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The Party's Platform on education and Related Issues

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Following is the Democratic Party's platform language on education and related issues.

We believe that the education of our citizens, from Head Start to institutions of higher learning, deserves our highest priority; and that history will judge the next Administration less by its success in building new weapons of war than by its success in improving young minds. We believe that this nation needs to invest in its children on the front side of life by expanding the availability of preschool education for children at risk; to invest in its teachers through training and enrichment programs, including a National Teacher Corps to recruit teachers for tomorrow, especially minorities, with scholarships today; to commit itself for the first time to the principle that no one should be denied the opportunity to attend college for financial reasons; to ensure equal access to education by providing incentives and mechanisms for the equalization of financing among local school districts within each state; to reverse cuts made in compensatory reading, math, and enrichment services to low-income children; and to expand support for bilingual education, historically Black and Hispanic institutions, the education of those with special needs, the arts and humanities, and an aggressive campaign to end illiteracy.

(Amendment approved at convention.) We further believe that our nation faces a crisis of underinvestment in our children, particularly in the early years of life. Strong, healthy babies with early opportunities that foster intellectual, emotional, and physical growth begin school with an enhanced foundation for learning. There are few better investments for this country than prenatal care, infant nutrition and preschool education, and there are few more successful programs than WIC [the Women, Infants, and Children feeding program], Head Start, and prenatal care. We know what works; yet these successful programs have been starved for funds. The Democratic Party pledges to meet this urgent need by providing the funding necessary to reach those unserved children who are--and must be--our national priority.

(Amendment approved at convention.) We now spend only two cents of every federal dollar for education. We pledge to better balance our national priorities by significantly increasing federal funding for education.

We believe that illegal drugs pose a direct threat to the security of our nation from coast to coast, invading our neighborhoods, classrooms, homes, and communities large and small; that every arm and agency of government at every federal, state, and local level--including every useful diplomatic, military, educational, medical, and law-enforcement effort necessary--should at long last be mobilized and coordinated with private efforts under the direction of a National Drug "Czar'' to halt both the international supply and the domestic demand for illegal drugs now ravaging our country; and that the legalization of illicit drugs would represent a tragic surrender in a war we intend to win. We believe that this effort should include comprehensive programs to educate our children at the earliest ages on the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse [and] readily available treatment and counseling for those who seek to address their dependency. ...

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