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Expanding Education Opportunities for Hispanic Americans

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The Briefing Room

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 15, 2000

Expanding Education Opportunities for Hispanic Americans

SUPPORTING QUALITY EDUCATION FOR ALL: Largest Investment in Education in 30 Years. Maintaining his longtime commitment to education, President Clinton enacted the largest investment in education in 30 years -- and the largest investment in higher education since the G.I. Bill by doubling student aid to $60 billion.

Enacted a Hispanic Education Action Plan. The Clinton-Gore Administration is reaching out to Hispanic youth, encouraging them to stay in school, do well academically, graduate from high school, and go on to college so that they can compete successfully for good jobs. The Action Plan includes significant increases in a number of programs that enhance educational opportunity for Hispanic Americans. The final FY 2000 budget included $436 million in increases for programs that help to improve the educational outcomes of Latinos and limited English proficient students, including Title I grants to LEAs, Adult Education, Bilingual Education, GEAR UP, and TRIO.

Measures of Progress for Hispanic Students. Math scores of Hispanic students have increased at all levels tested since 1992. Hispanic students are taking AP exams in greater numbers and at higher rates than ever before. In 1999, over 62,000 Puerto Rican, Mexican American, and Hispanic students took AP exams. And a majority of Hispanic American high school graduates are now going directly on to college.

Proposing the Largest Head Start Expansion in History. Since 1993, this Administration has increased funding for Head Start by 90 percent. The President’s FY01 budget increases funding for Head Start by $1 billion – the largest increase ever proposed for the program – to provide Head Start and Early Head Start to approximately 950,000 children. This funding will bring within reach the President’s goal of serving one million children in 2002 and build the foundation for the long-term goal of universal pre-school. Over 26 percent of children served by Head Start are Hispanic.

Doubled Funding for Safe After-School Opportunities. The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program provides enriching after-school and summer school opportunities for 850,000 school-age children in rural and urban communities in FY 2000. Extended learning time has not only been shown to increase achievement in reading and math, but to decrease youth violence and drug use. For FY 2001, the President's budget invests $1 billion to ensure that all children in failing schools have access to quality after- and summer school opportunities. This proposal will double funding and nearly triple the number of students served to 2.5 million.

Establishing the GEAR-UP Mentoring Program for Middle School Children. President Clinton and Vice President Gore created and expanded GEAR-UP, a nationwide mentoring initiative, to help over 750,000 low-income middle school children finish school and prepare for college this year. GEAR-UP will expand mentoring efforts by states and provide new grants to partnerships of middle schools, institutions of higher education, and community organizations, to provide intensive early intervention services. The President's FY 2001 budget would expand services to 1.4 million students with a 63 percent increase.

Expanding Access to Education Technology. With the Vice President's leadership, the Clinton-Gore Administration has made increasing access to technology a top priority. The President and Vice President created the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund to help connect every school to the Internet, increase the number of multimedia computers in the classroom and provide technology training for teachers. Since 1993, they increased overall investments in educational technology from $23 million to $769 million, and tripled funding for Community Technology Centers to reach at least 120 low-income communities. Through the E-rate program, they secured low-cost connections to the Internet for schools, libraries, rural health clinics and hospitals, benefiting more than 80 percent of America's public schools. In 1999, 95 percent of public schools were connected to the Internet -- up from just 35 percent in 1994.

English Literacy/Civics Initiative. The Clinton-Gore budget includes $75 million for the English Language/Civics Initiative -- a nearly $50 million increase to help an additional estimated 250,000 limited English proficient (LEP) individuals. This program helps states and communities provide LEP individuals with expanded access to quality English-language instruction linked to civics and life skills instruction, including understanding the U.S. government system, the public education system, the workplace, and other key institutions of American life.

HELPING ALL CHILDREN ACHIEVE HIGH STANDARDS: More High-Quality Teachers with Smaller Class Sizes. The Clinton-Gore Administration won a second installment of $1.3 billion for the President’s plan to hire an additional 100,000 well-prepared teachers to reduce class size in the early grades, when children learn to read and master the basic skills. Already, 29,000 teachers have been hired through this initiative. This year's budget provides $1.75 billion, a $450 million increase -- enough to fund nearly 49,000 teachers. Research shows that minorities, and low-income students in particular, benefit academically from smaller classes.

Placing High-Quality Teachers in Underserved Areas. President Clinton and Vice President Gore won $98 million in the FY 2000 budget to enhance teacher quality and attract teachers to high need, high poverty school districts. This year, they have proposed a new $1 billion teacher quality plan to recruit, train and reward good teachers. The Teaching to High Standards Initiative includes a Hometown Teacher Recruitment program to empower high-poverty school districts to develop programs to recruit neighborhood and teachers to address the shortage of qualified educators.

