THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
WHITE HOUSE HOSTS STRATEGY SESSION: IMPROVING HISPANIC STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT
Today, the Clinton-Gore Administration will host a White House Strategy Session on Improving Hispanic Student Achievement, underscoring the need for a national effort to close the achievement gap between Hispanic students and their peers. The session builds upon the Administration's long-standing efforts, led by Vice President Gore, to increase funding for Hispanic education programs, and follows up on the White House Convening of Latino Youth hosted by the First Lady in 1999. Today, the President will: 1) release a report from his Council of Economic Advisers that documents the gaps in educational outcomes between Hispanic students and their peers and the economic imperative of improving the educational opportunities and achievement of all Americans; 2) call for a national commitment to accomplish five major goals to improve Hispanic achievement over the next decade; and 3) announce the formation of the 2010 Alliance, a partnership of corporate, foundation and community leaders that will commit to bring resources and accountability to reach these goals by 2010. The President will meet with educators and leaders from the public, private and non-profit sectors in a roundtable to discuss strategies to achieve these goals. Others participating in the day-long session include: Secretary of Education Richard Riley, Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera, Governor Paris Glendening (D-MD), Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamonte (D-CA), Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Representatives Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Hinojosa (D-TX), and other members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The President will also note that progress towards these goals would be threatened by an education spending bill passed in the House yesterday that demands too little from our schools and invests too little in them.
HIGHLIGHTING THE NEED TO BOOST HISPANIC STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT. The President and Vice President have made education a top priority by focusing on high standards for all students, increasing accountability for results, and expanding investment in what works to raise student achievement. Today's strategy session will focus on the importance of raising the academic achievement of our nation's fastest growing population group. Today the President will release a report by his Council of Economic Advisers, Educational Attainment and Success in the New Economy: An Analysis of Challenges for Improving Hispanic Students' Achievement, which documents the gaps in educational outcomes between Hispanics and their peers and outlines the increasing importance of education for economic success. Prior research has shown that Hispanics have made gains since 1993 in areas such as early childhood education (Hispanic Head Start enrollment has increased by nearly 60,000), performance on math exams, high school completion, and college entrance and completion. Nonetheless, the CEA report illustrates that despite the fact that the average education level of native-born Latinos has increased over the last several decades, troubling gaps exist between Latino students and their peers at all levels. For example, Hispanics are underrepresented in early childhood programs; while 88% of white and African-American 25-29 year-old have completed high school, the Hispanic number drops to 63%; and the proportion of Hispanics who graduate from four-year colleges is less than half that of whites. A case study on Hispanic employment in the information technology sector illustrates the importance of educating the most rapidly growing segment of our nation's population in order to support a key sector in our nation's economy. The report will point out the importance of increasing educational attainment for individual benefit, and the benefit of a new economy that requires more well-educated workers.
FUNDING EFFORTS TO ADDRESS THE GAP IN HISPANIC STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT. In 1998, the President and Vice President proposed and achieved funding increases for the Hispanic Education Action Plan (HEAP) in programs that help to improve the educational outcomes of Latinos and limited English proficient students, including: Title I grants to LEAs, Adult Education, Bilingual Education, and TRIO. The FY2000 budget included $436 million in increases for these programs. The President's FY 2001 budget proposed increases of $823 million for programs to enhance educational opportunity for Latinos, including: a $416 million increase for Title I to provide supplemental education services for students who have fallen behind in school, in particular those in high-poverty communities; an increase of $80 million for TRIO programs to help disadvantaged high school and college students prepare for, attend, and graduate from college; an increase of $125 million for GEAR UP to help low-income students prepare for college; an increase of $48 million for the Bilingual Education program to improve the quality of services offered to limited-English proficient (LEP) students and to provide 8,000 bilingual and ESL teachers with the high-quality training they need.
CHALLENGING THE NATION TO REACH KEY GOALS. President Clinton will announce five major goals and challenge the nation to achieve them by 2010. The goals (see attachment) address five areas critical to raising educational attainment:
To open the day, Secretary Riley will release the first of what will become an annual measure of progress toward achieving the President's five goals. The President will announce the formation of the 2010 Alliance, created in response to his national challenge, a partnership to achieve these goals over the next decade. The Alliance includes: Ford, Irvine, Kellogg, and Hazen foundations, AT&T, Univision, State Farm Insurance, General Motors Corporation, the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships, the National Association for Bilingual Education, the National Council of La Raza, and the National Association for Latino Elected Officials.
COMMITTING TO SUPPORT HISPANIC ACHIEVEMENT. Numerous federal agencies, nonprofits, and corporations have come forward to commit to bolstering the President's goals (see attachment) with new and expanded initiatives. These commitments include: -- Internship programs for Latino students with the Departments of Agriculture, Defense and Energy, Sears, Washington Mutual Bank, Inc., and companies in partnership with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities; -- Outreach campaigns from Proctor & Gamble, the Discovery en Espanol channel, partnerships of the PTA and Hispanic Radio Network, Scholastic, Univision and The National Latino Children's Institute, and the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, HHS and HUD; and -- Innovative efforts such as the American Library Association's creation of an award for children's literature that reflects Latino culture, the Department of Commerce's professional exchange program with HSI faculty, and a partnership between Lightspan and HUD to close the digital divide by providing educational technology resources for the residents in 10 Neighborhood Network Centers in Hispanic communities.
INVESTING IN AMERICA'S PROSPERITY BY INVESTING IN EDUCATION. The President will note that the Clinton-Gore agenda of standards and accountability and investing in what works is producing results. The President's FY 2001 Budget continues its investment in programs that improve the educational achievement of Hispanic Americans, with a $823 million increase to programs that are part of the Hispanic Education Action Plan. Unfortunately, in this year's appropriations bills the House underfunds this plan by more than $650 million, and the Senate falls more than $200 million short of the President's Budget request, including underfunding important programs such as Title I, GEAR UP, Bilingual Education, and Adult Education ESL/Civics. Finally, the President will reiterate his threat to veto the education spending bill passed by the House yesterday, which includes underfunding HEAP, fails to: strengthen accountability and turn around failing schools; reduce class size; fund emergency repairs and renovation of aging schools; sufficiently expand after-school opportunities; help prepare low-income students for college through GEAR UP; fund programs to improve teacher quality; help bridge the digital divide; and adequately fund child care and investments in Head Start.