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Teacher Grant Estimates Sent

March 5, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ As President Clinton seeks backing for a second year of money for his 100,000 new teachers program, the administration gave the nation’s schools Friday an estimate of how much they will get this year.

In July, the federal government will send the states a total of $1.2 billion for their school districts. Congress approved the money last year to hire about 30,000 new teachers in the early grades.

Clinton’s goal is to help school districts nationwide hire and train 100,000 new teachers over seven years to cut pupil-teacher ratios in the first through third grades. The national average now is 22 students per teacher, and he wants that reduced to 18 or fewer.

Democrats will try to add a second year of financing to the education bills currently moving through Congress.

The district-level estimates issued Friday _ based on formulas that include school enrollments _ range from $61 million for the New York City schools to less than $12,000 each for Delaware’s Sussex County schools and Polytech School District.

The latter figure wouldn’t be enough to pay for even one new teacher.

But schools can use the money for training to help aides and others become fully certified to teach, said Barbara Hunter, a spokeswoman for the Alexandria City Public Schools in Virginia. The 11,000-student school district in suburban Washington was slated to get about $230,000. Hunter said she couldn’t estimate how many teachers the district could hire with that money.

``The bottom line is assuring our children learn in better classrooms,″ she told a news conference where the Education Department announced the estimates. ``We would welcome the money and we would put it to good use.″

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