Student Achievement

Spread the Word On Tutoring, Bush Urges

September 17, 2003 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

President Bush used a visit to a Nashville, Tenn., school last week to highlight one of the challenges in the No Child Left Behind Act: making sure parents know about new options that could benefit their children.

He pointed to the 69,000-student Nashville school system as a model for its efforts to reach out to families eligible to receive extra academic help under the statute, including tutoring paid for with a school district’s federal aid.

The Sept. 8 event in Tennessee was one of at least three times earlier this month that the president spotlighted the 2001 federal law, the centerpiece of his education agenda. He discussed the No Child Left Behind Act in his radio address a few days earlier, and again on Sept. 9 at a public school in Jacksonville, Fla.

"[O]ne of the problems we face, obviously not here, but one of the problems we face, is whether or not other school districts are properly advertising that which is available for students that need help,” Mr. Bush told the crowd in Nashville’s Kirkpatrick Elementary School. “We’ve come to Nashville because the superintendent of schools [Pedro E. Garcia] has decided to make it widely known that extra services for children are available. ...”

He was referring to a provision in the law requiring districts whose Title I schools have not made adequate progress on test scores for three years straight to make available supplemental educational services for students from low-income families. Parents get to choose from a range of providers, such as private tutoring companies, nonprofit organizations, and after-school enrichment programs provided by districts.

Some districts reportedly have done little to promote such options to parents, especially options that would involve diverting federal aid from district coffers.

Mr. Bush also called on governors and other leaders to promote the provision to parents.

In Jacksonville, the president joined with the Broad Foundation, a private philanthropy, in announcing about $60 million in funding—most of that coming from the foundation—to help states and school districts comply with the No Child Left Behind Act’s mandates on reporting student performance data. (“President Bush Unveils State Data Collection Effort,” this issue.)

‘Sound Bites’

President Bush also took time during each of his recent speeches to defend his budget request for education, which has come under sharp attack from many Democrats in Congress. They contend that Mr. Bush has provided far less than “promised” under the No Child Left Behind law, referring to the amounts authorized for certain programs each year.

For example, the president has requested $12.3 billion for the Title I program for disadvantaged students for the 2004 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. The law authorizes $18.5 billion for that budget year, though Republicans have been quick to point out that Congress often doesn’t fully fund the authorized spending levels in many federal programs.

“The budget for next year boosts funding for elementary and secondary education to $53.1 billion,” Mr. Bush said in Nashville. “That’s a 26 percent increase since I took office. In other words, we understand that resources need to flow to help solve the problem.”

However, Mr. Bush’s budget request doesn’t exactly boost education spending next year. The figure he cited of $53.1 billion—the overall proposed discretionary budget for the Department of Education, including money for higher education and other expenses—is just about the same amount Congress approved for fiscal 2003.

Last week, Sen. Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, the top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, proposed an amendment to increase spending on Title I by some $6 billion above President Bush’s request. The measure was defeated on a procedural motion, 51-44.

“Where is the president?” said Mr. Byrd before the vote. “What happened to his commitment to education? I will tell you what happened. Once the president signed the No Child Left Behind Act and the cameras stopped rolling and the sound bites faded away, the president walked away from the job of funding education.”

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Why Retaining Education Leaders of Color Is Key for Student Success
Today, in the United States roughly 53 percent of our public school students are young people of color, while approximately 80 percent of the educators who lead their classrooms, schools, and districts are white. Racial
Jobs January 2022 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Student Achievement Spotlight Spotlight on Tutoring
This Spotlight will empower you with information on considerations and strategies for designing high-impact tutoring programs and more.
Student Achievement Research Center Reports High-Achieving, Low-Income Graduates in a Pandemic: Results of a National Survey
The EdWeek Research Center surveyed high-achieving graduates to assess the pandemic’s impact on their lives. This report details findings.
Student Achievement The Pandemic Hit Vulnerable Students Hardest. Now, Schools Have to Reckon With the Effects
A new report from McKinsey & Company demonstrates that schools are beginning an uneven COVID recovery process.
6 min read
Illustration of two individuals walking across valley. One walking easily across a bridge and the other walking a tightrope.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Student Achievement From Our Research Center Low Test Scores Have Educators Worried, Survey Shows
Still, some educators say the scores aren't useful tools in planning for academic recovery.
5 min read
Illustration of man with magnifying glass looking at data
Getty