2007-10-19 / Community

Weiner:NCLB Leaves City Billions Behind

By Nicholas Briano

Earlier this week Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Queens and Brooklyn) (left) joined by Rep. Yvette Clark (D-Brooklyn) (right) released a report showing that the "No Child Left Behind Act" has shortchanged the city schools by $3.3 billion since 2003. Earlier this week Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Queens and Brooklyn) (left) joined by Rep. Yvette Clark (D-Brooklyn) (right) released a report showing that the "No Child Left Behind Act" has shortchanged the city schools by $3.3 billion since 2003. When Congress passed the controversial "No Child Left Behind Act", it attempted to insure an education for each American child, to literally leave no child behind. Instead, however, according to Congressman Anthony Weiner, the government forgot the money attached to the bill, as a reported $3.3 billion failed to reach the New York City school system since 2003. And, he says, the deficit grows larger every year.

A report recently released by Weiner outlines how New York City has been severely underfunded by President Bush and his "No Child Left Behind Act" of 2002.

Congress is going to meet later this fall to consider whether or not to discontinue the program, which uses formulas based on district population and poverty levels to consider how much funding a school district should receive to use towards programs for disadvantaged students.

As recently as 2007, the federal government promised New York City schools $1.8 billion in aid from the program, however only $834 million was delivered to the city, a lowly 54 percent. The gap in funding started as early as the first year of the program, when New York City only received 32 percent of the funds assured to them. The gap has grown each year since inception by at least 5 percent, and the government has shown no signs of attempting to fix this. Weiner feels this must be addressed and says President Bush gets a failing grade when it comes to our schools, teachers and kids.

"Education is the key to our kids' success, and they are being left behind," he said.

The shortage of funds has had a particularly heavy impact in Queens. The borough was only given $149 million of the promised $320 million for the NCLB program. A program that is designed to improve education across the nation is neglecting one of the most populated and needful cities in the country. However, not that this should make anyone feel better in New York City, but President Bush has not delivered over $70 billion in funding since the program was signed into law. The schools are being forced to use their own funds to cover the cost of what the Bush administration has failed to provide each year in federal aid.

When Congress meets to discuss the future of the program, Weiner feels that the issue of "funding neglect" should be addressed moving forward, as well the premises of which the program was first created and based on.

"I'm going to fight in Washington to give New York City what it was promised," said Weiner.

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