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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                    (Soto Cano Air Base,  Honduras)
For Immediate Release                                      March 9, 1999
                     REMARKS BY THE VICE PRESIDENT
                           REGARDING ED-FLEX

Roosevelt Room

9:50 A.M. EST

THE VICE PRESIDENT: We've got an important amendment that is pending in the United States Senate. Tom Harkin has been a great champion of it. Senator Patty Murray and Senator Ted Kennedy are the two co-authors and co-sponsors of this amendment.

The Murray/Kennedy Amendment will follow through on the hiring of 100 thousand new well-trained teachers to reduce the size of our classrooms so that teachers have more time with each individual student. We know that is probably the single-most important thing we can do to improve the educational system in our country. And this will bring the ratio down to one teacher for every 18 students in the early grades. What a revolutionary advance.

We know how to solve this problem and this is one of the key steps. It is sort of the same way we put extra community police on the streets and brought the crime problem down. We went about it the right way. We know what works in improving our schools. And so we've proposed this idea and now the Senate is prepared to vote on it today.

Some of the Republican leaders don't want to see it voted on and there is kind of a blocking tactic there. It will come to a head today. So I wanted to -- because it is pending and because it is so important to the future of educational quality in America, I wanted to say a special word about it. I want to urge senators in both political parties to vote for the Murray/Kennedy Amendment today when it comes up for a vote.


9:53 AM EST