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2000 State of the Union Address Background Materials: Opportunity and Responsibility in Education

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State of the Union Address 2000

OPPORTUNITY AND RESPONSIBILITY IN EDUCATION

Proposing the Largest Head Start Expansion in History
The President's budget increases funding for Head Start by $1 billion — the largest funding increase ever proposed for the program to provide Head Start and Early Head Start to approximately 950,000 children. This funding will bring within reach the President's goal of serving one million children in 2002 and builds the foundation for the long-term goal of universal pre-school. Head Start prepares low-income children for a lifetime of learning and development by providing early, rigorous and comprehensive child development. Early Head Start, created by the Clinton-Gore Administration in 1994, brings these services to families with children ages zero to three and to pregnant women. The President's FY 2001 proposal would increase funding for Early Head Start by $143 million. Since 1993, this Administration has already increased funding for Head Start by 90 percent.

Promoting Early Learning
The President's budget includes $3 billion over five years for the Early Learning Fund to help improve child care quality and early childhood education for children under five years old. The Early Learning Fund will provide community grants for activities that foster cognitive development, improve child care quality and promote readiness for school. Resources could be used to help child care providers get training or certification, facilitate licensing or accreditation of child care centers, and reduce child-to-staff ratios.

Fixing Failing Schools and Rewarding Success

  • Universal After-School for Students in the Most Need - The President and Vice President propose to invest $1 billion in the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program to help ensure that every child in every failing school can have a safe place to learn during the after school and summertime hours. This more than doubles the FY 2000 investment. The Administration's budget will maintain the commitment to serving all children, but will dedicate the increase to help those children most in need of academic assistance as part of a comprehensive approach to help low-achieving students meet high academic standards. The budget provides sufficient funding to make after school or summer school programs universally available to all students attending Title I school identified as low-performing, nearly tripling the number of children served by the program to 2.5 million.
  • Accountability Fund - In November, the Congress appropriated $134 million for the President's accountability fund. This year, the President will increase funding for this initiative to $250 million to turn around failing schools. This funding is used by states and localities to turn around low-performing schools by overhauling curriculum, improving staffing, or even closing the school and reopening it as a charter school. The accountability initiative also includes provisions expanding public school choice for students in failing schools.
  • Rewarding High Performance and Closing the Achievement Gap - The President also proposes a $50 million initiative to provide high-performance bonuses to states that make exemplary progress in improving student performance and closing the achievement gap between high and low performing groups of students. States would be eligible for bonuses based on substantial overall improvements in student performance and significant narrowing of the achievement gap as indicated by performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

Class Size Reduction
The President's class size reduction initiative continues his commitment to reduce class size in the early grades by staying on a path to hiring 100,000 high quality teachers. The Administration's FY2001 budget will boost funding for this initiative to $1.75 billion, an increase of $450 million over current levels — enough to fund about 49,000 teachers, nearly half way to our long-term goal. Smaller classes allow teachers to spend more time on instruction and less time on discipline, and provide more individualized attention. Research shows that students attending small classes in the early grades make more rapid educational progress than students in larger classes. New teachers hired under this program must be qualified and know the subjects they are teaching.

Small, Safe and Successful High Schools
Research shows that smaller schools can boost academic achievement and extracurricular involvement and lead to fewer discipline problems. The President's budget will include $120 million for a Small Schools Initiative to reinvent high schools on a smaller scale and make them more responsive to student needs. School districts could use this money to create small schools or break up existing large schools into smaller learning communities. Districts would be expected to demonstrate increases in student achievement, graduation rates, and the number of students pursuing postsecondary options, and decreases in classroom disruptions and violence.

Teaching to High Standards
This initiative is a new $1 billion teacher quality plan to recruit, train and reward good teachers. The Teaching to High Standards Initiative will give grants to states and districts to fund high-quality, standards-based professional development for teachers. It also includes several new proposals:

  • Higher Standards-Higher Pay for Teachers - This $50 million initiative will award grants to high-poverty school districts to help them attract and retain high-quality teachers through better pay and higher standards. Participating teachers would receive immediate pay increases and additional raises for exceptional work.
  • Teacher Quality Rewards - This $50 million program will reward school districts that have made exceptional progress in reducing the number of uncertified teachers and teachers teaching outside their subject area. The President has proposed requiring states to ensure that 95 percent of teachers are certified and 95 percent of secondary teachers are teaching within field by 2004.
  • Hometown Teacher Recruitment - This $75 million program would empower high-poverty school districts to develop programs to recruit homegrown teachers to address the shortage of qualified teachers. Programs supported by this grant would make students aware, as early as middle school, of the opportunities available in the teaching profession; provide mentoring and teaching experiences as they progress through school; and provide financial assistance for students who enter college and pursue academic degrees with the goal of teaching in high-need communities after graduation.
  • Transition to Teaching - This $25 million initiative will build on the success of the Department of Defense's Troops to Teachers program by recruiting and preparing talented mid-career professionals from diverse fields to become teachers in high-need subject areas and high-need schools.
  • School Leaders Initiative - This $40 million program will fund non-profit partnerships designed to recruit, prepare and provide professional development for superintendents and principals, and other school leaders.

Charter Schools
The President's budget will increase funding for charter schools by $30 million dollars from $145 million to $175 million. Charter schools are public schools started by parents, teachers, or community groups that are open to all and given a great deal of flexibility in exchange for agreeing to meet defined goals for student performance. Charter schools are one way to increase competition, provide options and choices for parents, and increase accountability in public education. When the President was first elected in 1992, there was only one charter school in the country. Now, according to the Department of Education, there are approximately 1,700 and 36 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws allowing the creation of charter schools. This proposed new funding will ensure that we can meet the President's goal of creating 3,000 public charter schools.

School Construction and Modernization
At least 2,400 new public schools will be needed nationwide by 2003 to accommodate rising enrollments and to relieve overcrowding. Thousands more will be needed in following years. To address this critical need, President Clinton is renewing his commitment to his School Modernization Bond proposal. It provides $24.8 billion in tax credit bonds over two years to modernize up to 6,000 schools. This proposal has an estimated cost of $8 billion over ten years. Within this $24.8 billion program, $2.4 billion is reserved for Qualified Zone Academy Bonds. In addition, the 2001 budget includes a new $1.3 billion school urgent/emergency renovation loan and grant proposal. This $1.3 billion program could support nearly $7 billion of renovation projects in high-need school districts with little or no capacity to fund urgent repairs. Both loans and grants would be made available, with the smaller grant program directed toward the neediest districts.

Preventing Youth Violence
Over the past year, the country has been traumatized by a spate of school shootings. The President has taken leadership to address the issue of preventing youth violence by establishing a National Campaign Against Youth Violence. The National Campaign is beginning a public engagement campaign on how best to prevent youth violence and is working with the best minds in the field of youth violence to identify and replicate best practices of prevention in local communities. The President's budget includes over $8.8 billion, $875 million above FY 2000, for programs throughout the government that work to target youth violence and programs that support the healthy development of young people including developing smaller high schools; promoting safe after-school opportunities; cracking down on illegal gun traffickers who supply guns to youth; and, helping communities develop and implement community-wide responses to school and youth violence through the Safe Schools/Healthy Students initiative. The Safe Schools program joins principals, parents, police and others in the community to collaborate on comprehensive strategies to address violence problems confronting children in and out of school. The President's new budget will provide a $100 million increase for his safe schools initiative, investing a total of nearly $250 million in this signature program.

College Opportunity Tax Cut
Since 1993, the President has taken numerous steps to make college more affordable and accessible, including direct student loans, Pell Grant increases, as well as the Hope Scholarship and Lifetime Learning tax credits, producing the biggest expansion in college opportunity since the GI Bill. This year the President goes one step further and calls on Congress to pass his College Opportunity Tax Cut to expand on previous educational tax cuts and make college, graduate school, and job training more affordable for millions of families. The President's proposal would give families the option of taking a tax deduction or a 28 percent tax credit on tuition and fees to pay for college and other higher education. The proposal would cover up to $5,000 of educational expenses in 2001 and 2002 and rise to $10,000 of educational expenses from 2003 forward. When fully phased in, this proposal would provide up to $2,800 in tax relief annually to help American families pay for college, graduate work, or courses taken to improve job skills.

