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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 22, 1999


                       IMPROVE OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS
                            October 22, 1999

Today, in his address to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), President Clinton will call on Congress to fund strategic initiatives in education. Noting that the issue is not only how much we spend on education, but also how wisely we spend, the President will call for targeted investments to reduce class size and improve teacher quality, turn around failing schools, expand after-school programs, prepare students for college, and raise standards.

President Clinton will also point out that the Republican appropriations bill shortchanges these goals, and urge Congress to work with him to pass an education spending bill that prepares our children for the 21st Century.

WORLD-CLASS SCHOOLS BY INVESTING IN SCHOOL REFORM AND ACCOUNTABILITY. Speaking to more than 400 top teachers at the annual meeting of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), President Clinton will call on Congress today to invest in proven strategies for school reform. He will remind Republicans what any good teacher already knows: that targeting our education dollars -- on smaller classes, after-school and summer school programs, quality teachers, college preparation, and educational technology -- is the most effective way to achieve results.

The President will also recognize the special role that "master teachers," like those certified by the NBPTS, can play in turning around our lowest-performing schools. The NBPTS is an independent, nonprofit organization that establishes rigorous standards for teachers. It operates a system of voluntary national certification designed to give teachers clear and objective standards of practice, and to help drive professional development and standards-based reform of teaching in the states.

REPUBLICAN EDUCATION BILL FAILS TO MEET THESE STANDARDS. President Clinton is committed to ensuring that the prosperity generated by years of fiscal discipline and the hard work of the American people is invested in their priorities. That is why today the President will pledge again to protect these priorities as the budget process moves forward, and remind Americans that the current Republican Labor/HHS/Education appropriations bill: