2003 Adopted Resolutions
71st Annual Meeting

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WHEREAS, the President George W. Bush stated that the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the framework for bipartisan education reform, is "the cornerstone of my Administration" and has emphasized his deep belief in our public schools, but has an ever greater concern that "too many of our neediest children are being left behind;" and

WHEREAS, NCLB includes such principles and strategies as increased accountability for states, school districts, and schools; greater choice for parents and students, particularly those from low-income backgrounds who attend low-performing schools; more flexibility for states and school districts in the use of federal education dollars; and a stronger emphasis on teaching methods grounded in scientifically based research, especially in teaching our children to read; and

WHEREAS, President Bush promised to provide more resources for education in exchange for stronger accountability for results on condition that federal funds be used to support proven educational methods; and

WHEREAS, federal education funds and programs must be used as an investment in sound practices that will leverage educational change at the state and local levels; and

WHEREAS, the President has committed his continuing support for the education programs that will meet economically disadvantaged student needs at the K-12 level and beyond; and

WHEREAS, NCLB takes positive steps toward maximizing student achievement and reducing achievement gaps, and the law acknowledges the fundamental link between funding and quality; and

WHEREAS, the President's NCLB budget requests in fiscal year 2004 cuts $1.2 billion from the funding levels just approved by Congress and signed by President Bush in February for fiscal year 2003; and

WHEREAS, several titles in the NCLB legislation have authorization levels significantly higher than the amounts requested by the President in his fiscal year 2004 education budget including $6 billion less in Title I which means 1/3 of the eligible children will not be served; $225 million less for improving teacher quality jeopardizing an ability to train, hire and retain highly qualified teachers; and $1.1 billion less for after school including a $400 million cut from the current appropriation that eliminates services for a half million children; and

WHEREAS, meeting several of the legislative requirements of the Act increases the cost of education for states and local education systems at a time when fiscal resources are very tight, but the requirements must be met to continue to receive federal education funds; and

WHEREAS, there are a growing number of students attending the nation's public schools which reached 47.6 million students, an increase of approximately 200,000 this year, and enrollments are projected to continue to increase until 2005 then stabilize until 2010 before the rise is expected to continue for many years,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors urges the federal government to further increase its investment in elementary and secondary education and the programs authorized by the No Child Left Behind Act, and wherever possible that states further assist in funding; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors calls for the full funding of the No Child Left Behind Act by the Congress of the United States so we meet the nation's obligation to all students that no child is left behind.