THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
I would like to congratulate the United States Senate today for moving toward a national framework for lifelong learning by passing both the Goals 2000 Act and the School-to-Work Opportunities Act on strong bipartisan votes. By approving these bills, the Senate gets an "A" in education.
Since my days as Governor, I have been committed to education reform based on world-class standards and accountability for results. Only if we demand more of our schools and students will we see expanded educational opportunity and nationwide excellence. From the time I helped draft the National Education Goals on behalf of the National Governors Association, I looked forward to the day when the federal government would finally take the lead on education. Today's Senate action brings us closer to that day.
In today's global economy, what you earn depends on what you learn. The Senate has now opened opportunity for our children during school and as they begin their careers. Goals 2000 will write the national education goals into law and will give states and local schools new tools to meet them. The School-to-Work bill will significantly enhance our effort to create an effective apprenticeship system for those who don't go to college.
These steps are vital not only for the education of our children, but for the health of our economy as a whole. Our workers will only be able to cope with a world of rapid economic change if they are fully trained and equipped to compete. We will only master new technologies if this training continues throughout a lifetime. World-class education is an investment in a world-leading economy. By its action today, the U.S. Senate has moved us a step closer to setting national standards that will challenge our students, encourage partnerships between parents, schools and communities, and guarantee that our young people have the skills they need to compete in the global marketplace.
I look forward to swift agreement between the House and Senate on these critical investments in our nation's future.