Paige Issues Statement on NEA Plan to Stand in the Way of Implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act

July 7, 2003

The law, which passed with strong bipartisan support, is designed to close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility, and choice, so that no child is left behind.

Secretary Paige’s statement follows:

“The goal of No Child Left Behind is to help the children who need it most. We believe that every child counts, and are working in a historic partnership with the states, schools, parents and teachers across the country to raise standards and improve student achievement.

“Our teachers are the heroes in the classrooms, and they deserve the tools and opportunities No Child Left Behind offers.

“Taxpayers are making record federal investments in their schools. No Child Left Behind provides the highest spending per child ever — funds that help supplement and boost state and local spending, ensuring that all children receive a world-class education. Considering K-12 education spending at all levels, taxpayers will provide nearly $500 billion for their schools this year — certainly enough to achieve the goals of the law. No Child Left Behind will help ensure these dollars are invested wisely.

“It is unfortunate that the NEA establishment is talking about ways to hinder the goal of true reform and greater educational achievement opportunities for our children. We’ve assembled a coalition of the willing to help the kids who need it most; the NEA wants to assemble a coalition of the whining to hold kids back.”

For more information about the No Child Left Behind Act, visit