THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT ON FINAL PASSAGE OF THE ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION ACT
I am gratified by the broad bipartisan support in the Senate for final passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). This act is good news for students, teachers, families, and communities across our country. It represents a commitment to world-class standards of academic achievements for all students, and to adequate preparation for every teacher. It brings added help to the schools that need it the most and offers new flexibility to states and local communities. It reinforces our national commitment to schools that are safe and drug-free and that offer young people a disciplined environment for learning. It encourages parental involvement in the education of their children. And it puts the federal government squarely on the side of public school choice, innovative charter schools, and character education.
Final passage of the ESEA is the capstone of two years of efforts to improve the entire system of lifelong learning. In an economy in which, more and more, what we earn depends upon what we learn, these efforts are the key to our future. Head Start reform, national goals for elementary and secondary education, new bridges between schools and workplaces, national and community service that allows citizens to help their country while expanding educational opportunity, loan reform that lowers costs and allows students to repay their debts as a percentage of income over time - - these reforms mean increased opportunity, a more productive economy, and a more inclusive society. Future generations will look back on this period as years of historic accomplishment that began the task of renewing our nation by investing in our people.