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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release January 23, 1999

Washington, DC -- Vice President Gore announced today a proposed expansion of the Administration's Hispanic Education Action Plan, calling for at least an additional $480 million to improve educational programs and institutions serving high concentrations of Hispanic students and pledged that he and the President would announce additional components of the plan in the coming weeks.

"There is nothing more important to America's future than investing in the education of all of our people," Vice President Gore said. "Our initiative will help ensure that Hispanic students get the education they need and deserve to thrive in the 21st century."

Hispanic Americans are the nation's fastest growing minority group; 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, with a persistently high dropout rates and low college attendance rates.

To address this important challenge, the Clinton Administration's Fiscal Year 2000 budget includes at least an additional $480 million for an action plan based on systemic change and high standards for programs and institutions serving large numbers of Hispanic students. The action plan includes the following strategies, as well as additional steps in the FY2000 budget to be announced by President Clinton and Vice President Gore in the near future:

$320 Million to Strengthen Basic Reading & Math Skills, Raise Academic Standards. All students, including those with limited English skills, must master the basic skills of reading and math and be held to high academic standards, and schools should be held accountable for helping students meet these standards. The Clinton Administration will propose increasing funding for Title I -- the largest federal elementary and secondary program -- by $320 million to meet these critical needs for all disadvantaged students, including $200 million to help states identify and improve the performance of low-performing schools. The majority of Hispanic students, as well as students with limited English proficiency, attend schools served by the Title I program, and thirty-two percent of students served are Latino. Moreover, in its proposal to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act later this year, the Administration will propose holding schools participating in this program accountable for helping students with limited English proficiency learn English and master their academic subjects.

$35 Million to Train More Teachers and Improve Instruction to Help Students Learn English and Master Their Basic Academic Subjects. This $35 million increase in federal programs for children with limited English skills, coupled with last year's investment in the Hispanic Education plan, will help train more than 20,000 teachers over five years and improve instruction in order to help students learn English while making progress toward high academic standards. These investments (a $25 million increase for teacher training and a $10 million increase for improved instructional services) will help address the growing shortage of teachers prepared to teach students with limited English skills -- 75% of whom are Latino.

$80 million to Prepare Disadvantaged Youth for Success in College. The Administration's budget will include a $30 million increase in federal TRIO programs, including Upward Bound, to fund outreach, counseling, and educational support to help disadvantaged students prepare for academic success in college. The budget will also include more than a 50% increase -- an additional $14.25 million -- to strengthen colleges with large Latino populations, and another $35 million for a new initiative to help disadvantaged students stay in college and earn diplomas.

$44 Million to Improve Education Programs for Migrant Youth and Adults:
Migrant families--the majority of whom are Hispanic--face particularly difficult challenges to gaining a quality education and training. President Clinton and Vice President Gore are seeking a $25 million increase in the migrant Education Program, a 67% increase -- $6 million -- for the High School Equivalency Program (HEP), a $3 million 75% increase for the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), and $10 million for a new Migrant Farmworker Youth program.

New Investments to Help Adults Learn English and Become Literate. The Administration's budget will include expanded efforts to help adults learn English and become literate, including a new tax credit to encourage employers to provide English-as-a-Second Language, literacy, and basic education programs for their employees. Under this proposal, businesses could get a 10% income tax credit for these kinds of programs with a maximum credit of up to $525 per participating employee. Many adult Americans lacking literacy skills are Latino adults and others with limited English proficiency who face long waiting lists in many cities for English-as-a-Second Language courses. This new tax credit, costing $139 million over five years, will help deploy the resources of businesses to make sure those in greatest need don?t get left behind. President Clinton and Vice President Gore will announce additional steps to meet this challenge in the near future.

The initial Hispanic Education plan was announced last year by Vice President Gore as a direct response to findings from the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. A nearly $500 million action plan was passed a few months ago as part of the FY1999 budget, and the Administration will monitor implementation of this plan and undertake special outreach efforts to ensure that Hispanic youths and families benefit from these programs.


The Vice President also said that the Administration will continue and expand work to improve education for Hispanic students, including through the following strategies:

Improving education for students and adults with limited proficiency in English, including Hispanics, through additional research and new strategies for other federal education programs.

