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THE WHITE HOUSE AT WORK
Monday, February 23, 1998
THE LARGEST COMMITMENT TO K-12 EDUCATION IN HISTORY
"Every American who is willing to work and study hard can
now afford college... We've thrown open the doors to higher learning.
Now, we must continue working to make sure all our children can walk
through them and seize the opportunities of the future. That is why in
my balanced budget, I am proposing the largest commitment to K-12
education in history -- a comprehensive plan to raise standards, raise
expectations and raise accountability in our schools."
President Bill Clinton
February 20, 1998
Today, President Clinton hosts a round table discussion with members of
the National Governors' Association to discuss a variety of topics,
including education, transportation, tobacco, workforce development and
child care. At the beginning of the session, the President calls on the
Governors to join him in making K-12 education a top priority -- by
taking steps to reduce class size, modernize and build new schools, pass
national standards, end the practice of social promotion, and continue
Keeping Education A Top Priority. The President's balanced
budget proposal includes historic investments in K-12 education,
including initiatives to:
Reduce Class Size. The President's budget includes a $12.4
billion initiative over 7 years to help local schools provide small
classes with qualified teachers in the early grades. The initiative will
reduce class size in grades 1-3 to a nationwide average of 18, and will
help local school districts hire an additional 100,000 well-prepared
Modernize And Build Schools To Improve Student Learning. In
order for students to learn and compete in the global economy, schools
must be well-equipped and able to accommodate smaller class sizes. The
President is proposing federal tax credits to modernize and build more
than 5,000 new schools -- half of this support will be allocated to the
100 school districts with the largest number of low-income students.
Achieve High Standards. The President's balanced budget
includes proposals to ensure that all students attend schools where high
standards are taken seriously and kids are given the help they need to
succeed. It supports the continued development and implementation of
high national standards and national tests, and establishes educational
opportunity zones in poor urban and rural communities to give students
the tools and opportunities needed for success.
End The Practice Of Social Promotion. No child should be
allowed to pass to the next grade unless he or she has mastered the
material. President Clinton is calling on the Secretary of Education to
issue guidelines on how schools can end social promotion, boost efforts
to ensure more students learn what they need the first time round, and
help those who don't with extra tutoring and summer school.
Use Education Reform To Give Communities What Their Schools Need.
President Clinton will send legislation to Congress to expand
Ed-Flex, the program that frees states from federal regulations so long
as they set high academic standards, waive their own regulations for
local schools, and hold schools accountable for results.