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Clinton Renews Call for Teachers

November 1, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Armed with a new study suggesting that his programs have helped reduce class size, President Clinton on Sunday criticized Congress for failing to support his education priorities.

Clinton noted that many GOP lawmakers touted their role in supporting a program that would hire 100,000 new teachers nationwide. ``Now, suddenly, the Republican majority has changed its mind,″ he said.

The president was referring to an education spending bill before Congress that does not carry forward the plan to hire new teachers and makes, according to Clinton, ``mindless across the boards cuts in everything from education to health, to safety.″

``If that bill passes, I will veto it,″ he said. The bill is the appropriation measure for the departments of Education, Labor and Health and Human Services.

Clinton timed his remarks with the release of a study by the Council of Great City Schools that detailed benefits of low teacher-pupil ratios in schools. It also found that teachers hired under the first year as part of a class-size reduction program are working in the areas where they are most needed: literacy, mathematics and special education.

The report said under the program 3,558 teachers have been hired in 40 of the nation’s largest urban school districts to reduce class sizes in early grades.

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