[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book I)]
[April 23, 1998]
[Page 606]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on Senate Action on Education Legislation
April 23, 1998

    I am disappointed that Republicans in the United States Senate have 
passed up a major opportunity to improve public education in this 
    Instead of investing in modern schools for the 21st century, the 
Senate chose to provide tax incentives skewed to high-income taxpayers. 
Instead of helping make classes smaller and improving student learning, 
the Senate chose to eliminate accountability by prohibiting voluntary 
national tests. Instead of giving kids new learning opportunities after 
school to keep them out of trouble, the Senate chose to undermine the 
critical safe and drug-free schools initiative. Instead of working to 
strengthen public education, the Coverdell bill returns us to the days 
when Republicans waged a campaign to eliminate the Department of 
    As I have said before, if this bill reaches my desk, I will veto it, 
because it weakens our commitment to making America's schools the best 
they can be in the 21st century.