The AP reported yesterday “Eleven states will get less federal money for poor students next school year.” The states with overall cuts are Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The cuts come even as the federal government imposes more stringent standards on every school as part of the No Child Left Behind Act.
But Department of Education data obtained by the Center for American Progress, formerly unavailable to the public, reveals the problem is even worse than previously reported. Data detailing cuts at the local level shows over 7,000 school districts – not just in 11 states but across the nation – will face significant cuts in federal funds to help disadvantaged kids in reading, math and other subjects. Nearly half of all school districts and millions of children will be affected.
The Bush administration’s persistent underfunding of federal education programs is largely responsible for the cuts. For 2004, the President has spent more than $6 billion less in Title I education funding than he committed to when he signed the No Child Left Behind Act.