AUGUST 23, 2000

Today, President Clinton will emphasize the urgent national need to build new schools and modernize existing ones at Crossroads Middle School in South Brunswick, New Jersey. Like many other crowded schools across the country, Crossroads Middle School is almost 20 percent above capacity and has eight temporary classrooms. President Clinton will release a new U.S. Department of Education analysis on school enrollment in New Jersey, which is now at its highest point in over 20 years. Finally, President Clinton will call on Congress to invest in education and modernize schools nationwide by passing his budget plan, which include $25 billion in School Modernization Bonds and $6.5 billion in loans and grants for urgent school renovation.

PRESIDENT CLINTON WILL RELEASE AN ANALYSIS OF RECORD-SETTING SCHOOL ENROLLMENTS IN NEW JERSEY. This year, 1.3 million students will attend New Jersey schools, a 20 percent increase over the last decade and the most since the 1970s, according to the Department of Education analysis released today. South Brunswick school enrollment has increased by 90 percent in the past decade, fast enough to fill a new school every two to three years. These enrollment surges are consistent with the nationwide trend: 53 million students will begin school this fall, the most ever. Unlike our past experience — when enrollment rose and dipped repeatedly — schools in the 21st century will see sustained, steady growth for generations, reaching 94 million students in 2100. Over 85 percent of New Jersey schools reported in 1995 that they needed to make repairs to restore their facilities to good overall condition.

PRESIDENT CLINTON HAS A PLAN TO MODERNIZE AMERICA'S SCHOOLS. All students need a safe, healthy, and modern place to learn. To meet this national priority, President Clinton and Vice President Gore have proposed:

THE URGENT NATIONAL NEED FOR SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION. Communities across the country are struggling to address urgent safety and facility needs, rising student enrollments, and smaller class sizes.

CALLING ON CONGRESS TO INVEST IN AMERICA'S EDUCATION PRIORITIES. In February, the Clinton-Gore Administration sent Congress a balanced and responsible budget that made investments in key education initiatives to expand college opportunity, raise standards, and invest in what works. However, the Republican budget:

Meanwhile, the tax cuts passed by the Congress this year — together with the substantial tax cuts supported by the Congressional majority for next year — would drain over $2 trillion of the surplus, returning America to deficits and leaving no money for key priorities. At the same time, the Congressional budget would cut domestic priorities $28 billion below the President's level, an average cut of 9 percent.

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