PRESIDENT CLINTON ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT ON PLAN TO HIRE 100,000 HIGH-QUALITY TEACHERS TO REDUCE CLASS SIZE
November 11, 1999
AGREEMENT PRESERVES PRESIDENT'S PLAN TO HIRE 100,000 TEACHERS OVER 6YEARS TO REDUCE CLASS SIZE
Yesterday, Congressional leaders and the White House reached an
agreement in principle that will preserve the President's plan to hire
100,000 teachers over the next 6 years to reduce class size in the early
The agreement provides at least $1.3 billion in FY 2000, a 10%
increase from $1.2 billion in FY 1999.
The Education Department estimates that communities are using the
funds from last year's agreement to hire more than 29,000 teachers and
reduce the average class size for 1.7 million children from 23 down to
18. With this new agreement, communities will be able to keep those
29,000 teachers and hire more; and stay on track to hire 100,000
teachers to reduce class size in the early grades to a nationwide
average of 18 by the year 2005.
AGREEMENT PROVIDES FOR MORE TEACHERS AND BETTER TEACHERS
The agreement ensures that all teachers hired under the class size
program must be fully qualified. Teachers must be certified in their
state or have completed an alternative route to certification, must have
a baccalaureate degree; and must know the subjects they're teaching and
demonstrate the skills to teach them.
School districts can spend up to 25% of the funds on training
existing teachers, testing new teachers, and providing high-quality
professional development to ensure that all teachers have the knowledge
and skills to teach effectively.
School districts with an exceptionally high percentage (more than
10%) of uncertified elementary school teachers have the flexibility to
use additional funds to help those teachers meet certification standards
in time for the 2001-02 school year.
AGREEMENT PROVIDES LOCAL FLEXIBILITY FOR TEACHER TRAINING, NOT BLOCKGRANTS AND VOUCHERS
Republicans abandoned their plan to turn the President's class size
reduction program into a block grant. The agreement guarantees that
funds must be used primarily to recruit, hire, and train teachers to
reduce class size in the early grades.
The bill the President vetoed did not guarantee a single dollar for
class size reduction, and would even have allowed school districts to
use the money for vouchers. Under the agreement, taxpayer dollars will
go for smaller classes in public schools, not vouchers to private
Because the purpose of the program is smaller classes with
qualified teachers, the agreement gives school districts the option to
spend up to 25% of the funds on teacher training and testing of new
teachers. This is an increase from 15% last year.
AGREEMENT PRESERVES OTHER KEY ELEMENTS OF PRESIDENT'S PLAN
The agreement preserves existing provisions to target funds to
high-poverty communities, with 80% of funds allocated on the basis of
poverty and 20% on the basis of population. This will ensure that
children who stand to gain the most from smaller classes and better
teachers will get them.
The agreement continues to provide communities with flexibility to
tailor class size reduction efforts to meet local needs and priorities.
The agreement strengthens provisions to hold schools and districts
accountable for results by reporting to parents on progress in reducing
class size with fully qualified teachers.