THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT CLINTON: OPENING THE DOORS TO COLLEGE AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL AMERICANS June 10, 2000
Today, President Clinton will address the graduating Class of 2000 at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. He will release a new report by the U.S. Department of Education, Expanding College Opportunity: More Access, Greater Achievement, Higher Expectations. The report describes the importance of college and trade school educations, the Clinton-Gore Administration's initiatives to establish universal access to college, and the record-setting college enrollment rate. The President will also call on Congress to build on this progress by enacting his education proposals and not sacrificing federal investments in education for large tax cuts.
TODAY'S REPORT DETAILS INCREASES IN COLLEGE OPPORTUNITY. College, trade
school, and lifelong learning promotes good citizenship, enriched lives,
and economic prosperity. According to evidence in today's report:
-- Americans are attending college in higher numbers and at higher rates
than ever before:
- Sixty-six percent of 1998 high school graduates enrolled immediately in college, compared to 60 percent in 1990. - Thirty-two percent of 25- to 29-year-olds had earned a bachelor's or higher degree in 1999, up from 27 percent in 1990. In particular, white and black women have seen their college opportunities grow. - SAT scores have risen over the past decade, especially in math, with a larger, more diverse group of test-takers. - Fifty percent of adults participated in formal learning in the year prior to a 1999 survey, up from 38 percent in 1991. - The economic benefits of college continue to grow. The increasing importance of education to our society's prosperity underscores the need to grow our national investment in education, not sacrifice it to a tax cut.
- College graduates can expect to earn $600,000 more over a lifetime than high school graduates.
- Young men with a bachelor's degree earned 150 percent the salary of their peers with no more than a high school diploma-and young women with a college degree earned twice as much as high school graduates. - An investment in college earns a 12 percent return, nearly twice the historical average of the stock market.
COLLEGE OPPORTUNITY HAS EXPANDED UNDER THE CLINTON-GORE ADMINISTRATION. President Clinton and Vice President Gore's commitment to opening the doors of college to all Americans has more than doubled student aid-the largest investment in higher education since the G.I. Bill-and contributed to the longest economic expansion in U.S. history. The Clinton-Gore approach is three-pronged:
PRESIDENT CLINTON WILL CALL ON CONGRESS TO ENACT HIS EDUCATION LEGISLATION:
FINALLY, THE PRESIDENT WILL DEMAND CONGRESS TO PASS A BUDGET THAT
INVESTS IN OUR SCHOOLS AND DEMANDS MORE FROM THEM. In February, the
Clinton-Gore Administration sent the Congress a balanced and responsible
budget that made investments in key educational initiatives to raise
standards, increase accountability, and invest in what works.
Congressional Republicans have passed a budget plan built on misguided
priorities and insufficient resources. To pay for risky and
irresponsible tax cuts, the Congressional Republican budget would cut
investments in domestic priorities $29 billion below the President's
level, an average cut of 9 percent. The budget plan passed on a
party-line vote by the U.S. House of Representatives appropriations
- Denies nearly 650,000 low-income middle-school students the extra college preparation they need through the GEAR UP initiative. The House committee freezes GEAR UP at this year's level, denying the President's $325 million request. Mentoring and early college preparation are key strategies to help at-risk youth succeed in college. - Cuts Youth Opportunity Grants from $250 million to $175 million. The President requested $375 million to provide comprehensive employment and training assistance to 75,000 out-of-school youth in high poverty areas.
- Denies help to 5,000 schools to make urgently needed repairs. The House appropriation ignores the President's $1.3 billion plan to help states and localities make $6.5 billion in emergency repairs to crumbling schools.
- Fails to create smaller classes for as many as 2.9 million young children. The House appropriation backs away from the bipartisan agreement to hire 100,000 new teachers and jeopardizes the federal commitment to continue support for the 29,000 teachers already hired. Research shows that small classes in the early grades help students master the basics and raise student achievement. - Fails to improve teacher quality by ignoring the President's request for $1 billion for standards-based professional development, recruitment, peer review programs, quality awards, and professional development for early childhood educators. Research shows that teacher quality is a key indicator of student performance. - Refuses as many as 1.6 million children extended learning opportunities in safe, drug-free environments. The House committee provides only $600 million for 21st Century Community Learning Centers. Extended learning time is an essential strategy to help all students master challenging academic material. The President's $1 billion request would provide all students in low-performing schools the opportunity to reach high standards.
- Fails to narrow the digital divide through Community Technology Centers. The House freezes funding at $32.5 million, $67.5 million below the President, eliminating support for up to 1,000 centers in high-poverty areas.
- Denies hundreds of thousands of teachers training in modern learning technologies. The House provides only $85 million of the President's $150 million request for Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers to Use Technology.
- Fails to strengthen accountability by eliminating the Title I Accountability Fund, for which President Clinton requested $250 million. States and localities use this funding to intervene in low-performing schools to turn them around and provide greater public school choice for their students.
- Denies more than 260,000 disadvantaged students Title I services to help them learn the basics and reach high standards. Title I is the cornerstone of state and local efforts to help all students learn challenging academic material.