Nearly $1 Billion In Increases To Pell Grants, SEOG, Work Study, And Other Programs:

  • Pell Grants. The Pell Grant program provides grants to economically disadvantaged young people to help pay the cost of a postsecondary education. The maximum Pell Grant in FY2000 is $3,300. The President's FY2001 budget increases the maximum to $3,500, more than 50 percent larger than the maximum grant in 1993, to make a college education more affordable for the nearly 4 million Pell Grant recipients. Funding for the Pell Grant program is increased by over $716 million, bringing the total Pell Grant appropriation to $8.356 billion.
  • SEOG. SEOG, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program, provides campus-based grant assistance to needy undergraduate students. Generally, this program supplements the aid students receive from other sources, and leverages institutional aid by at least one dollar for every three federal dollars. The FY2001 budget provides $691 million for SEOG, a $60 million increase, the largest increase in 10 years. An estimated 1.2 million students (over 60,000 more than in 2000) will receive awards in 2001.
  • Work Study. Work Study provides students the opportunity to work their way through college. The FY 2000 budget achieved the goal of giving one million students the opportunity to participate in Work Study. The FY2001 budget includes $1.011 billion for Work Study, an increase of $77 million to continue this commitment to serve one million students.
  • College Completion Challenge Grants. The FY2001 budget creates a new initiative within the TRIO program called College Completion Challenge Grants (CCCG). Although college enrollment rates have risen, 37 percent of students that go on to post-secondary school drop out before they get a certificate or a degree. The problem is especially acute for minorities: 29 percent of African Americans and 31 percent of Hispanics drop out of college after less than one year, compared to 18 percent of whites. The CCCG program is designed to address this problem with a comprehensive approach including pre-freshman summer programs, support services and increased grant aid to students. This $35 million initiative will improve the chances of success for nearly 18,000 students.
  • Dual Degree Programs for Minority-Serving Institutions. The FY 2001 budget proposes a new program to increase opportunities for students at minority-serving institutions that offer four-year degrees. Students would receive two degrees within five years: one from a minority-serving institution, and one from a partner institution in a field in which minorities are underrepresented. This new $40 million program will serve an estimated 3,000 students.

Over $400 Million In Increases To Keep Young People On The Track To Success:

  • GEAR UP. GEAR UP is a nationwide initiative to encourage more disadvantaged young people to have high expectations, stay in school, study hard, and take the right courses to go to and succeed in college. GEAR UP is funded at $200 million in FY 2000, enough to provide services to over 750,000 students. The FY 2001 budget provides a 62.5% increase to $325 million, enough to provide services to 1.4 million students.
  • TRIO. The TRIO programs seek to motivate and prepare students to go to and stay in college. The FY 2001 budget provides $725 million for TRIO, an increase of $80 million to help provide assistance to over 760,000 students, 37,000 more than in 2000.
  • Youth Opportunity Grants and Youth Training Formula Grants. Youth Opportunity Grants are an initiative to provide comprehensive employment and training assistance to all out-of-school young people in high poverty areas. The program was passed as part of the bipartisan Workforce Investment Act. Funded at $250 million in FY 2000, this program would serve up to 50,000 of the most disadvantaged young people in central cities and rural communities across America. The President's FY2001 budget provides a 50 percent increase in funding to $375 million, enough to serve an additional 25,000 youth in high poverty areas. In addition, the FY2001 budget provides a $25 million increase (from $1.001 billion to $1.022), to the Youth Training Formula Grants, enough to provide job training and summer job opportunities to nearly 600,000 disadvantaged young people.
  • Youthbuild. The Youthbuild program, is targeted to 16-24 year old high school dropouts, and provides disadvantaged young adults with education and employment skills through rehabilitating and building housing for low-income and homeless people. The program also helps to expand the supply of housing in these categories. Funded at $42.5 million, the Youthbuild programs will provides opportunities for approximately 2,000 trainees in 2000. The FY2001 increases funding by 76% to $75 million, enough to serve approximately 3,330 trainees.
  • Job Corps. Job Corps is the nation's largest and most comprehensive residential education and job training program targeted at impoverished young people. The FY2001 budget increases Job Corps funding by $33 million, bringing the total Job Corps budget to $1.392 billion.


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