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MAKING THE INFORMATION AGE AN EDUCATION AGE
As the Information Age becomes more and more of an Education Age, now is no time to walk away from our commitment to public education, no time to reject our common obligation to preparing our children for the challenges of the future. I am determined to do my part -- to stand by our teachers and our students, to strengthen education in America.
- President Bill Clinton
April 24, 1998
Today, President Clinton hosts a Rose Garden event to honor the National Teacher of the Year, Philip Bigler from Virginia, and this year's state teachers of the year. At the event, the President underscores his commitment to education as a national priority, outlines his plans to improve public education, and renews his call to Congress to pass real legislation that strengthens and improves public education.
A Plan For Strengthening K-12 Education. President Clinton is working to make historic investments and improvements in K-12 education, including initiatives to:
- Reduce Class Size. President Clinton proposes a $12.4 billion initiative over 7 years to help 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 school districts hire an additional 100,000 well-prepared teachers.
- 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 proposes federal tax credits to modernize and build more than 5,000 new schools.
- Achieve High Standards. The President's education plan 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.
- End The Practice Of Social Promotion. No child should be allowed to pass to the next grade unless he or she is adequately prepared. President Clinton is calling for guidelines to help schools end social promotion, ensure that 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 The Flexibility To Decide What Their Schools Need. The President's plan expands 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.
Working To Pass "Real" Education Legislation. This week, Congress acted in a way that undercuts public education. The Senate voted against modernizing schools, against national standards, and against reducing class size in the first, second and third grades. And earlier this month, a House committee eliminated funding for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards -- a organization important to improving teaching and keeping our best teachers in the classroom. Now is no time to walk away from our commitment to public education and our obligation to prepare our children for the future. President Clinton is determined to do all he can to fight for the legislation needed to strengthen and improve America's schools.
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