October 22, 1996
TRANSCRIPT OF PRESIDENT CLINTON’S FREE AIR TIME REMARKS
President Clinton’s remarks will be broadcast this evening, October 22, 1996, on the following stations: CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, NBC, NOSTALGIA TELEVISION, NPR, PBS AND UPN.
We must make education our highest priority, so that all our children have the tools to make the most of their own lives. I want to build a bridge to the 21st century where we expand opportunity through education -- where computers are as much a part of the classroom as blackboards, where highly-trained teachers demand peak performance from our students, where every eight-year-old can point to a book and say, I can read that all by myself, and where everyone has a chance to go to college.
We’ve started the job of improving school standards. Now math scores, science scores, and SAT scores are up. We’ve expanded Head Start, and increased scholarships and student loans and lowered the cost of those loans. We’re on the right track.
Now we should require that our students pass tough tests to move up in school. We should reward teachers who do well, and remove those who don’t. We should expand public school choice by opening 3,000 Charter schools, schools formed by teachers and parents, that survive only if they produce results. These schools are part of our balanced budget plan.
We should make sure every child can read independently by the third grade, by mobilizing 30,000 reading tutors all across America. We should continue to rebuild and modernize our school, and make them safe and drug-free. We should finish the job of connecting every classroom to the Internet by the year 2000.
And above all, we should help everyone go to college because higher education is the key to the higher-paying jobs of the future. We should make sure the first two years of college are as universal as high school is today, by giving a tax credit of $1,500 for those years -- the cost of a typical community college tuition -- and we should give a $10,000 tax deduction for all college costs.
My opponent disagrees with this approach. He voted against creating the Department of Education, and now he wants to abolish it. Just think about it: as we move into the 21st century, at his cabinet meetings, there would be no one at the table to fight for our children’s education. He also voted against the creation of Head Start and student loans. That’s the wrong approach for our children’s future.
With my education strategy, we will make sure every eight-year old can read, every twelve-year-old can log onto the Internet, and every eighteen-year-old can go to college. That’s the way to give every child a chance at the American dream.
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Paid for by Clinton/Gore 96 General Election Committee, Inc.