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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 30, 2000


Today Secretary Riley announced the award of $1.3 billion to continue on the path to hiring 100,000 new, highly qualified teachers as part of my Class Size Reduction Program. These funds will allow states to place more high-quality teachers in smaller classes in the early grades, so that approximately 1.7 million children can receive the personal and academic support they need. The Vice President and I have a long-standing commitment to ensure that all children have access to a first class education, and these grants provide support to state and local communities to work toward this goal by investing in what works. Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress are rejecting this proven strategy of investing in what works and insisting on accountability for results in favor of unfocused block grants with little or no accountability. I urge Congress to reverse its recent actions and enact full funding to: reduce class sizes in the early grades; strengthen accountability and turn around failing schools; expand before-school and after-school opportunities; assist low-income students in preparing for college; help bridge the digital divide; improve teacher quality; and expand English language/civics education programs for adults.