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Kildee: Bush's Cuts to Education are 'Shameful'

Location: Washington, DC

Kildee: Bush's Cuts to Education are ‘Shameful'

Responding to President George W. Bush's FY2008 budget proposal released today, Congressman Dale Kildee (D-MI) said he was disturbed by the cuts the President proposes to make to our nation's education system.

"These cuts to education are shameful," said Congressman Kildee, chairman of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education. "I am deeply disappointed that the dollar amounts in the President's education budget do not match the words of his recent State of the Union address."

Overall, the President's budget cuts Department of Education discretionary funding by $1.5 billion compared to last year's level. And while this year's proposed budget increases funding for the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) program, it would still underfund NCLB by $14.8 billion for FY 2008, compared to the funding level authorized by the President and the Congress when NCLB was enacted into law. This represents a cumulative underfunding of $70.91 billion of NCLB since 2002.

"For the seventh consecutive year, the President's budget grossly underfunds the No Child Left Behind Act, as well as cutting $100 million dollars from Head Start, just as Congress is working to reauthorize these laws," Congressman Kildee said. "The budget also cuts $300 million from special education for children with disabilities. Our children deserve better if they are to succeed in school and in the global economy."

The President's budget request cuts $300 million from special education programs; as a result, the budget represents a federal investment that is less than half than what is called for under the law. Finally, this year's budget means Head Start early childhood education programs would experience a 13 percent cut in funding since 2002. In recent years, the President's cuts to Head Start have meant many programs have had to shorten program hours, decrease classroom instruction, and eliminate transportation services.

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