October 17, 2000: The Clinton-Gore Administration: Urging Congress to Support America’s Education Priorities

Tuesday, October 17, 2000

Today, in a speech at the National Press Club, White House Chief of Staff John Podesta released a new Department of Education report on federal support for after-school and summer-school programs. The report shows how 21st Century Community Learning Centers are enabling communities to provide opportunities for improving academic achievement while keeping kids safe. Mr. Podesta also urged Congress to pass a budget that invests in America's education priorities. To date, Congress has failed to produce a budget that offers tax cuts and a school renovation initiative to help modernize crumbling schools; adequately funds after-school programs; reduces class sizes in the early grades; strengthens accountability for failing schools; and helps put a qualified teacher in every classroom.

STRESSING THE IMPORTANCE OF AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS. Under the leadership of President Clinton and Vice President Gore, 21st Century Community Learning Centers have grown from a $1 million demonstration program in 1997 to a $453 million initiative in 2000. Currently, 3,600 schools in over 900 communities across the country are providing extended learning opportunities and a safe, nurturing environment to 650,000 students during afternoon hours, when young people are most likely to commit or be the victims of crime. In addition to providing a safe haven for "latch-key" kids, 21st Century Community Learning Centers offer students access to homework centers, tutors, and cultural and recreational activities. Findings included in today's report include:

REPUBLICAN EDUCATION BUDGET IGNORES AMERICA’S PRIORITIES. The demand for high-quality after-school opportunities continues to exceed available resources, and last year only 1 in 7 Community Learning Center applications could be funded. President Clinton has requested $1 billion in FY 2001 to more than triple the number of students benefiting from these programs, helping to provide after-school opportunities for more than one quarter of the nation’s 8 million "latch-key" kids. However, Congress still has not completed an education budget, neglecting America’s priorities while loading spending bills with election-year earmarked projects for special interests. The Republican budget:

October 2000

October 25, 2000: Working to Achieve Common Ground on Middle-Class Tax Relief

October 24, 2000: The Clinton-Gore Administration: Working to Modernize America’s Schools

October 23, 2000: Helping To Make Our Roads Safer

October 17, 2000: The Clinton-Gore Administration: Urging Congress to Support America’s Education Priorities

October 11, 2000: Historic Protection for America’s Environment and Cultural Heritage

October 2, 2000: The Clinton-Gore Administration: Cutting Student Loan Defaults and Opening the Doors of College for All Americans

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