Statement by the President: Education Grants (10/4/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                          (Coral Gables, Florida)

For Immediate Release                                           October 4,

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     I am pleased that today the U.S. Department of Education is awarding
$42.3 million in grants to help school districts create Smaller Learning
Communities in large high schools across the country.  Nearly
three-quarters of American high schools have more than 1000 students
enrolled, and the grants announced today will help states and local
communities create smaller learning environments to enhance the safety and
academic achievement of our nation?s teenagers. The Vice President and I
have a long-standing commitment to ensuring that all children have access
to a first-class education, and these grants provide support to state and
local communities to work toward this goal by investing in what works.  We
know that smaller schools provide more personal attention and greater
academic support than larger schools, and outperform large schools on most
measures of school success, including grades, test scores, attendance, and
graduation rates ? and this impact is even greater for minority and
low-income students.

     Today, I challenge Congress to extend the benefits of Smaller Learning
Communities to more districts and schools by funding this program at the
$120 million level proposed in my FY 2001 budget.  Right now, the
Republican leadership has proposed an education budget that shortchanges
America?s students by flat-funding the Smaller Learning Communities
Program, and by failing to provide adequate funds to: reduce class size;
improve teacher quality; turn around failing schools; expand after-school
opportunities; build and modernize new schools; help students prepare for
college through GEAR-UP; and make college more accessible and affordable
for all Americans.  Congress must act now so that our children can receive
the first-class education they deserve.


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