Education

Bush Campaign Proposals on Education

January 10, 2001 2 min read
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ACCOUNTABILITY

Emphasizes increased flexibility in exchange for more accountability. Would require states to give mathematics and reading tests to all students in grades 3-8 who attend schools receiving federal Title I aid and to publish annual school-by-school report cards with student performance broken down by race and income. States that failed to improve student achievement over five years would be required to place the administrative portion of their federal aid into a fund for charter schools. Would offer bonuses to states and schools that made the most progress in improving student achievement.

SCHOOL CHOICE/VOUCHERS

Supports vouchers for students in failing Title I schools that do not improve their students’ performance after three years. Such schools would be required to give a portion of their federal aid to students to enable them to attend another school, whether public or private. Would seek to double the number of charter schools by 2003 by creating a Charter School Homestead Fund, which would provide $3 billion in loan guarantees over two years for such costs as the acquisition, leasing, and renovation of facilities.

TEACHER QUALITY

Would combine existing federal funds for professional development, class-size reduction, and the Goals 2000 school reform program into a flexible new fund for teacher training and recruitment, with $400 million a year in additional money. In return, states would be required to establish teacher- accountability systems. Would establish a tax deduction for teachers to help defray their out-of-pocket classroom expenses.

EARLY-CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Supports a greater educational focus for Head Start, in part by putting it under the Department of Education’s supervision. Head Start providers would have to emphasize reading and school readiness to receive federal grants. Also would require grant recipients to adopt core curricula, and would award contracts on a competitive basis to spur improvements.

READING

Would establish a new five-year, $5 billion initiative to help ensure that all students learn to read by the 3rd grade, with an emphasis
on disadvantaged children. Participating states would be required to include phonics-based instruction in their programs, train K-2 teachers in reading preparation, and test students in grades 3-8 in reading.

AFTER-SCHOOL AID

Would revise the 21st Century Learning Centers program to allow faith-based and community organizations to compete for funding. Currently, only schools may apply for the funds. Also would spend $400 million a year to provide low-income families with certificates to help defray the costs of after-school care.

A version of this article appeared in the January 10, 2001 edition of Education Week as Bush Campaign Proposals on Education

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