PRESIDENT CLINTON'S RADIO ADDRESS TO THE NATION:URGING CONGRESS TO KEEP ITS COMMITMENT AND COMPLETE THIS YEAR'S
December 2, 2000
Today, in his weekly radio address, President Clinton will call on the
returning Congress to finish the nation's work it has left undone for
over two months. The President's remarks will focus on the bipartisan
education agreement reached in November as one example of crucial work
that Congress cannot ignore. The President will urge the Republican
leadership to pass the bipartisan agreement that would increase federal
support for improving education by nearly $8 billion, and to further
bipartisan cooperation by passing school modernization tax legislation
that has the support of 231 members of the House of Representatives, a
bipartisan majority. He will also release an analysis by the U.S.
Department of Education that illustrates the amount of federal education
funding each state stands to lose if Congress backtracks on the budget
consensus that had been negotiated before the election.
KEEPING OUR COMMITMENT TO STUDENTS. Shortly before Congress adjourned
in November, a reasonable bipartisan agreement was reached -- only to be
abandoned at the last minute by the Republican leadership. If Congress
fails to finish this crucial budget that is already months late, they
will put at risk an historic increase in education investments at a time
when the American public considers education one of its highest
priorities. Backing away from the consensus budget plan and freezing
funding at FY 2000 levels would jeopardize critical increases agreed to
by budget negotiators on both sides, including:
$1 Billion for Urgent Repairs. Turning back on the bipartisan
agreement would eliminate the landmark emergency repair fund established
to help school districts repair roofs, heating and cooling systems, and
electrical wiring in thousands of schools.
$547 Million for Expanded After-School Opportunities.
Approximately 850,000 children and adults will not have access to
extended learning opportunities in after-school centers if Congress does
not pass the agreed upon budget plan which more than doubled investments
in after school to $1 billion.
$450 Million for Additional Class Size Reduction Teachers. Without
this additional funding, school districts will be unable to hire
approximately 12,000 new teachers to help reduce class sizes for nearly
650,000 students in the early grades. 1.7 million children across the
country are already benefiting from smaller classes.
$639 Million for Improving Basic Skills. Targeted Title I services
aimed at helping disadvantaged students reach high standards will be
withheld from over 900,000 students if the bipartisan agreement is not
$250 Million for Updating Teacher's Skills. Nearly 15,000 school
districts will be shortchanged the desperately needed $250 million
increase in Eisenhower Teacher Professional Development grants, which
would help reduce the number of uncertified teachers and teachers not
trained in the subjects they are teaching.
$116 Million to Help Turn Around Failing Schools. Over 2,300
failing schools will not get extra resources to turn around low academic
performance if Congress does not pass the agreed upon budget plan.
$125 Million in GEAR UP College Preparation Increases. Without the
$125 million increase in funding, approximately 600,000 low-income
middle and high school students will be denied access to the tutoring,
counseling and mentoring they need to prepare for college, and
continuation grants could not be fully funded.
$1 Billion in Head Start Increases. Approximately 70,000 fewer
low-income children will be able to participate in early, comprehensive
development and family services if Congress reneges on its commitment.
$1.7 Billion in Special Education Increases. Without the increases
in the consensus budget, States will not receive a $1.7 billion increase
to assist in educating over 6 million children with disabilities.
$1.4 Billion for Pell Grant Increases. The maximum Pell grant
scholarship for needy students would not increase by $500, to $3800,
denying increased aid to nearly 4 million low-income college students.
STATES COULD LOSE CRITICAL INCREASES FOR EDUCATION. The President will
release a set of state-by-state analyses of the nearly $8 billion in
education funding that would be lost if Congress does not act to pass
the consensus budget. Among the five largest states, California could
lose almost $715 million in additional education funds, Texas could lose
more than $100 million in support for emergency school repairs, New York
could lose more than $40 million for more after school and summer school
programs, Florida could lose almost $20 million to hire additional
high-quality teachers to reduce class sizes in the early grades, and
Illinois could lose almost $70 million in additional support to educate
students with disabilities.