View Header


Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release March 8, 1999


Before we get started, I wanted to make a brief statement about a debate to take place on the Senate floor later today.

Senators Murray and Kennedy will offer a measure to fully fund our initiative to help communities hire 100,000 well-trained teachers over the next six years. Last year, President Clinton and I called for this initiative to help communities hire 100,000 teachers over seven years to reduce class size in the early grades to a national average of 18. We worked across party lines to enact an important down payment on this initiative -- $1.2 billion to hire 30,000 teachers this year.

Now, Congress has the opportunity to build on this bipartisan progress. Unfortunately, some in Congress are trying to shut down debate before this measure can even be voted on.

I call on the Senate to allow an up and down vote on the Murray-Kennedy class size amendment, and I urge every Senator to vote for it. Let's work together across party lines to make real progress on behalf of educating our nation's children and improving our public schools.