Clinton Announces Work-Study Expansion
MISSION, Texas (AllPolitics, Jan. 9) -- President Bill Clinton announced a proposal today to add $70 million to the federal work-study program for college students.
Speaking to a Mission High School crowd, the president stressed the value of providing educational opportunities. He said he was pushing for the work-study increase because "a lot of people have to work their way through school, like I did."
Clinton pointed out that many of the work-study students help others by tutoring. "It's not just about increasing financial aid, it's about
increasing the circle of community service," Clinton said.
The president is in Texas promoting his new agenda while on a two-day fund-raising trip that started in New York Thursday. The president is traveling to McAllen, Brownsville and Houston today and will speak at two high schools and a pair of political fund-raisers.
This year's work-study budget is $830 million and the program serves about 950,000 students at 3,500 colleges and universities. By increasing the budget to $900 million, Clinton will say the program would be able to meet his goal of helping more than a million students pay for college.
The work-study program has broad, bipartisan support in Congress and such a modest budget increase is unlikely to generate serious opposition.
Clinton reminded students and parents today of the new college aid programs that were in last year's balanced budget agreement and took effect Jan. 1, including tax deductions for college tuition costs.
Clinton's trip comes on the heels of a report that poor children, predominantly members of minority groups, enter urban high schools with substandard training that leaves teachers in doubt as to whether many of them can make it in college.
During the two-day tour, the president has focused a good deal on education but has touched on issues ranging from U.S.-Cuba relations to problems of Social Security and Medicare.
Clinton also is working hard for the cash-strapped Democratic National Committee. The president is doing all he can for Democrats to help prepare for the November midterm congressional elections. This week's trip included benefits for Texas Reps. Ruben Hinojosa and Sheila Jackson Lee and is expected to raise more than $1 million.
On Thursday in New York, Clinton attended a star-studded luncheon that included "Titanic" star Leonardo DiCaprio, Lauren Bacall, Kevin Spacey, Uma Thurman and Christie Brinkley among the 60 to 70 guests.
The $250,000 luncheon was held at the Dakota, the apartment building where Beatle John Lennon lived and was murdered.
"I'm a very schmaltzy person, so I get all choked up when I come here," the president said. "I keep imagining whether I'm standing someplace where John Lennon was and all that."
This was the president's first fund-raising outing since he finished a six-week, 27-event, 13-city drive on Dec. 12.