Clinton Takes Education Battle To Delaware
DOVER, Del. (AllPolitics, May 8) -- President Bill Clinton said Friday that although the United States has "the best system of higher education in the world" it does not have the best system of elementary and secondary education.
"The condition of education in America demands action from all of us," Clinton told a joint session of the general assembly in Delaware.
"You don't have to criticize your favorite teacher, you can honor PTA leaders and school board members [but] no one believes it is the best in the world. And until it is, we can't rest. That is the bottom line," he said.
The president's speech on education and the need for reform was made before state legislators who are expected to focus on education reform for the rest of their session.
Clinton is seeking help to win legislation that would hire 100,000 new teachers nationwide, repair and update aging school facilities, and implement national standards and testing in math and reading.
The president has said he is not giving up his fight with Congress over his education agenda and is asking mayors and state lawmakers to side with him. Clinton has vowed to veto Republican proposals for tax breaks benefiting families with children in private school.
"If we are going to prepare our children for the 21st century, we cannot hope to do it unless we can say with a straight face we are giving them the best education in the world. Not just a few of them, but all of them," he said.