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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release February 2, 1998

"America's future prosperity depends on our ability to provide

     a sound education to all of our children.  The President's 
     Hispanic education initiative will offer Latino students a 
     better chance to develop their full academic potential so they 
     can contribute the full force of their talent to the success 
     of America in the Twenty-First Century."
                           -- Vice President Gore, February 2, 1998


                      THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION'S 

Vice President Gore today (2/2) announced the Administration's $600 million Hispanic education action plan. In his State of the Union address, President Clinton reinforced his commitment to excellence in education for all Americans. America cannot prosper as a nation unless educational opportunity is made available to all of our children. Today, about 14 percent of the school-age population is Latino; by 2020, the proportion will grow to about 22 percent. Hispanic students are among the nation's most educationally disadvantaged. To address this educational disparity, the Clinton Administration's FY99 Budget includes more than $600 million dollars for a comprehensive action plan based on high standards and research-based school reform:

I. $393 Million to Strengthen Basic Reading and Math Skills: Students, including those with limited English skills, must be held to challenging academic standards, with a firm foundation in reading and math. President Clinton proposes to increase funding for Title I -- the largest elementary and secondary program -- by 5.3 percent -- a $393 million increase -- to meet these critical needs for all disadvantaged students. Thirty-two percent of those served are Latino.

II. $66 Million to Train 20,000 Teachers to Teach Students English, and Help Adults Learn English: A 17 percent increase -- $33 million -- in the Federal program for children with limited English skills would help train 20,000 teachers over five years to more effectively teach English in the context of high academic standards. A $33 million increase in adult education will provide more parents and other adults with English training, including the first year of a five-year, $100 million effort to promote model approaches to adult English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) programs.

III. $30 Million to Transform Schools with High Dropout Rates: The President is calling for a 25% expansion of a new effort to reform failing schools, specifically targeting schools with high-dropout rates. This increase will allow low-achieving schools to receive expert advice to adopt research-based models to improve teaching and learning.

IV. $69 Million to Prepare Disadvantaged Youth for Success in College: The federal TRIO programs fund outreach and support programs to help disadvantaged students prepare for and successfully complete college through counseling and academic assistance. One of the programs -- Upward Bound, which helps high school students with academic preparation for college -- has been found to be especially helpful to Hispanic youth. The President has proposed a $40 million (20 percent) increase in funding for Upward Bound. All other TRIO programs will receive a total increase of $13 million. In addition, the Federal program to strengthen colleges with large Latino populations is slated for a $16 million -- 133 percent -- increase.

V. $60 Million to Improve Education Programs for Migrant Youth and Adults: Migrant families face particularly difficult obstacles to gaining the education and training they would need to improve their standard of living. President Clinton seeks significant increases in the Migrant Education Program (16 percent increase of $50 million), High School Equivalency Program (HEP: 31 percent increase of $2.4 million), College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP: 138 percent increase of $2.9 million) and Migrant Youth Job Training Demonstration (a new $5 million).



The Hispanic Education Action Plan is the result of months of consultation with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, education and Latino organizations, and the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. It is a response both to the final report of the Hispanic Dropout Project, No More Excuses, and to the earlier recommendations of the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, Our Nation on the Fault Line.

As a result of these and other efforts, the Administration has not only invested in programs that address the education needs of Hispanic Americans, but has also taking a number of other actions to improve Federal programs. Below is a sample of some of the current or planned actions.

Getting Information to Parents and Students.

Helping all Children to Read Independently by the End of the Third Grade. The America Reads Challenge includes several efforts directly targeted to Hispanic and limited-English students and their families.

Encouraging Parental Involvement in Early Childhood. For America's working families, the President has proposed that $22 billion be devoted over five years to improve child care -- the largest investment in the nation's history. This will double the number of children covered by child care subsidies, help working families pay for child care through tax credits, and improve the safety and quality of child care. To enable more young children to improve their readiness for school, 1998 funding for Head Start was increased by $374 million for a total of $4.4 billion. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will implement an outreach plan to ensure that programs are reaching the Hispanic community and that Head Start efforts are linking effectively with kindergarten and first grade. As a part of that effort, HHS will identify and disseminate a "best practices" guide for serving limited-English children.

Promoting Successful Models for Dropout Prevention. School and community leaders need "one-stop shopping" for ideas and information on best practices for keeping kids in school. The Education Department will provide thorough dropout prevention resources through its various research centers. In addition, as part of the Comprehensive School Reform program, the Department will identify model approaches that show promise in reducing high dropout rates, and that address the needs of limited-English proficient children, and will encourage states to use FY98 funding to implement those models where needed.

Increasing Technology in the Classroom. To ensure that all schools take advantage of the funding available through the $2 billion Technology Literacy Challenge Fund and the E-rate discounts of up to 90 percent to connect to the Internet, the Education Department will target technical assistance workshops to communities with large populations of Hispanic students.

Providing Second Chances and Job Training Opportunities. $250 million has been appropriated for FY99, targeted to the highest poverty areas in the country, to help out-of-school youth (age 16-24) become employable. Currently six cities are funded. In New York City, 67 percent of those served are Hispanic; in Houston, 65 percent; in Los Angeles, 50 percent.

Collecting Data and Supporting Research. The Department of Education and the National Center for Educational Statistics will seek to acquire more information to increase awareness of education issues involving Hispanics and limited-English students. For example, to ensure that limited-English students fully benefit from tests they are given, the Department plans to invest approximately $5 million in 1998 research that addresses the most urgent questions relevant to assessment of limited-English students.

Forming an Interdepartmental Council for Hispanic Education Improvement. The Administration's initiative on education excellence for Hispanic Americans will launch a new interdepartmental council for Hispanic educational improvement this spring. Senior level representatives from all Departments will participate in the council and in working groups on early childhood, K through 12, undergraduate and graduate education and community and federal employment to pursue aggressive programs to improve educational opportunities for the nation's Latino community.


MAINTAINING THE COMMITMENT TO MAKING EDUCATION OUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY. Building on the historic balanced budget agreement in 1997 which secured the largest education investment in 30 years and the largest investment in higher education since the G.I. Bill in 1945, the President's FY 1999 budget supports initiatives that will dramatically strengthen elementary and secondary education. These proposals will help ensure that all students start out in a small class with a good teacher, in a safe, modern school. They will also help ensure that students, especially in high poverty urban and rural areas, attend schools where high standards are taken seriously and kids are given the help they need to succeed. The President's proposals will dramatically expand access to safe havens for after-school learning, and ensure that low-income students receive the support and encouragement to finish school and continue onto college.

Small Classes with Qualified Teachers to Improve Reading in Grades 1-3. President Clinton is proposing a $12.4 billion initiative over 7 years ($7.3 billion over 5 years) to help local schools provide small classes with qualified teachers in the early grades. This will help ensure that every child receives personal attention, learns to read independently and gets a solid foundation for further learning. The new initiative will reduce class size in grades 1-3 to a nationwide average of 18, providing funds to help local school districts hire an additional 100,000 well-prepared teachers. The initiative will also provide funds to states and local school districts to test new teachers, develop more rigorous teacher testing and certification requirements, and train teachers in effective reading instruction practices. Schools districts will be accountable for demonstrating gains in reading achievement. These steps will help ensure that first through third grade students are receiving high-quality reading instruction in smaller classes from competent teachers.

Modern School Buildings to Improve Student Learning. In order for students to learn and to compete in the global economy, schools must be well-equipped and they must be able to accommodate smaller class sizes. To address these and other critical needs, President Clinton is proposing Federal tax credits to pay interest on nearly $22 billion in bonds to build and renovate public schools. This is more than double the assistance proposed last year, which covered half the interest on an estimated $20 billion in bonds. The tax credits will cost the Treasury $5 billion over 5 years, and more than $10 billion over ten years. Of the $22 billion in bond authority, nearly $20 billion is for a new School Modernization Bonds. Half of this bond authority will be allocated to the 100 school districts with the largest number of low-income children, and the other half will be allocated to the States. In addition, the President is proposing a more than $2.4 billion expansion of the Qualified Zone Academy Bonds, school-business partnerships that will include funding for school construction and renovation.

Education Opportunity Zones: Helping Students in Poor Communities Reach High Standards. This initiative will strengthen public schools and help students master the basics where the need is the greatest: in high poverty urban and rural communities where low expectations, too many poorly prepared teachers, and overwhelmed school systems create significant barriers to high achievement. The Education Department will select approximately 50 high poverty urban and rural school districts that agree to: (1) use high standards and tests of student achievement to identify and provide help to students, teachers and schools who need it; (2) prevent students from falling behind by ensuring quality teaching, challenging curricula, and extended learning time; and (3) end social promotion and turn around failing schools. Added investments in these communities will accelerate their progress and provide successful models of system-wide, standards-based reform for the nation. The President's initiative will invest $200 million in FY99, and $1.5 billion over 5 years, to raise achievement and share lessons learned with school districts around the country.

Expanding Access to Safe After-School Care. To help create safe, positive learning environments for American school-age children who lack adult supervision during a typical week, the President has proposed to increase the 21st Century Learning Center Program by $800 million over five years. The program will support school-community partnerships that expand or establish programs providing after-school care for up to half a million children a year.

Early Intervention to Promote College Attendance. President Clinton will soon announce a long-term effort to bring college opportunity to children in high-poverty areas by providing their families with early information about financial aid and the best courses to take to be well-prepared for college, as well as support services to help the children stay on track through high school graduation and into college.