President Clinton Highlights Results of Administration's Investment in America's Education Priorities
September 12, 2000
Today, President Clinton will release a White House report on educational progress, which highlights the progress America's students are making, and will call on Congress to continue to make critical investments in education. The President will also announce the award of $46 million in new GEAR UP grants to help disadvantaged students prepare for college and will release a letter from 104 college presidents calling for full funding for GEAR UP. When President Clinton and Vice President Gore took office in 1992, they embarked on a strategy of improving education by setting high standards for all students, insisting on accountability for results and investing in what works to help students succeed. Since that time, this Administration has doubled the federal investment in education and training, while maintaining a balanced budget and paying down the debt. These investments have resulted in more high quality teachers in our children's classrooms, more after school and summer school programs and more financial assistance available for students to attend college.
THEN AND NOW: INVESTMENT AND PROGRESS. The report released by the President today confirms what research tells us - money matters if it is invested in the right things. More importantly, the report underscores the payoffs from the Clinton-Gore commitment to investing more in our schools, while also demanding more from them. President Clinton and Vice President Gore will continue to fight for more than just higher funding levels, they will also insist that money be spent on America's priorities, like smaller classes, high quality teachers, more after school programs and modern school buildings. The report shows that:
- Math SAT scores are at a thirty-year high. The average SAT math score has gone from 501 in 1992 to 514 in 2000, and the average verbal score has gone from 500 to 505;
- Since 1992, reading and math scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) have increased for fourth, eighth, and twelfth graders, including those students in high poverty areas;
- The achievement gap between low-income and minority students and their peers has decreased;
- More students are taking a rigorous high school curriculum and enrolling in higher education; and
- Nearly all of the nation's highest poverty schools receive Title I funds compared to fewer than 80 percent before 1992.
AWARDING $46 MILLION IN NEW GEAR UP GRANTS FOR COLLEGE MENTORING AND ACADEMIC SUPPORT FOR AT-RISK CHILDREN. With President Clinton's leadership, GEAR UP, or Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, was proposed and enacted in 1998 with broad bipartisan support. Today President Clinton will release 80 new GEAR UP grants totaling $46 million. This year, GEAR UP will promote college opportunities for more than 700,000 at-risk children. The President will also release a letter from 104 college and university presidents endorsing his request for $325 million for GEAR UP, as well as other important college programs including the TRIO programs for disadvantaged students. According to the presidents, without full funding for GEAR UP, "tens of thousands of needy students will be denied the opportunity to gain the skills and information essential for going to college."
- GEAR UP supports partnerships of schools, colleges and universities, and community organizations to strengthen academics and tutoring, mentor students, share college information, and provide college scholarships. It also funds state efforts to promote college awareness and provide scholarships for needy students.
- For the second year in a row, interest in GEAR UP far exceeded available funding, allowing the Department of Education to fund only one application in four. President Clinton has requested $325 million for GEAR UP in FY 2001 to help meet the obvious need, but Congress plans to freeze it at $200 million, denying aid for up to 600,000 students.
CALLING ON CONGRESS TO INVEST IN AMERICA'S EDUCATION PRIORITIES. In February, the Clinton-Gore Administration sent Congress a balanced and fiscally responsible budget that makes investments in key education initiatives such as modernizing 6,000 schools and repairing 25,000 more, meeting our commitment to hire 100,000 quality teachers to reduce class sizes, improving teacher quality, increasing accountability by turning around failing schools, and expanding after school opportunities. Today, the President will renew his call on Congress to fully enact his education budget proposals by investing more in our schools, demanding more from them, and making other vital investments to ensure our children receive the high-quality education they deserve.