STATEMENT BY GOVERNOR BILL CLINTON
THE "EDUCATION PRESIDENT" RETURNS -- FOUR YEARS LATER
July 23, 1992
Three months before the election, George Bush is trying to become
the Education President he never was. After three-and-a-half
years of doing nothing, he today signed the Higher Education Bill
that he opposed every step of the way.
When it comes to a photo opportunity, George Bush is everybody's
President. But when it comes to educational opportunity, he is
nobody's friend. As a candidate he promised full funding for
Head Start, but as President he delivered help for only about 1
in 3 eligible children. At the Education Summit, President Bush
called for improvements in our teenagers' test scores, but in
1991 verbal SAT scores reached an all-time low. At every
opportunity President Bush has promised to revitalize education,
but in 1992 the Education President proposed spending for
education that didn't even keep pace with inflation.
The latest flip-flop is nothing unusual. Today President Bush is
signing a bill that increases income limits for Pell grants. In
the last year, he fought that increase tooth-and-nail. Today
President Bush is signing a bill that creates a federal direct
loan program. In the last month, he threatened to veto any such
Today's Higher Education Bill is a good start. But we need to do
better. Today's bill makes direct loans available to only five
percent of all students receiving loans. We need to make loans
for college available to every American. We need to protect and
preserve the American Dream of a college education. And that
means we need fundamental change.
As President I will scrap the existing student loan program and
establish a National Service Trust Fund. Every American will be
able to borrow for college, whatever their income. Those who
borrow will be able to choose how to repay the balance: either as
a small percentage of their income over time, or by serving their
communities for one or two years doing work their country needs.
America needs an Education President who shows up for class every
day, not just once every four years. I will be that President.