Since 2001, U.S. aid to help schools pay for programs to prevent substance abuse and violence has declined significantly, says the Associated Press. Funding was $439.2 million in 2001 but has fallen to $346.5 million this year, with $310 million recommended for the fiscal year that starts this week. The Bush administration has recommended eliminating the program; Congress has repeatedly voted to retain it. The Office of Management and Budget has rated the program as ineffective because evidence did not show itwas changing students’ behavior to reduce violence and substance abuse, said Bill Modzeleski of the Education Department’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools.
Problems include funding spread so thinly that more than half the nation’s school districts receive $10,000 or less per year–too little to make a difference, Other federal, state, and local programs have shown results reducing violence and substance abuse in schools. From 1992 to 2002, 261 people ages 5 to 19 were killed at school.