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September 3, 1998

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We must continue to find every possible way to help people across America get the skills they need to succeed in the 21st Century.

Vice President Al Gore
September 3, 1998

Today, Vice President Al Gore travels to Pittsburgh where he will discuss education and job training for the 21st Century in a town hall meeting with business and labor leaders, workers, educators, and students. Building on the recently enacted Workforce Investment Act, a comprehensive reform of our job training system that empowers individuals to choose their own training, streamlines services, and enhances flexibility, the Vice President will announce the release of funds for the state of Pennsylvania's School-to-Work initiative and the availability of Lifetime Learning and Hope Scholarship tax credits to assist adults who want to go back to school and students in the first two years of college or vocational school.

A Commitment To Moving Students From The Classroom To The Workplace. The School-to-Work program encourages schools, students, parents, businesses, organized labor, and community organizations to form partnerships that link the classroom with the work world. Currently, 42 states and Puerto Rico have state-wide School-to-Work systems, and the remaining states and the District of Columbia have applied for state implementation grants. The partnerships provide:

  • Students with adult mentors, chances to explore careers, school courses that focus on academics and class preparation, and opportunities for learning in the workplace;
  • Employers and educators the opportunity to help ensure that the education that students get is relevant to the workplace of the 21st Century, and that students understand that high academic achievement is crucial to their success as working adults;
  • Funds to help develop new curriculum, provide more teacher training and opportunities for educators to offer learning opportunities in businesses and industry, give students access to high technology for career exploration, give schools current labor market information, support employer involvement in schools and local communities, link high schools to local colleges and universities, and reach drop-outs and at-risk students.

Encouraging Adults To Continue Their Education. Last year, President Clinton signed legislation granting Lifetime Learning Tax Credits to adults who want to go back to school, change careers, or take courses to upgrade their skills, college students in their 3rd or final year of study, and graduate students. A family can get a 20 percent tax credits for the first $5,000 of tuition and fees paid each year through 2002, and for the first $10,000 thereafter. This tax credit, which took effect in July, enables an estimated 7.2 million Americans nationwide to benefit.

Making The 13th and 14th Years Of Education As Universal As K-12. As we move into the 21st Century, higher education will become more and more important. That is why the Clinton Administration is working to make the 13th and 14th years of education as universal as K-12. Hope Scholarship Tax Credits allow families to receive up to $1,500 in tax credits for each student in their first two years of college. This tax credit will assist up to an estimated 5.9 million Americans entering college or vocational school.

Calling On Congress To Support The President's Education Plan. The education of our children and our workforce should not be a partisan issue. Neither the Senate nor the House have acted on the President's proposals to reduce class size and rebuild and modernize our schools. Although a bipartisan group of Senators came together to reject parts of the House Republican education and training budget, the Senate still short-changes after-school care and education technology. The Vice President is calling on Congress to put aside partisanship and pass the President's education plan, which invests in after-school care, education technology, and safer, smaller classes.

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