Clinton-Gore Administration: Modernizing America's Schools


June 16, 2000

Today, President Clinton will visit the Abigail Adams School (P.S. 131) in Queens, New York, to highlight the urgent national need to improve our school facilities. The Abigail Adams School, an elementary school built in 1926, is over 150 percent of capacity. This classroom crunch means that the school's 862 students take music classes in the cafeteria, English as a second language and special education classes in the auditorium lobby, and science classes from teachers with carts, not classrooms. Its eight temporary classrooms—in three trailers and one modular extension—house 240 students. To help communities nationwide modernize their schools, President Clinton will call on Congress to pass his school construction proposals: $25 billion in School Modernization Bonds and $6.5 billion in Urgent School Renovation Loans and Grants.

KEY ELEMENTS OF THE PRESIDENT'S PLAN. All students need a safe, healthy, and modern place to learn. To meet this national priority, President Clinton proposed:

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

CONGRESS' BUDGET PLAN IGNORES THE NEEDS OF AMERICAN SCHOOLS. In February, the Clinton-Gore Administration sent Congress a balanced and responsible budget that made investments in key education initiatives to raise standards, increase accountability, and invest in what works. This week, on June 14, the House of Representatives narrowly passed its budget on a partisan vote. This legislation is built on misguided priorities and insufficient resources.


A growing body of research has linked student achievement and behavior to the physical building conditions and overcrowding. Good facilities appear to be an important precondition for student learning, provided that other conditions are present that support a strong academic program in the school.


Andrews, James B., and Richard Neuroth (October 1988). "Environmentally Related Health Hazards in the Schools." Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of School Business Officials International in Detroit, Michigan. ED 300929.

Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. An Imperiled Generation: Saving Urban Schools. Princeton, New Jersey: Author. ED 293940.

Cash, Carol (1993). A Study of the Relationship Between School Building Condition and Student Achievement and Behavior. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Corcoran, Thomas B., Lisa J. Walker, and J. Lynne White (1988). Working in Urban Schools. Washington, DC: Institute for Educational Leadership.

Earthman, Glen (1996). "Review of Research on the Relationship Between School Buildings, Student Achievement, and Student Behavior." Draft position paper prepared for the Council of Educational Facility Planners, International. Scottsdale, AZ.

Edwards, Maureen M. (1992). Building Conditions, Parental Involvement and Student Achievement in the D.C. Public School System. Unpublished Master Degree Thesis, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. (ED 264 285).

Hines, Eric (1996). Building Condition and Student Achievement and Behavior. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

McGuffey, Carroll (1982). "Facilities." In Herbert Walberg (ed.), Improving Educational Standards and Productivity. Berkeley: McCutchan Publishing Corporation.

Poplin, Mary, and Joseph Weeres (1992). Voices from the Inside: A Report on Schooling from Inside the Classroom. Part One: Naming the Problem. The Institute for Education in Transformation at the Claremont Graduate School.

Rivera-Batiz, Francisco L., and Lillian Marti (1995). A School System at Risk: A Study of the Consequences of Overcrowding in New York City Public Schools. New York: Institute for Urban and Minority Education, Teachers College, Columbia University.

President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore
Record of Progress | The Briefing Room
Gateway to Government | Contacting the White House | White House for Kids
White House History | White House Tours | Help
Privacy Statement


Site Map

Graphic Version

T H E   W H I T E   H O U S E