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July 28, 1999

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I say to the Republican leaders in Congress: If you send me a short-sighted tax plan that short-changes our students, our teachers, and our schools, it will not get past my desk. Remember: These are not just numbers. These are children.

President Bill Clinton
June 28, 1999

Today, at the White House, President Clinton announced new estimates of the severe, long-term impact on education that would result from the Republican tax and budget plans. The President emphasized that the Republican plans risky, expensive proposals that would disproportionately benefit the wealthy could force devastating cuts in key initiatives to reduce class size, support after-school programs, help children read well, keep schools safe and drug-free, and expand access to college. The President urged Congress to enact a responsible tax plan targeted to help communities modernize schools and help families finance their retirement, child care, and long-term care while saving Social Security and Medicare, and leaving room for vital investments in education and defense. The President threatened to veto any tax bill failing to leave room for adequate investments in education.

Republican Tax Bill Squeezes out Funding for Education. President Clinton announced new Administration estimates of the long-term impact that the Republican tax and budget plans could have on key education programs. In the tenth year alone of the Republican tax plan, our country could be forced to:

  • Deny local school districts vital support to build and modernize 5,400 public schools nationwide;
  • Deny 5.9 million children in high-poverty areas extra academic support under the Title I program;
  • Deny 480,000 children access to the Reading Excellence program;
  • Deny smaller classes to more than a million young children in the early grades;
  • Deny early childhood and pre-school services to 430,000 kids by cutting the Head Start program;
  • Deny 215,000 students after-school and summer school programs;
  • Slash funding for children with disabilities;
  • Cut violence and drug prevention programs;
  • Make college less affordable for nearly 4 million low- and middle-income students by slashing Pell Grants;
  • Deny nearly 500,000 students the opportunity to work their way through college through the Work-Study program;
  • Deny nearly 500,000 disadvantaged students the extra guidance and support they need to prepare for college through the GEAR-UP and TRIO programs; and
  • Deny hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged young people the summer jobs and job training they need to succeed, through cuts in Jobs Corps and Youth Opportunity Grants.

Calculations Show Republican Plans Would Require Dramatic Cuts. These calculations, based on the Republican budget and tax plans, assume that Congress as envisioned by the tax bill approved by the House last week and the measure being debated in the Senate this week allocates nearly $800 billion to tax cuts over the next ten years; funds defense at the President's requested level; and pays down debt by as much as Republicans promise. Given these assumptions, the budget resolution and current Republican tax plans would require dramatic cuts to domestic programs cutting roughly half from current funding levels.


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