PRESIDENT CLINTON VISITS IOWA SCHOOLS TO ENCOURAGE
MODERNIZE AMERICA'S SCHOOLS
Today, President Clinton will visit Central High School in Davenport,
Iowa to draw national attention to the imperative of modernizing America's
aging and overcrowded schools.Specifically, he will highlight his
commitment to help states and localities build and modernize 6,000 schools
nationwide and conduct emergency repairs on 5,000 schools annually, and he will
release a new Education Department guide for communities facing school
construction challenges. Built in 1907, Central High is one of several schools
that the Davenport School District plans to renovate to accommodate new
technology, upgrade facilities, and ensure a good learning environment for
students. The President will point out that the tough accountability measures
he has called for as part of his reform agenda cannot have force unless we also
invest in our students and schools to help them reach high standards. The
President will call on Congress to pass a budget that includes his school
construction proposals and helps communities like Davenport address the
infrastructure crisis created by rising enrollment and aging buildings. In
Davenport, which is the second stop in his School Reform Tour, the President
will emphasize that as we demand more from our schools we must also invest more
PRESIDENT CLINTON RELEASES NEW COMMUNITY RESOURCE GUIDE ON SCHOOL
DESIGN. The President today will release a new report from the U.S.
Department of Education, "Schools as Centers of Community: A Citizens
Guide For Planning and Design." The report serves as a resource for educators,
planners and community members to meet the challenge of providing effective
educational facilities. It highlights methods of providing safe, up-to-date
learning environments. The report includes a planning guide for local
communities and examples of innovative school designs around the country. The
President will note that replacing, repairing and updating school facilities is
an ongoing need that requires commitment from government at all levels.
THE NEED FOR SCHOOL RENOVATION AND CONSTRUCTION IS A NATIONAL
PRIORITY. A report last year by the National Center for Education
Statistics pointed out that school buildings begin rapid deterioration after 40
years -- and that the average public school in America is 42 years old.
Moreover, rising student enrollment means that communities around the country
have to build an additional 2,400 schools by 2003. A 1996 report by the U.S.
General Accounting Office (GAO) estimated the cost of bringing Americas
schools into overall good condition to be at least $112 billion. Today, the
National Education Association will release a report that puts that cost at
$322 billion, more than double the GAO figure from just four years ago.
Clearly, the President will note, school modernization is a national priority
that demands a national response.
PRESIDENT CLINTON CALLS ON AMERICA TO HONOR ITS COMMITMENT TO OUR
NATION'S SCHOOLS. The President has sent a plan to Congress that would
provide $24.8 billion in tax credits to states and local districts to build and
modernize 6,000 schools nationwide. In addition, the Presidents budget
includes an emergency school construction initiative that would provide $1.3
billion to states and school districts for emergency repairs on 5,000 schools a
year. Today, the President will call again on Congress to enact this plan and
give America's schoolchildren the resources and facilities they need to meet