On the campaign trail, President Obama pledged: “You don’t reform our schools by opposing efforts to fully fund No Child Left Behind.” He said that in his biggest education speech of the general election campaign.
The economic stimulus package was a down payment on fulfilling that promise. Under the law, the Title I grants to districts for the education of disadvantaged students will receive $10 billion, split over fiscal years 2009 and 2010. The money makes up almost half of the difference between the program’s fiscal 2008 appropriation ($13.8 billion) and what NCLB advocates consider full funding for fiscal 2007 (the final year for which the law set authorization levels).
But once the stimulus money runs out, will Congress and Obama have the money to replace it? That’s a big question, especially if you look at the fiscal 2009 appropriations bill under consideration in the House.
Under that bill, funding for school districts under Title I would rise to $14.5 billion—a 4.3 percent jump. That would leave a steep climb for the program to receive $25 billion in fiscal 2011.
A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.