Campaign Positions: Bush Record So Far

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Federal Role in Education

Believes the federal government has a role in helping state governments and school districts. Has said the government should devote its resources to supporting innovation and targeting those "in particular need." Has vowed not to slash federal education funds.

Preschool Programs, Child Care

Proposes increased funding for Head Start in order to serve all eligible 4-year-olds.

Favors a "Children's Tax Credit" of up to $1,000 per child under age 4.

Elementary and Secondary

Proposes a $500-million program for "Merit Schools," designed to provide incentives to individual schools for raising academic standards, improving achievement levels, and lowering dropout rates.

Schools serving a significant proportion of disadvantaged students could receive incentive awards of up to $100,000. States would set eligibility standards; schools would decide how to spend funds.

Wants to provide $50 million for the newly authorized Fund for the Innovation and Reform of Schools and Teaching, or first. Each state would receive $1 million to select a single district for experimental projects in parental choice, merit pay for teachers, year-round school schedules, and other reforms.

Promises to seek $50 million in matching grants to create and support magnet schools.

Supports parental choice in education. Does not plan to propose a federal voucher program similar to that offered by the Reagan Administration, according to a campaign aide. But views vouchers as a possible alternative for providing choice at the state and local levels.

Wants to improve targeting of Chapter 1 grants to school districts with the highest concentration of disadvantaged students.

Envisions going beyond the concentration grants recently authorized in the Hawkins-Stafford Elementary and Secondary School Improvement Act, according to the aide.

Supports increased funding for the National Assessment for Educational Progress.

Wants to create Presidential Awards for Excellent Teachers, which would give $200 each to the best 25 teachers in each state.

Supports career-ladder programs for teachers and favors creation of national teacher-evaluation models.

Encourages states to "deregulate" the classroom, while supporting the efforts of states that take over failed school systems.

Advocates state minimum-competency testing before students are promoted or graduated.

Plans to hold a Governors' Conference on Education, to meet and discuss problems facing the nation's schools.

Higher Education

Proposes a College Savings Bond program to encourage parental saving for college costs. Interest earned on regular U.S. Savings Bonds would be tax free if the proceeds were used at a two- or four-year college. Families with incomes over $80,000 would not be eligible.

Wants to expand the income-contingent loan program, which pegs students' repayment levels to their income levels.

Vows to lend his "full support" for federal student aid.

Wants to encourage expanded partnerships for vocational and technical education at the postsecondary level.


Supports voluntary prayer in schools.

Backs legislation to provide $10 million to develop radon programs and initiate a national survey of schools in 1990 to detect the presence of radon.

Plans an annual "State of American Education" address.

Supports increased drug-education efforts.

Favors creation of an anti-gang unit within the criminal division of the Justice Department.

Vol. 08, Issue 07

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