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Clinton Expected To Focus On Education


WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Jan. 27) -- Education will take center stage at President Bill Clinton's first second-term press conference Tuesday, administration sources tell CNN.

Clinton plans to release details of his proposed new education budget as part of his opening statement. Aides say the president hopes to showcase his commitment to increased funding for education by highlighting it at the press session.

CNN plans live coverage of the East Room news conference at 2:30 p.m. ET.

As part of his new education proposals, the president is expected to call for increased federal funding for so-called Pell grants, or scholarships for needy college students. He also is expected to ask for a big increase in funding for so-called charter schools, which give parents and teachers greater freedom to establish their own rules and standards.

The president is also expected to ask for more seed money for schools to invest in technology, including computers. He will also spell out his well-known tax cut proposals designed to promote higher education, including a $1,500 annual tax credit for the first two years of college, especially to encourage community college, or a $10,000 tax deduction for college education. Another proposal would allow money to be deducted from individual retirement accounts (IRAs) for college tuition without a penalty.

White House officials say the president will release his education proposals to show that education is a top priority of his second term.


Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) thinks that's a good idea. "Our view is there is nothing more important than providing all the necessary resources for education and we're prepared to cut other programs to do that," Daschle said. "Other programs as well as other tax and corporate welfare provisions that have been on the table before."

The president's overall new budget will be released Feb. 6, but he has already released details of his funding requests for Medicare and for the District of Columbia. Education will be the third section released ahead of schedule, and sources say president may also release one or two other sections in advance as well. No final decisions have been made yet, they say.

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