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August 31, 1998: Priorities For A Quality Education

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I have proposed a comprehensive education agenda with high national standards, more well-qualified teachers, smaller classes, modern schools equipped with computers, before and after-school programs to keep our young people learning in the classroom, and summer job programs to give young people the skills they need to succeed once they leave school.

President Bill Clinton
August 31, 1998

Today, President Clinton discusses his education and training priorities at an elementary school in Herndon, Virginia. The President will highlight the need for Congress to pass legislation to investment in education so our children will be taught in a world-class learning environment as we move into the 21st Century.

An Education Agenda For The 21st Century. President Clinton is working to prepare students for the 21st Century by proposing increased investments in public school education, expanded access to higher education, and training to ensure success in the workplace.

  • Modernizing Our Schools. The President continues his call for federal tax credits to help rebuild, modernize, and build over 5,000 public schools nationwide, and reduce class size and provide well-prepared teachers in grades 1-3 nationwide;
  • Education Technology. The President has made an unprecedented commitment to bringing technology into the classroom and called for technology training for teachers and expanded access for teachers and students to computers in the classroom; however, the House appropriations bill threatens these initiatives;
  • Strengthening And Expanding Charter Schools. President Clinton will continue to work with Congress to pass bipartisan legislation to strengthen federal support for the growing charter school movement and help meet the President's goal of establishing 3,000 high-quality charter schools by early in the next century;
  • Passage Of The Higher Education Act. President Clinton urges Congress to pass the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, which would reduce interest rates on student loans, and extend the Pell Grant and Federal Work-Study programs. This legislation should include the President's High Hopes mentoring program, and his proposal to strengthen teacher training programs and provide scholarships to 35,000 teachers who commit to teaching in underserved urban or rural schools;
  • Helping Every Eight-Year Old Learn To Read. President Clinton will continue his work with Congress to pass an early literacy bill to ensure that children receive quality instruction from well-trained teachers and have opportunities to develop their reading skills after-school and on the weekend with trained tutors;
  • Strengthening Public Education. President Clinton will work to restore significant cuts made by the House of Representatives to his proposed investments to strengthen public schools. The President will fight for full funding of: After-School programs to ensure children access to safe learning centers, Education Opportunity Zones to help high-poverty urban and rural communities increase student achievement, Head Start, and The Hispanic Education Action Plan to reduce the high school drop-out rate among Hispanic American students. The President will fight to restore cuts made by Congress to: Title I grants to high-poverty school districts, Goals 2000, and Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities;
  • Expanding Investments In Youth Education And Training. One of the President's top priorities is fighting efforts by Congress to eliminate the Summer Jobs Program, which provides jobs to roughly 530,000 disadvantaged young people, and the new Youth Opportunity Area Initiative, which would help provide job opportunities for up to 50,000 youth in the poorest communities nationwide.

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