VICE PRESIDENT GORE ANNOUNCES NEW GRANTS
TO HELP HISPANIC FAMILIES EDUCATE THEIR CHILDREN
New York, New York--Speaking via satellite to the White House
Strategy Session on Improving Hispanic Student Achievement, Vice
President Gore announced today new grant awards and innovative outreach
strategies geared toward increasing the achievement of Hispanic students
at all levels of education--from preschool through college. The Vice
President also announced a package of outreach and technical assistance
efforts by federal agencies and national not-profit groups to improve
the quality of education in the Hispanic community.
"We can never be satisfied with a Hispanic drop-out rate that
hovers around 30 percent. We have to do better," Vice President Gore
said. "That is why our administration is launching a new effort to get
Hispanic families more information about the importance of early
childhood education to our children's future -- and to help them find
the right programs in their own communities."
The Hispanic Education Action Plan (HEAP) grants awarded today will
strengthen Hispanic Serving Institutions (HIS) by supporting faculty
development, academic programs and student services. Specifically:
The National PTA will partner with the Hispanic Radio Network,
which has 100 affiliate stations in the United States, Puerto Rico, and
Latin America, to produce a series of one-minute radio programs that
will highlight the positive affects of parental participation on student
academic achievement. Additionally, the grant offers ideas to parents
on how to promote safe, effective, community oriented schools and
identify resources targeted toward Spanish speaking parents.
The Department of Education (DoED) will launch an expansive
outreach effort to provide more high quality services to very young
Hispanic children through Title I pre-school programs. In addition, the
Department will write to all school districts to encourage them to use
Title I funds for preschool, reach out to Hispanic families, and explain
the flexibility in Title I schoolwide programs in selecting participants
an in improving services to Hispanic children and their parents.
The Department of Education will also award $25.8 million for 76
new development grants, ranging in value from $375,000-$425,000 over
five years, to enable eligible Hispanic Serving Institutions of Higher
Education to expand their capacity to serve Hispanic students and other
low-income individuals. The HSI's may use the funds for faculty
development, administrative management, and improvement of academic
programs, facilities and student services.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will partner
with (DoED), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the
White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans
to direct Hispanic Families to Head Start programs and early childhood
development programs. The partnership will facilitate the dissemination
of early childhood information (i.e. early brain development research,
parenting tips, how to choose a child care center, and what Head Start
has to offer) through HUD's Neighborhood Networks program.
In closing his remarks, Vice President Gore stressed the importance
of closing the education gap in this generation.
"Sometimes, it may feel as if closing the opportunity gap is a
challenge that will take generations. With the caring and commitment of
the nation's parents and teachers -- with all the creativity and
curiosity of our children -- I know we can achieve excellence, for all
our students, in this generation," Vice President Gore said.