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A Responsible Budget That Invests In Essential Education Priorities
May 19, 2000
THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
May 19, 2000
PRESIDENT CLINTON CALLS ON CONGRESS TO PASS A
RESPONSIBLE BUDGET THAT INVESTS IN ESSENTIAL EDUCATION PRIORITIES May 19,
Today President Clinton will call on the Congress to pass a budget
that invests in our schools while demanding more from them. In February the
President sent the Congress a balanced and responsible budget that made for
investments in key educational initiatives to raise standards, increase
accountability, and invest in what works. The Congressional Republicans have
passed a budget plan built on misguided priorities and insufficient resources.
In order to pay for risky and fiscally irresponsible tax cuts, the
Congressional Republican budget proposes to cut investments in domestic
priorities $29 billion below the Presidents level, an average cut of 9
percent. The budget plan passed on a party-line vote by an appropriations
subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives means the following for
Fails to help 5,000 schools make urgently needed repairs.
The House appropriation ignores the Presidents $1.3 billion plan to help
states and localities make $6.5 billion in emergency repairs to crumbling
Denies smaller classes to as many as 2.9 million young children
in the early grades. The House appropriation provides none of the
Presidents $1.75 billion request for class-size reduction. It backs away
from the bipartisan agreement to hire 100,000 new teachers and jeopardizes the
federal commitment to hire as many as 20,000 new teachers next year and to
continue support for the 29,000 teachers already hired. Research shows that
small classes in the early grades help students master the basics and raise
Denies nearly 650,000 low-income middle-school students the
extra college preparation they need through the GEAR UP initiative. GEAR UP
provides disadvantaged youth early college preparation and awareness activities
including mentoring, tutoring, college visits, and financial aid information.
The House subcommittee freezes GEAR UP at this years level, rather than
increasing it to $325 million as requested by the President, denying GEAR UP to
roughly 650,000 disadvantaged students. Mentoring and college preparation
activities are key strategies to help disadvantaged youngsters learn about
higher education opportunities.
Refuses as many as 1.6 million children extended learning
opportunities in safe, drug-free environments. The House subcommittee
provides only $600 million for 21st Century Community Learning Centers, rather
than the $1 billion requested by President Clinton, preventing help to 900
communities. Extended learning time is an essential strategy to help all
students master challenging academic material and reach high standards. The
Presidents budget would enable all students in low-performing schools to
participate in high quality after-school and summer school programs to raise
Dramatically curtails state and local efforts to improve
low-performing schools. By eliminating Title I Accountability grants, for
which President Clinton requested $250 million, the House subcommittee would
deny extra assistance to at least 80 percent of the 7,000 schools identified
for improvement or corrective action under Title I. States and localities use
this funding to intervene in low-performing schools to turn them around and
also to provide greater public school choice for students in low-performing
Fails to act to close the digital divide through Community
Technology Centers. The House freezes funding for Community Technology
Centers at $32.5 million, $67.5 million below the President, eliminating
support for 780 centers in 280 communities for thousands of families in
Cuts Youth Opportunity Grants from $250 million to $175 million.
The President requested $375 million to provide comprehensive employment
and training assistance to 75,000 out-of-school youth in high poverty areas.
Denies more than 260,000 disadvantaged students Title I services
to help them learn the basics and reach high standards. The House plan also
fails to provide new resources needed to improve teacher quality and strengthen
school improvement efforts. Title I funding is the cornerstone of state and
local efforts to ensure that all students learn challenging academic material
and reach high standards.
Fails to improve teacher quality by ignoring the
Presidents request for $1 billion to improve teacher quality through
standards-based professional development, teacher recruitment, teacher peer
review programs, teacher quality awards, and professional development for early
childhood educators. Research shows that teacher quality is a key indicator of
Fails to help 100,000 students learn to read independently and
well by the end of the third grade by freezing funding for the Reading
Excellence Act at $260 million, $26 million below the Presidents request.
The President has set a goal that all students will read independently and well
by the end of the third-grade, something that research shows is crucial for
future academic success.
Moreover, the House and Senate have ignored the Presidents major
education tax cuts:
Nearly $25 Billion in School Modernization Bonds to help build
and modernize 6,000 schools. Districts urgently need help upgrading their
school facilities to accommodate record enrollments and repair crumbling
buildings. Because interest on the bonds would be paid by federal tax credits,
the bonds allow districts to borrow interest-free.
The Nearly $30-Billion College Opportunity Tax Cut to make
college more affordable and accessible. When fully phased in by 2003, the
College Opportunity Tax Cut would help pay for 28 percent of tuition, up
to$10,000, providing up to $2,800 in tax relief per family.