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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 20, 1999

Today, in his radio address, President Clinton will reiterate his call for education accountability measures that build on the success of state reforms, and ask Congress to pass his broad education agenda to give states the tools they need to give all children a world-class education.

Education Accountability Measures That Build on What Works. In his State of the Union Address, President Clinton announced a package of accountability measures designed to hold students, teachers, and schools to high standards, and to ensure that school districts and states provide students with a high quality education. In his radio address, the President again will call for ending social promotion; making sure teachers are qualified; getting states to turn around low-performing schools; providing parents with school report cards; and instituting effective discipline policies as requirements of receiving funds under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The President applauded efforts that states and school districts are making, under the leadership of committed governors, in the states of North Carolina, Michigan, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and California to implement these common-sense principles. In those states and others, these accountability measures are producing results. President Clinton wants to build on those efforts and ensure that all children reap the rewards of strengthened accountability.

Strengthened Investments in Education for the 21st Century. The President's effort to support high academic standards for all children includes an unprecedented commitment of national resources to help states and local districts improve education. Students and teachers cannot reach for excellence in outdated, falling down, overcrowded classrooms. President Clinton's balanced budget calls for continued strengthened investments in education: hire 100,000 teachers over seven years so as to reduce class size in grades 1-3 to a nationwide average of 18 students; build, repair, or modernize up to 6,000 schools through $25 billion in bonds; triple funding to expand after-school activities and provide intensive help to students to meet high standards; raise the quality of teaching; improve literacy; enhance technology in the schools; recruit outstanding teachers to underserved high-poverty rural areas and inner cities; and provide new pathways to college for disadvantaged students. The FY 2000 budget includes $1.4 billion to hire 38,000 new teachers by the end of the second year of the program. The President challenged Congress to fund his education agenda and help states and districts provide all children with a first-class education in the 21st century.

Release of State-By-State Class Size and School Modernization Funding. Today, the Education Department released data that shows how much each state would receive under President Clinton's FY 2000 budget request to reduce class size and modernize schools. For example, in FY 2000, California would receive funds to support 4,386 new teachers and federal tax credits to pay the interest on $3 billion of school modernization bonds; Illinois would receive funds to support a total of 1,522 new teachers and federal tax credits to pay the interest on $1.1 billion of school modernization bonds; and Florida would receive funds to support 1,749 new teachers and federal tax credits to pay the interest on $1.3 billion of school modernization bonds.