Turning Around Failing Schools. Eleven million low-income students now benefit from Title I-Aid to Disadvantaged Students, and all our children are benefiting from higher expectations and a challenging curriculum geared to higher standards. Thirty-two percent of children served by Title I are Hispanic. Last year the President won $134 million for an accountability fund to help turn around the worst performing schools and hold them accountable for results. This year, the President is proposing to double funding to turn around the nation's failing schools to ensure all children receive a quality education. And in 1994, President Clinton eliminated barriers in Title I that had prevented limited-English proficient children from getting help.

Expanding Choice and Accountability in Public Schools. The Clinton-Gore Administration has worked to expand public school choice and support the growth of public charter schools, which have increased from one public charter school in the nation when the President was first elected to more than 1,700 today. More than 250,000 students nationwide are now enrolled in charter schools in 30 states and the District of Columbia. The President won $145 million in FY 2000 -- and has proposed $175 million in his FY01 budget -- to continue working toward his goal of establishing 3,000 quality charter schools by 2002.

Strengthening Bilingual and Immigrant Education. The Clinton-Gore Administration fought for and won a 35% increase in bilingual and immigrant education in 1997, and won another $26 million increase in FY 2000. Bilingual education funding helps school districts teach English to more than a million limited English proficient children and helps LEP students to achieve the same high standards as all other students. It also provides teachers with the training they need to teach limited English proficient students. The Immigrant Education program helps more than a thousand school districts provide supplemental instructional services to more than 800,000 recent immigrant students.

Reducing the Drop-Out Rate Through Right Track Partnerships. Right Track Partnerships promote partnerships between schools, employers, and community-based organizations that devise innovative community-wide approaches to increase the rate at which economically disadvantaged and limited-English proficient youth complete high school and go on to college, training, and higher paying careers. The President's FY 2000 budget includes $100 million for Right Track Partnerships.

OPENING THE DOORS OF COLLEGE TO ALL AMERICANS: Opening the Doors of College to All Americans. President Clinton proposed and passed the HOPE Scholarships and Lifetime Learning tax credits, which in 1999 were claimed by an estimated 10 million American families struggling to pay for college. The Hope Scholarship helps make the first two years of college universally available by providing a tax credit of up to $1,500 for the first two years of college. The Lifetime Learning tax credit provides a 20 percent tax credit on the first $5,000 of tuition and fees for students beyond the first two years of college, or taking classes part-time.

New Tax Incentives to Make College More Affordable. President Clinton has proposed the College Opportunity Tax Cut, which would give families the option of taking a tax deduction or claiming a 28 percent credit for tuition and fees to pay for higher education. When fully phased in, this proposal would provide up to $2,800 in tax relief annually to help American families pay for college.

Expanding Work Study and Pell Grants. One million students will be able to work their way through college because of the President's expansion of the Work Study Program, and nearly 4 million students will receive a Pell Grant of up to $3,300, the largest maximum award ever. The maximum award has increased 43 percent under the Clinton-Gore Administration. This year President Clinton proposed a $77 million increase in Work Study to continue to support one million awards, and a $200 increase in the Pell Grant maximum award, to raise it to $3,500. In the 1995-96 school year, 54 percent of all Hispanic students enrolled full-time in college received a Pell Grant.

Dual Degree Programs for Minority-Serving Institutions. The Clinton-Gore Administration has proposed a new program to increase opportunities for students at minority-serving institutions that offer four-year degrees. Students would receive two degrees within five years: one from a minority-serving institution, and one from a partner institution in a field in which minorities are underrepresented. This new $40 million program will serve an estimated 3,000 students.

Established a Hispanic Advisory Commission. In 1994, the President established an advisory commission to oversee the improvement in education for Hispanics and work to ensure that Hispanic-Serving Institutions of Higher Education have more input regarding educational goals and issues of concern to Hispanics. The Commission’s report identified contributing factors impacting attainment of educational excellence, corrective policy actions, and plans for program development and funding.

Helping Students Finish College. This year the President has proposed new College Completion Challenge Grants to help reduce the college drop-out rate, with pre-freshman summer programs, support services and increased grant aid to students. This $35 million initiative will improve the chances of success for nearly 18,000 students. Currently, 31 percent of Hispanics drop out of college after less than one year, compared to 18 percent of whites.

AmeriCorps College Support. Since 1993, more than 150,000 people have had the opportunity to serve their communities through AmeriCorps, with Hispanics comprising 11 percent of all participants. In 1999, nearly 50,000 young people had the opportunity to serve and earn an award of up to $4,725 to pay for college or repay student loans.

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