      The Education Department will invest in research on how to improve
     learning for Hispanics and other language minority students.  This
     research will build a substantial knowledge base for planning
     effective instruction for students and adults whose native 
     language is Spanish.  Despite considerable learning about reading 
     and skill development for English-speakers, there are few 
     comprehensive studies or instructional models focused on students, 
     including Hispanic students, with limited English proficiency.

      When implementing the recently enacted Reading Excellence Act, the
     Education Department will draw on recommendations from the National
     Academy of Science on teaching and learning for children with 
     limited proficiency in English.

      The Administration intends to target part of an increase for the 
     Head Start program to increase participation by underrepresented 
     groups in areas with recent influxes of immigrants and limited 
     English proficient children, including seasonal farmworkers.   In 
     1996, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics, 
     similar percentages of white and black 3 and 4-year-olds were 
     enrolled in center-based programs, including Head Start programs, 
     while their Hispanic peers were less likely to be enrolled.

      In planning for and preparing the reauthorization of the 
     Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) the Clinton 
     Administration will place a focus on the needs of students with 
     limited English proficiency.  This will include a focus on high 
     standards, assessment, performance, and institutional 
     accountability for achievement for all children, including those 
     with limited proficiency in English.   The Administration will 
     propose holding schools participating in Title I of ESEA 
     accountable for helping students with limited English
     proficiency learn English and master their academic subjects.

Providing quality information to students and their parents:

      The Department of Education has formed a partnership with 
     Univision, the country's largest Spanish-language television 
     network, to address the educational needs of Hispanic students.  
     In August 1998, Univision aired an America Goes Back To School 
     special focusing on parental involvement and broadcasting the 
     Department's 1-800 number. Beginning in early 1999, the Department 
     of Education and Univision will launch a public service 
     announcement campaign to increase the awareness of parental 
     involvement in education.

      The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic
     Americans will convene conferences in Los Angeles, New York, 
     Chicago, and Miami in 1999 to support Latino parents in their 
     efforts to ensure their children get a good education and to 
     discuss how schools, teachers, community-based organizations and 
     others can reach out to parents and more fully engage them in 
     their children's education.  Partners in the Los Angeles 
     conference, to be held March 5-6, include the Los Angeles 
     Annenberg Metropolitan Project (LAAMP), the Mexican American Legal 
     Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), People United to Enrich the 
     Neighborhood through Education (PUENTE) Learning Center, and the 
     UCLA Office of Academic Development.

      The Education Department will expand its efforts to provide 
     quality information in Spanish and to Latino students and their 
     families.  In the fall of 1998, the Department distributed over 
     45,000 Read*Write*Now kits--in Spanish--to provide tips for 
     volunteers working with students with limited proficiency in  
     English and has improved its efforts to provide information via 
     toll-free telephone lines and publications accessible to Spanish 
     speakers.  The Department of Education will build on this Hispanic 
     Outreach Plan and take additional steps to improve the educational 
     achievement of Hispanic students through additional outreach, 
     information, and efforts to promote family involvement and 
     community partnerships in communities with high concentrations of 
     Latino students.

Ensuring Access to College:

      In November 1998, the Department of Education hosted a satellite 
     town meeting, "Going to College: Financial Aid Night" simulcast in 
     Spanish.  This town meeting focused on the priority issue of 
     access to college and what Hispanic students and parents can do to 
     start thinking early about college.  The Department of Education 
     will continue similar efforts throughout the year.

      Under the newly authorized GEAR UP--Gaining Early Awareness and
     Readiness for Undergraduate Programs--the Department of Education 
     will promote partnerships between schools and institutions of 
     higher education to provide middle school students with support 
     including mentoring, tutoring, counseling, and preparation for 
     rigorous course taking as gateways to success in college. Special 
     outreach efforts will help ensure that communities with high 
     concentrations of Latino and disadvantaged students learn about 
     opportunities to form partnerships under this new program.

      The Department of Education is working with several states to 
     support distance learning opportunities for the teaching of 
     English as a second-language for adults.

     The White House and federal agencies will monitor implementation of

this plan over the next several months develop new strategies to ensure that Latino and other disadvantaged students benefit from Administration efforts to improve education for all students.