The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) set laudable goals for our schools such as raising academic standards, holding schools accountable, and closing the achievement gap. But its methods are wrong. The law is, in reality, hurting struggling schools and leaving many of California's children further behind.
Since 2002, the federal government has broken its promise to fully fund NCLB - shortchanging schools by over $40 billion. Money required by the Act that could be used for tutoring, remedial classes and teacher training has been withheld by the Bush administration - particularly from California - where funding will fall short by over $2.2 billion this year alone.
Under NCLB, a school is labeled as "failing" if its students score below a certain level on standardized tests, despite the fact that many of the school's students may show marked improvement in their test scores from previous years.
NCLB is an under-funded mandate that punishes schools without giving them the funding they need to improve. It's clear that if fiscal support for NCLB is not significantly increased, the quality of California's public schools will be the cost.
That's why we're calling on all Californians to take action. Sign this petition to urge the President and Congress to fully fund the No Child Left Behind program.
Know a teacher? Make your impact even more powerful by forwarding them the petition!
Dear Mr. President and Congress,
This year the proposed budget for FY07 falls short of providing the funds schools need to meet the No Child Left Behind Act mandates. So far, you've underfunded this program by over $40 billion. This is particularly disconcerting in a state like California where over 6.4 million students are part of the public education system.
Without adequate funding, schools the Act deems as "failing" have little hope of meeting the Actís strict mandates. Instead of punishing struggling schools, you should give them the resources they need to succeed.
No Child Left Behind is not saving America's public schools systems; in fact, it's actually hurting the struggling schools and students that need the most assistance.
I urge you to fully fund the No Child Left Behind Act before irreparable damage is caused to Californiaís and our nation's public schools. Please stand up for our children and invest in their education and their future.
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