In the face of House Republican efforts to slash their education budget by more than $2 billion, President Clinton and Vice President Gore delivered on their education agenda:
New Education and Training Initiatives In Final Budget Agreement:
- More High-Quality Teachers With Smaller Class Sizes. In his State of the Union address, President Clinton said, Tonight, I propose the first-ever national effort to reduce class size in the early grades. My balanced budget will help to hire 100,000 new teachers. Throughout the year, Republicans failed to consider this important initiative. The final budget provides $1.2 billion for the first year of the Presidents new initiative to hire 100,000 new, well- prepared teachers, to reduce class sizes in the early grades to a national average of 18.
- GEAR-UP: College Mentoring Initiative To Help Up to 100,000 Students Prepare for College. In his State of the Union address, President Clinton urged Congress to support our efforts to enlist colleges and universities to reach out to disadvantaged children, starting in the 6th grade, so that they can get the guidance and hope they need so they can know that they, too, will be able to go on to college. The President proposed $140 million to get this effort started, but the House appropriations bill denied funding and the Senate provided only $75 million. The final budget provides $120 million for this new initiative which was authorized as part of the higher education legislation enacted on October 7th. GEAR-UP will expand mentoring efforts by States, and provide new grants to partnerships of middle schools, institutions of higher education, and community organizations, to provide intensive early intervention services to help prepare up to 100,000 students at high-poverty middle schools for college.
- Child Literacy Initiative to Help Children Read Well By the End of the Third Grade. In 1996, President Clinton proposed an America Reads Challenge to help three million children improve their reading skills. In 1997, he insisted that the new initiative be included as part of the Balanced Budget Agreement. With this budget, he has won the $260 million that he proposed to help ensure that all children can read well and independently by the end of third grade. The budget includes the legislation creating a program that is consistent with the Presidents America Reads proposal. The new program will provide competitive grants to States to (1) improve teachers ability to teach reading effectively; (2) promote family literacy programs to help parents be their childs first teacher; and (3) improve the quality of tutoring programs by supporting tutor training.
- Youth Opportunity Areas To Help Increase Job Opportunities for 50,000 Youth in High- Poverty Communities. Authorized in the Workforce Investment Act, President Clintons Youth Opportunity Grants to direct resources to high-poverty areas, including Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities, to provide comprehensive services designed to increase employment and school completion rates for disadvantaged youth. The Presidents FY99 budget included $250 million for this new innovative program. While the House Republican budget did not fund this critical initiative, the final agreement includes the full $250 million request, which will help provide job training and social services to 50,000 youth.
- New Learning Anytime, Anywhere Initiative. The Presidents FY99 budget included a new initiative to enhance and promote distance learning opportunities -- learning outside the usual classroom settings, via computers and other technology -- for all adult learners. The final budget includes $20 million for the Education and Labor Departments to implement this new initiative to demonstrate new high-quality uses of technology for distance learning in post- secondary education and training, and to help provide more accurate labor market information.
- Teacher Recruitment and Preparation -- $75 million. On October 7th, President Clinton signed legislation that had incorporated the Presidents Teacher Recruitment and Preparation proposal. While House Republicans did not fund this important initiative, the final budget provides $75 million, which will help recruit and prepare thousands of teachers to teach in high-poverty urban and rural communities and will strengthen teacher preparation programs across the country.
- Training New Teachers to Use Technology Effectively. President Clintons FY99 budget requested $75 million to train new teachers in how to use technology to improve student achievement. The House and Senate Republicans denied the request. The final agreement includes the full $75 million the President requested.
- Hispanic Education Action Plan To Attack Unacceptably High Drop-Out Rate. Because the high-school drop-out rate of Hispanics is unacceptably high, President Clintons FY99 budget included the first-ever Hispanic Education Action Plan. As part of this plan, the President proposed significant increases in Title I funding and a number of other programs that enhance educational opportunity for Hispanic Americans. The final budget includes increases of $494 million for these programs; for example, it provides a $301 million increase for Title I; a $70 million increase for TRIO college preparation programs -- $600 million for FY99 -- which will provide support services for over 700,000 students; and $50 million for Bilingual Education Professional Development -- double the FY 1998 level -- to begin to provide 20,000 teachers over five years with the training they need to teach Limited English Proficient students.
Expanded Key Education And Training Investments:
- Expanded After-School Programs To Serve A Quarter of A Million Children. In his State of the Union address, President Clinton asked Congress to dramatically expand our support for after-school programs. The President and Vice President proposed $200 million for after-school programs in their FY99 budget. While the House Republican budget did not fund $140 million of the Presidents and Vice Presidents request, which would have denied services to about 175,000 children, the final budget includes full funding for the Presidents and Vice Presidents initiative, which will serve a quarter of a million children each year.
