Alexandria, VA – November 16, 2007 – This week, President Bush turned his back on the future of our nation’s schools and students by vetoing the FY2008 Labor-Health & Human Services-Education funding bill (H.R. 3043). Last night, the House of Representatives had an opportunity to correct that mistake by overriding his veto, but came up two votes short of the necessary two-thirds majority. We are deeply disappointed by these shortsighted actions.
The President’s veto jeopardizes the federal investment in programs that impact a significant number of Americans – from education to healthcare The failure of the House to override the veto put these programs further at risk.
The President’s veto, which affects our communities, our nation’s 15,000 school districts, and our 49 million public school students, signals an alarming dismissal of the very principles aimed at enhancing student achievement the administration embraced when signing the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) into law. The funding our school districts need to fulfill these goals has been consistently inadequate, particularly in comparison to the actual expenses incurred by districts and the amounts of funding Congress previously authorized under NCLB between 2002 and 2007.
The veto also affects funding for students under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which remains critically under-funded, as school districts strive to address the needs of the more than 6 million students receiving services under IDEA.
The bill would have increased funding for disadvantaged students, school improvement, special education, teacher quality grants, career and technical education, and other key K-12 education programs. These targeted increases to help raise student achievement represent less than one percent of the overall federal budget of more than $2.7 trillion; and, they are greatly needed in our schools. We hope that during the Thanksgiving recess, the nation’s leaders who have stood in the way of necessary investments in education will reconsider their actions and make it right when they return to Washington in December.
About the National School Boards Association
Founded in 1940, the National School Boards Association is a not-for profit federation of state associations of school boards across the United States. Its mission is to foster excellence and equity in public elementary and secondary education in the United States through local school board leadership.