Fedfile: Errata; Bowing out
Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, the leading candidate for the 1996 Republican presidential nomination, this month offered an assessment of the Clinton administration's education record that was as factually inaccurate as it was scathing.
"Since 1992, we have heard lecture after lecture from the Clinton administration about the need to invest more in education," Mr. Dole told an audience at the Isaac Newton Christian Academy in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, according to a news release issued by the Dole campaign. "Never has America heard so much rhetoric and seen so little achievement."
All three of Mr. Clinton's budget proposals have requested increases in education funding, which has gone up each year.
Mr. Dole called for eliminating the Department of Education, which he said is rife with the "dictates, meddling, and politically correct dogma of federal bureaucrats."
He also attacked the administration's Goals 2000 program, which provides reform grants to states that adopt challenging content standards. But he may have confused Goals 2000 with the 1994 law that reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
Mr. Dole called Goals 2000 "a 1,000-page, $65 billion education bill ... that dictates how schools should discipline students, what parents and teachers should discuss, and the average salaries of assistant coaches in men's and women's athletics."
The Goals 2000 law, as printed, is 156 pages long. The grant program was authorized at $400 million for fiscal 1994 and unspecified amounts in later years. It authorizes grants for parent-resource centers, but does not suggest what parents and teachers should discuss.
The law requires states to pass laws requiring districts to expel for a year any student bringing a gun to school, but says nothing more about discipline, and does not mention coaches' salaries.
A spokesman for Mr. Dole could not be reached for comment.
In announcing that he has decided not to seek the presidency in 1996, retired Gen. Colin L. Powell said last week that he would find other ways to serve the country, possibly in education.
"I will continue to speak out forcefully in the future on the issues of the day, as I have been doing in recent weeks," Mr. Powell said. "I will give my talent and energy to charitable and educational activities. I will also try to find ways for me to heal the racial divides that still exist within our society."