For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


At one of his trademark elementary school photo ops earlier this year, President Bush said his
administration was pumping money into America’s schools like never before. “The federal government
is sending checks at record amounts,” he announced. In fact, Bush’s 2005 budget provides the smallest
increase in education funding since 1996; it also sends 38 federal education programs to the chopping
block, for a total of $1.4 billion in cuts (see sampling below). Even the president’s signature
education initiative, the No Child Left Behind Act, falls far short of the funding Bush promised
for it—one reason why legislators in at least 17 states have endorsed bills protesting the
law.

PROGRAM

PROPOSED CUT/
UNDERFUNDING

WHAT IT DOES

$9.4 billion
(27 percent)

Over the past four years, Bush has allocated $30 billion less than Congress authorized for the law, which requires increased testing and penalizes schools where scores don’t improve. Programs for disadvantaged students take the hardest hit; the budget leaves them underfunded by $7.2 billion.

$247 million

Eliminates program that teaches parents and children in poor families to read; in 2002, Bush praised Even Start’s work as “incredibly important.”

$5 million

Eliminates program to help at-risk students. Under No Child Left Behind, schools are penalized if students drop out.

$11 million

Eliminates program for gifted students who are minorities, disabled, or speak little English.

$10 million

Eliminates program that brings computers to places where kids don’t have access to technology, such as housing projects.

$17 million

Eliminates program.

$316 million

Cuts 20 percent of federal funding for job-training programs.

$35 million

Eliminates program.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest