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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release March 2, 1998

           V.P. Also Announces that 100,000 Georgia Students
                    Are Projected To Get Pell Grant 
                    College Scholarships Next Year

Washington, DC -- Vice President Gore announced today that up to 274,000 Georgia adults could get Hope scholarships or Lifetime Learning tax credits, out of 13 million nationwide, under the President's balanced budget for 1999.*

"These new investments in the education and training of students and adults, both in Georgia and across the country, will give them the tools they need to get good jobs in an increasingly competitive new economy," the Vice President said. "The more we raise the number of students and adults that we teach and train, the more we can hope to increase what they can earn."

The Hope and Lifetime Learning tax credits are part of the President's proposed 50 percent increase, from $16.2 billion to $24.3 billion, in investments in adult learning and job assistance programs. The 50 percent increase from 1998 to 1999 would come on top of a 25 percent increase from 1993 to 1998. Other programs slated to receive funding increases include college work-study, vocational education, adult education, adult training, veterans employment services and training, and dislocated worker assistance.

In addition, the Vice President also announced that, because of legislation enacted last year, about 100,000 Georgia students could benefit from a record investment in Pell Grant college scholarships this coming academic year. The President's 1999 budget proposes to increase Pell Grants even more.

The Vice President announced the new investments, and described how they would benefit Georgia students and adults, as he spoke at Columbus State University and toured an innovative adult education program at the university, funded by the state, business, and the university itself.

Gore noted that, according to a new Education Department, the number of college students over the age of 24 is rising much faster than those below that age, making it more important that adults receive the education and training they need. Today, students over 24 make up 40 percent of Pell grant recipients, or 1.4 million recipients, and nearly 30 percent of those who receive student loans, or 1.2 million recipients.

In addition, the Vice President participated in a national "Read Across America" day at an Atlanta-area elementary school, reading with children and other volunteers, and he called on Congress to enact a $210 million initiative responding to President Clinton's challenge to help our children read well.

"President Clinton and I want to help parents, grandparents, and volunteers as best we can to encourage children to read every day," the Vice President said. "Our 'America Reads' challenge and our proposal for voluntary 4th grade reading tests are two strong steps that we can take to make reading a top priority for our children."

The U.S. Department of Education provided these estimates using a nationally-representative sample of postsecondary students and data on Pell Grant recipients and deriving an estimate for the proportion of the total number of recipients of the tax benefits. Using that ratio, the number of recipients for each State was determined.

Based on Treasury estimates of the tax benefits for a fully phased-in plan for 1999, a dollar amount for each State was derived using the same ratios as the State/national number of beneficiaries. Treasury's estimates for a "fully phased-in plan" means that future effects attributable to taxpayer behavior have been accounted for in the current (1999) year.