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THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release April 23, 1998

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

I am disappointed that Republicans in the United States Senate have passed up a major opportunity to improve public education in this country.

Instead of investing in modern schools for the 21st Century, the Senate chose to provide tax incentives skewed to high-income taxpayers. Instead of helping make classes smaller and improving student learning, the Senate chose to eliminate accountability by prohibiting voluntary national tests. Instead of giving kids new learning opportunities after school to keep them out of trouble, the Senate chose to undermine the critical Safe and Drug-Free Schools initiative. Instead of working to strengthen public education, the Coverdell bill returns us to the days when Republicans waged a campaign to eliminate the Department of Education.

As I have said before, if this bill reaches my desk, I will veto it, because it weakens our commitment to making America's schools the best they can be in the 21st century.

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