THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT CLINTON BOLSTERS NATIONAL EFFORT TO TURN AROUND FAILING
SCHOOLS BY DEMANDING MORE FROM THEM AND INVESTING MORE IN THEM February 26, 2000
In his weekly radio address, President Clinton today will announce the release of official guidelines for his initiative to turn around failing schools. Last year, as part of his strategy to demand more from our schools and invest more in them, the President proposed an Accountability Fund to help states and localities fix failing schools or shut them down. Congress appropriated $134 million for this Accountability Fund, and today President Clinton will release guidelines from the Education Department that will help states and school districts use these resources most effectively, as well as expand public school choice for students in failing schools. The President today will also release state-by-state allocations of funds from this initiative, and will call on Congress to boost the size of the Accountability Fund to $250 million in FY 2001.
FIXING FAILING SCHOOLS BY INVESTING IN WHAT WORKS. Last year, President Clinton challenged Congress to pass his plan to create a first-ever Accountability Fund to help turn around low-performing schools. In the FY 2000 budget, Congress heeded that call and provided $134 million for this initiative. The guidelines the President is releasing today will help states and local school take firm measures to bolster low-performing schools: implementing tougher curricula, providing better teacher training, even closing down schools and reopening them under new leadership or as charter schools. These are proven strategies for reform, and today's guidelines emphasize the importance of targeting investment in what works.
Some states have already demonstrated the power of concerted and targeted investments in accountability. For instance, two years ago North Carolina sent assistance teams to its 15 worst-performing schools. One year later, 14 of those schools had improved enough to be taken off the state's watch list. But nationwide, according to a Department of Education analysis, only half of schools identified by states as low-performing currently receive assistance. The Accountability Fund will help ensure that all failing schools get the help they need to turn themselves around. In his FY 2001 budget, the President nearly doubles the size of the Fund -- from $134 million to $250 million -- and today he will also call on Congress to make this next investment.
EXPANDING PUBLIC SCHOOL CHOICE. President Clinton believes that public school choice can help improve low-performing schools by increasing competition and accountability. Under his Accountability Fund plan, students in failing schools that are receiving assistance may choose to transfer to higher-performing public schools, including charter schools. President Clinton has worked hard to increase choice in public education, through charter schools and other strategies, and his accountability initiative builds on that commitment.
IMPROVING OUR SCHOOLS BY INVESTING MORE AND DEMANDING MORE. The Accountability Fund is one component of the Administration's comprehensive agenda to strengthen public schools by demanding more and investing more. The President's Education Accountability Act would require states and school districts to issue report cards to parents on school performance, increase teacher quality and stop out-of-field teaching, end social promotion the right way by giving all students the tools they need to reach high standards, institute strong but fair discipline codes in schools, and strengthen the accountability initiative the President is highlighting today. The President's FY2001 budget request includes a $4.5 billion increase for education that will, among other goals, expand after-school and summer school programs, reduce class sizes in the early grades, build and modernize public schools, increase teacher quality, and expand charter schools. Today the President will call on Congress to act on his legislative and budget proposals to improve all of our schools and to make accountability in education a reality nationwide.
TITLE I ACCOUNTABILITY GRANTS
Estimated State-by-State allocations
FY 2000 FY2001 Appropriation Request Alabama $2,239,376 $4,079,051 Alaska 330,646 586,897 Arizona 2,126,958 3,949,253 Arkansas 1,374,803 2,534,493 California 16,556,812 31,984,516 Colorado 1,236,410 2,107,061 Connecticut 1,220,591 2,236,705 Delaware 368,906 599,777 Florida 6,373,427 12,869,909 Georgia 3,662,555 7,093,080 Hawaii 349,593 681,519 Idaho 408,150 713,612 Illinois 5,676,307 10,716,630 Indiana 2,032,799 3,592,718 Iowa 925,121 1,517,137 Kansas 975,911 1,722,479 Kentucky 2,213,377 4,100,248 Louisiana 3,317,431 6,099,003 Maine 549,164 923,852 Maryland 1,787,623 3,384,920 Massachusetts 2,661,366 4,523,398 Michigan 5,844,679 10,544,187 Minnesota 1,524,351 2,544,677 Mississippi 2,164,275 3,790,983 Missouri 2,334,733 4,205,422 Montana 456,413 810,192 Nebraska 558,276 958,537 Nevada 404,802 792,507 New Hampshire 340,402 564,887 New Jersey 3,078,484 5,370,717 New Mexico 1,152,065 2,264,894 New York 12,807,331 25,729,301 North Carolina 2,567,507 4,820,197 North Dakota 343,794 611,328 Ohio 5,241,730 9,064,523 Oklahoma 1,673,782 3,111,992 Oregon 1,188,629 2,029,704 Pennsylvania 5,861,386 10,546,006 Rhode Island 429,889 779,056 South Carolina 1,738,421 3,282,294 South Dakota 342,249 630,894 Tennessee 2,334,502 4,105,508 Texas 11,618,707 22,556,841 Utah 612,242 953,999 Vermont 307,016 561,789 Virginia 2,041,514 3,782,645 Washington 1,889,622 3,207,244 West Virginia 1,274,452 2,332,694 Wisconsin 2,182,633 3,955,012 Wyoming 304,959 545,375 District of Columbia 441,618 907,821 Puerto Rico 4,552,211 8,622,516 TOTAL $134,000,000 $250,000,000 ###