FACT SHEET: President Clinton Calls on Congress to Act on America (unknown chars)s Education Priorities and Releases New Class Size Reduction Report
     PRESIDENT CLINTON CALLS ON CONGRESS TO ACT ON AMERICA?S EDUCATION
          PRIORITIES AND RELEASES NEW CLASS SIZE REDUCTION REPORT
                              October 5, 2000

Today,  President Clinton will meet with Congressional Democrats to discuss
the  progress of the budget negotiations on America?s education priorities,
and  release  a new class-size report by the Council of Great City Schools.
The  report  demonstrates  that  the  effective  use  of federal class size
reduction funds to hire highly qualified teachers in the early grades helps
improve  student achievement in urban areas, and highlights the urgent need
for  Congress to ensure our children receive the first-class education they
deserve.   President  Clinton will urge Congress to make critical education
investments  to  help communities modernize crumbling schools, hire 100,000
high-quality   teachers   to   lower  class  sizes,  increase  after-school
opportunities,  and  expand college opportunity for all Americans.  He will
also  call on Congress to demand more from our schools by helping districts
turn  around  failing  schools  and  enact  his  $1 billion Teacher Quality
proposal  to  improve  teacher  recruitment,  professional development, and
increase the number of certified teachers in America?s classrooms.

RAISING  STUDENT  ACHIEVEMENT  BY REDUCING CLASS SIZES. Last year, Congress
made  a  down  payment  of  $1.3 billion toward President Clinton?s goal of
hiring  100,000 new teachers to bring class size down to a national average
of  18  in the early grades. Overall, the federal initiative is helping 1.7
million  young  children  benefit  from smaller, more personalized classes.
The report by the Council of Great City Schools provides further proof that
the  Clinton-Gore  Administration?s  investments  to reduce class sizes are
making  a  difference.   This  report shows that 32 of our nation?s largest
urban  school  districts received almost $213 million in federal class size
funds  for  the  2000-2001  school year, and approximately 3,354 new first,
second,  and  third-grade  teachers  were  hired to teach in these schools.
More than three-quarters of this funding was devoted to hiring new teachers
in  grades  one, two, and three, with the remainder used to improve teacher
recruitment  and  professional  development.   Through  an  analysis of the
National  Assessment  of Educational Progress (NAEP), the report also notes
that  reducing class sizes from 24 to 18 can improve student NAEP scores in
urban areas by more than 5 points.

INVESTING IN AMERICA?S PRIORITIES AND DEMANDING RESULTS IS WORKING.
Indicators show that the Clinton-Gore plan to invest in proven education
strategies and insist on accountability for results is helping more
students reach high standards. Under this Administration, the federal
investment in education and training programs has more than doubled and
student achievement is improving.  For example:
?    Since 1992, reading and math scores on the National Assessment of
Educational Progress (NAEP) have increased for fourth, eighth, and twelfth
graders, including students in the highest poverty schools.
?    The achievement gap between low-income and minority students and their
peers is on the decline.
?    Math SAT scores are at a thirty-year high.  The average SAT math score
has gone from 501 in 1992 to 514 in 2000, and the average verbal score has
gone from 500 to 505.
?    More students are taking a rigorous high school curriculum and
pursuing a higher education than a decade ago.

CALLING  ON  CONGRESS  TO  INVEST  IN  AMERICA?S EDUCATION PRIORITIES.  The
President  will  reiterate the urgent need for the Republican Leadership to
act  immediately  to  pass  a  budget that meets the education needs of our
students.   The  Clinton-Gore  Administration  sent Congress a balanced and
fiscally  responsible  budget  in  February  that  makes investments in key
education initiatives, including: continuing our commitment to hire 100,000
quality  teachers  to  reduce class sizes, repairing our crumbling schools,
increasing  the  number  of  certified  teachers  in  America?s classrooms,
strengthening  accountability for turning around failing schools, expanding
after-school  opportunities, and preparing 1.3 million at-risk children for
college  through  GEAR  UP.   The  Republican  leadership  has  proposed an
education budget that shortchanges America?s students by failing to provide
adequate  funds  to  ensure  that  states  and  local  communities have the
resources they need to provide our students with the high quality education
they  deserve. Republicans in Congress still have not sent the President an
education budget, and today the President will again call on the Republican
Leadership  to  send  him an education budget that invests more and demands
more from our schools.

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