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At one of his trademark elementary school photo ops earlier this year, President Bush said his
administration was pumping money into America’s schools like never before. “The federal government
is sending checks at record amounts,” he announced. In fact, Bush’s 2005 budget provides the smallest
increase in education funding since 1996; it also sends 38 federal education programs to the chopping
block, for a total of $1.4 billion in cuts (see sampling below). Even the president’s signature
education initiative, the No Child Left Behind Act, falls far short of the funding Bush promised
for it—one reason why legislators in at least 17 states have endorsed bills protesting the
law.

PROGRAM

PROPOSED CUT/
UNDERFUNDING

WHAT IT DOES

$9.4 billion
(27 percent)

Over the past four years, Bush has allocated $30 billion less than Congress authorized for the law, which requires increased testing and penalizes schools where scores don’t improve. Programs for disadvantaged students take the hardest hit; the budget leaves them underfunded by $7.2 billion.

$247 million

Eliminates program that teaches parents and children in poor families to read; in 2002, Bush praised Even Start’s work as “incredibly important.”

$5 million

Eliminates program to help at-risk students. Under No Child Left Behind, schools are penalized if students drop out.

$11 million

Eliminates program for gifted students who are minorities, disabled, or speak little English.

$10 million

Eliminates program that brings computers to places where kids don’t have access to technology, such as housing projects.

$17 million

Eliminates program.

$316 million

Cuts 20 percent of federal funding for job-training programs.

$35 million

Eliminates program.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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