• President Bush\’s FY 2003 budget contains important new options to empower parents – particularly low-income families – to improve their children\’s education.
  • The President\’s budget backs up the important parental choice provisions of the historic No Child Left Behind Act with significant resources.
  • The President is proposing a new refundable tax credit that will cover 50 percent of the cost of books, computers, transportation, supplies and tuition to allow children currently trapped in failing public schools to attend a school of their choice.


  • The No Child Left Behind Act that the President signed into law earlier this year redefines the federal role in education by turning federal spending programs into federal investments in the achievement of American students. Through the new law, states will set high standards and measure student progress annually, and schools and school districts will be held accountable for improving student achievement in exchange for increases in federal funding and unprecedented flexibility.
  • One of the important reform pillars of the No Child Left Behind Act is giving parents more choices and more control over their children\’s education. Giving parents more choices will not only help individual children – it will also make the school system more responsive to the needs of all the children it serves.
  • The No Child Left Behind Act gives parents new choices in several important ways.
  • The new law expands the options and the information available to America\’s families. Under the new law every parent will receive school-by-school report cards every year so they can understand the performance of their child\’s school in a broad context.
  • The law also provides that students trapped in chronically failing schools will have meaningful options – including federally supported transportation to a public school of choice, federally supported tutoring and other supplemental academic services to help boost their achievement.


President Bush\’s budget request for FY 2003 continues and expands support for programs that offer parents-particularly parents of poor and minority students-alternatives to failing schools. His request supports programs such as magnet schools, charter schools and choice demonstration programs for the Department of Education.

The President\’s budget includes:

  • $200 million for Charter Schools to stimulate continued growth in the number of charter schools nationwide, an important element of the Administration\’s proposal to increase choice for students and parents-particularly those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The request would support approximately 1,800 new and existing charter schools.
  • $100 million for a new Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities program, which would assist charter schools in acquiring, leasing, and renovating school facilities through competitive grants to public and nonprofit entities for loan guarantees, insuring debt, and other activities that facilitate private lending.
  • $50 million for a new Choice Demonstration Fund to support research projects that develop, implement, and evaluate innovative approaches to providing parents with expanded school options, including both private- and public-school choice.
  • $25 million for Voluntary Public School Choice grants to encourage States and school districts to establish or expand public school choice programs by providing financial support for planning, tuition transfer payments and efforts to increase the capacity of participating schools.


  • While the landmark No Child Left Behind Act offers the promise of reform to students across America, the U.S. Department of Education estimates that approximately 4.5 million students are currently trapped in schools that fail to meet even current state standards. Because a wide array of choices will offer even better results for America\’s children, President Bush is continuing to look for new opportunities to create more options for America\’s families.
  • The RELIEF Act, which the President signed into law last year, expanded Coverdell Education Savings Accounts to let families make tax-free withdrawals to help pay for educational expenses from kindergarten through college.
  • This year President Bush will ask Congress to further expand options for parents and children through an education tax credit estimated to cost $3.5 billion over five years. The President\’s tax credit proposal offers students currently trapped in failing public schools a refundable tax credit to cover 50 percent of the first $5,000 spent on books, computers, transportation, supplies and tuition at a school of their choice.
  • Under this new education tax credit, a third grader whose school is not making adequate progress under state standards will have a chance to change schools right away. As a result, students can begin to reap the benefits of this new education tax credit during the 2002-2003 school year.
  • The President\’s new education tax credit is based upon successful programs operating in several states. Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota each offer tax credits or tax deductions for tuition and several states including Arizona, Pennsylvania and Florida also allow corporate/private scholarship contributions for students who enroll in private schools.