.

  • For information about improving accountability in programs across the Federal government, please visit the new website With this website, taxpayers can see which programs work, which do not, and what the Federal government is doing to improve. will improve not only transparency, but also accountability in all Federal programs.

Information about No Child Left Behind Reauthorization, Building on Results: A Blueprint for Strengthening the No Child Left Behind Act, the American Competitiveness Initiative, the Advanced Placement Incentive Program, Striving Readers, the Math Now programs, the Adjunct Teacher Corps, and the National Security Language Initiative are available at

Contact: Katherine McLane
Rebecca Neale
(202) 401-1576