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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 bill. 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.


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