SOTU: Bush Has Cut Science Education Funding

Bush said: “We need to encourage children to take more math and science, and make sure those courses are rigorous enough to compete with other nations. We have made a good start in the early grades with the No Child Left Behind Act, which is raising standards and lifting test scores across our country. … If we ensure that America’s children succeed in life, they will ensure that America succeeds in the world.”

FACT — BUSH PROPOSED FIRST CUT IN EDUCATION SPENDING IN A DECADE: Bush’s budget for FY 2006 proposed the “first cut in overall federal education spending in a decade.” The administration requested a reduction of a half billion dollars, or 0.9 percent, from the current spending plan. [Washington Post, 2/7/05]

FACT — SCIENCE EDUCATION HAS SUFFERED UNDER BUSH’S TERM: No Child Left Behind has actually hurt science education, by testing exclusively on math and reading. Some “teachers are being told to stop teaching science and get back to reading and math,” complains Gerald Wheeler, executive director of the National Science Teachers Association. [Business Week, 3/16/04]