- Expanded Head Start. President Clinton proposed a $313 million increase for Head Start to add 30,000 to 36,000 new slots for children, continuing on the path to serving one million children by 2002. The House Republican budget did not provide the Presidents increase and would have denied up to 25,000 children Head Start slots if enacted. The final budget includes the Presidents full increase for Head Start, which is funded at $4.660 billion.
- Summer Jobs Protected for Half a Million Youth. While House Republicans attempted to eliminate the successful Summer Jobs program, President Clinton prevailed with his request for $871 million in funding, which will finance up to 530,000 summer jobs for disadvantaged youth.
- Expanded Educational Technology -- Connecting Our Children to the Future. President Clintons and Vice President Gores budget requested $721 million -- a $137 million increase -- for educational technology to ensure that every child has access to computers, the Internet, high-quality educational software, and teachers that can use technology effectively in the classroom. The House Republican denied the Presidents and Vice Presidents request for a funding increase, cutting funding $43 million below last year. The final agreement includes $698 million -- a 20-percent increase over the $584 million funding level in FY98, including the new $75 million initiative for training new teachers and $10 million for new grants to public-private partnerships in low-income communities to provide residents access to computer facilities for educational and employment purposes. Education technology has always been a top priority for the President and Vice President; since 1993, they have created the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund and increased overall investments in educational technology by thirty-fold, from $23 million to $698 million this year.
- Protected Goals 2000 to Promote High Academic Standards. President Clinton created Goals 2000 in 1993 to promote high academic standards for all students and proposed a modest expansion in this years budget. While the House Republican budget tried to cut the program in half, the final budget includes $491 million which will help all 50 States continue raise academic standards and help at least 12,000 schools implement innovative and effective education reforms.
- Improved Child Care Quality. In his State of the Union, the President proposed an historic child care initiative to make child care better, safer and more affordable for Americas working families. While the budget does not include critical investments in subsidies and tax credits to help working families pay for child care, it does include the President's request of $182 million to improve the quality of child care.
- Expanded Work Study To Help Nearly One Million Students Work Their Way Through College. President Clintons FY99 budget included a significant expansion of the Federal Work Study program. The final budget agreement provides $870 million -- a $40 million increase over the FY 1998 level of $830 million -- which will allow nearly one million students to work their way through college and keeps us on track to the Presidents goal of one million students in work study by the year 2000.
- Expanded Job Training To Help 666,000 Dislocated Workers. President Clintons FY99 budget included a significant expansion in the dislocated worker program. While the House froze job training funds for dislocated workers, the final agreement includes $1.4 billion which will help some 666,000 dislocated workers get the training and reemployment services they need to return to work as quickly as possible. This represents an increase of $55 million -- to help 27,000 dislocated workers -- compared to FY98. Since 1993, dislocated worker funding has been expanded by 171 percent -- helping to well more than double the number of workers served.
- Expanded Charter Schools to Promote Creation High-Quality Public Schools. President Clintons FY99 budget included $100 million for Charter Schools to keep us on track toward the Presidents goal of creating 3,000 high-quality public charter schools that will educate more than half a million students by early in the next century. Charter schools are public schools started by teachers, parents and communities, that are given flexibility in decision-making, in exchange for high levels of accountability for results. The final budget provides $100 million -- the Presidents 25-percent increase -- for Charter Schools and will give parents and students more choice, better schools, and greater accountability for results in public education.
- Assistance to Help Over 400,000 More Students in Distressed Communities Learn Basic Skills. President Clinton proposed a $392 million increase in Title I funding to help students in high poverty communities receive the extra help they need to master the basics to reach high academic standards. The House Republican budget proposed a freeze in Title I funding. The final budget provides a $301 million increase, from $7.375 billion in FY98 to $7.676 billion in FY99. This funding will support educational services for nearly 11 million students, over 400,000 more than last year.
- Largest Maximum Pell Grant Award Ever. Last year, President Clinton signed into law the largest one-year increase in Pell Grant scholarships in 20 years. This year, the final budget provides $7.7 billion for Pell Grants, an increase of $359 million over FY98, increasing the maximum Pell Grant award from $3,000 to $3,125 -- thats the largest maximum award ever, 36-percent higher than it was in 1994. This year, approximately 4 million students will receive Pell Grant awards.
- Extends Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). President Clinton proposed extending TAA and NAFTA-TAA in his FY99 budget in order to provide training and income support to workers adversely impacted by trade. The final budget extends these important programs through June 30, 1999.
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