Monday, February 14, 2005

How Bush is going to fund high school testing...

From: Packer, Joel [NEA] []
Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2005 2:56 PM

By the way, here's how the President's budget proposes to legislatively accomplish his high school reform proposals. As opposed to proposing to actually amending NCLB, the Budget proposes to simply do all this as amendments to the FY 06 education appropriations bill using existing NCLB authorized programs or adding new mandates to Title I.
Here's how:

1) Add two more grades to high school mandated NCLB testing. The budget proposes to add language to the FY 06 education appropriations bill that would provide $250 million for grants to States to develop the additional math and reading tests (interestingly, nothing about additional science tests). Any State that receives Title I funds (which is all states) must develop such assessments and incorporate them into their AYP systems, under "such conditions as the Secretary may establish".

2) High School Intervention: Proposes $1.24 billion for a new program, to be run through the Fund for the Improvement of Education program under NCLB, that would provide formula grants to states (no formula specified) which in turn would provide competitive awards to school districts to "enable them to implement targeted interventions in high-need [undefined] secondary schools". A key piece here is that since part of the funding for this new program comes from the proposed elimination of TRIO Upward Bound, TRIO Talent Search, and GEAR-UP, and those programs have multi-year grants to awardees, more than half of this $1.24 billion ($683 million) will go to pay for such continuation grants.

The only further information provided is this:

High School Interventions. This new initiative would support formula grants to States that wold (sic) in turn award the funds competitively to local educational agencies to enable those entities to implement targeted interventions in high-need secondary schools in order to increase student achievement and narrow achievement gaps between students from different ethnic and racial groups and between disadvantaged students and their more advantaged peers.

3) Mandate that all states participate in 12th grade NAEP: Simply says that as a condition of receiving Title I funds states must do this, "if the Secretary pays the cost of administering such assessments". The budget does propose an additional $22.5 million for such costs.

The overall "new/increased" funding for high school programs in the Bush budget broadly defined includes the following:

Extend NCLB testing for two additional high school grades = $250 million

High School Intervention = $1.240 million

Increase Striving Readers = $175 million

Increase math/science partnerships = $90 million

Increase advanced placement = $22 million

State Scholars Capacity building = $12 million

Mandated NAEP 12th grade state participation= $22.5 million

Total = $1.811 billion

However, these "increases" are paid for by proposed elimination of the following existing high school programs (broadly defined):

Vocational Education State Grants = $1.194 billion

Voc ed tech-prep states grants = $105.8 million

Smaller learning communities = $95.5 million

TRIO Upward Bound = $280 million

TRIO Talent Search = $145 million

GEAR UP = $306 million

Total eliminations = $2.126 billion


Joel Packer
Manager, ESEA Policy
Government Relations
202-255-0915 (cell)
202-822-7309 (fax)

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