Murray’s Education Amendment Passes Senate

Mar 25 2003

Will increase funding by $2 billion for “No Child Left Behind”

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – In a victory for schools, teachers and schoolchildren, the U.S. Senate has approved an amendment by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) to increase education funding by $2 billion in the fiscal year (FY) 2004 budget. The measure passed on a voice vote, and the funding will be offset by a similar reduction in the tax cut.

As written, the FY 2004 budget under-funds the "No Child Left Behind" law by $8.9 billion, forcing local school districts to comply with a host of federal mandates without the resources to carry them out. To remedy the problem, Murray offered an amendment to the budget last week to fully-fund the law by increasing education funding by $8.9 billion. That effort was defeated on a 50-48 vote, largely along party lines.

Today, Murray tried again, and succeeded in passing a $2 billion increase in school funds for FY 2004. By working with moderate Republicans who share her dedication to education, Sen. Murray was able to secure Senate passage of this amendment.

"This is great news for students, teachers and schools across the country," Murray said. "At a time when many state budget crises have resulted in cuts to school funding, these dollars are more important than ever. While we did not get everything that our children need, we have taken a significant step in the right direction.

In 2001, Congress passed the "No Child Left Behind" act with strong bipartisan support. Since then, however, Congress and the President have failed to provide the funding to help states meet the law's new mandates on local schools and districts.