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President Bush proposed a return to deficit spending when he sent his fiscal year 2003 budget to Capitol Hill. The President’s spending priorities focus on the war on terrorism both at home and abroad. The budget proposal freezes or cuts many domestic priorities.

The Bush budget includes a $2 billion increase for both Title I and IDEA–$1 billion each–but raises overall education funding only 1.0 percent over the enacted 2002 level. Increases in programs such as Title I are offset by cutting or eliminating more than $1 billion in other education programs, including the Smaller Learning Communities program that benefits high schools. In fact, programs affected by the much-touted No Child Left Behind Act (HR 1) suffer a small net cut in fiscal year 2003–despite all the fanfare surrounding the signing of the bill into law less than one month ago.

In the graph below, the President’s proposed $1 billion increase for fiscal year 2003 still falls $4.65 billion short of the authorized levels Congress and the President set for Title I in the No Child Left Behind Act just one month ago.



No Child Left Behind

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