Murray Offers Amendment to Fully Fund ‘No Child Left Behind'

Mar 13 2003

Budget Amendment Fails on Party-Line Vote

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Senator Patty Murray today offered an amendment to the fiscal year 2004 budget to fully fund the No Child Left Behind Act. Murray's amendment would add $8.9 billion to the budget to fulfill the federal commitment to schools in Washington state and around the country. The amendment failed on a party-line vote.

"Republicans continue to choose tax cuts over fulfilling our promise to America's children," Murray said. "We came together in a bipartisan way to pass 'No Child Left Behind.' Now is the time to come together again and provide the funding we promised to students in Washington state and around the country."

Congress signed the No Child Left Behind Act in December 2001 and the President signed it based on two commitments: schools would be held accountable for their progress and the federal government would provide schools with the resources to meet those new requirements. As of today, the federal government has not sufficiently funded the Act and schools around the country are struggling to meet accountability standards.

"The greatest test of No Child Left Behind is whether we can make the law work for children without punishing them. So far it seems that Congress is failing that test," Murray said. "Without full funding, No Child Left Behind will fail and our children will pay the price."

Among the many programs funded under Murray's amendment are:

  • Title I
  • Teacher Quality/Class Size
  • English Language Acquisition
  • After School Centers
  • Rural Education

Murray's amendment also included sufficient funding to restore the President's cuts to such programs as:

  • Smaller Learning Communities
  • School Leadership
  • Dropout Prevention Programs