Tuesday, September 12, 2000

Bush-Gore plans for education

        Highlights of the education plans of Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore:

        GEORGE W. BUSH

His plan's estimated cost is $25 billion over five years and roughly $47 billion over 10 years. Among the details over the first five years:

        • $8.2 billion to boost Pell grants and state scholarships, help black colleges and give individual tuition savings plans the same tax exemption available for state prepaid tuition plans.

        • Let families put $5,000 per year, per student, into tax-free education savings accounts for college or K-12 school expenses, including private school tuition. That's up from $500 per year for college expenses only.

        • $5 billion to help poor children learn to read.

        • $2 billion to help low-income parents afford after-school programs.

        • Divide $500 million among states and schools that improve student achievement. States where students perform poorly would lose 5 percent of their federal money, which would be shifted to a charter school fund.

        • Double the number of charter schools to 4,000, using $300 million in seed money.

        • When schools in poor areas fail to meet standards for three years, parents would get about $1,500 a year to pay for private school tuition, hire a tutor or attend another public school.

        • Require that every student in grades 3-8 be tested every year.

        • Collapse financing for more than 60 federal education programs into five, and give a national test to a sampling of pupils.

        AL GORE

His plan's estimated cost is $170 billion over 10 years ($115 billion in programs, $55 billion in tax incentives).

        • $50 billion over 10 years to help states subsidize preschool for all 4-year-olds and some 3-year-olds.

        • Give raises of up to $5,000 for qualifying teachers in poor and rural areas, and an extra $5,000 in pay for “master teachers” who meet higher standards. Cost: $8 billion.

        • Recruit more teachers by offering scholarships to 60,000 college students each year who agree to teach in high-poverty schools and through signing bonuses for mid-career professionals who become teachers. Cost: $8 billion.

        • $20 billion more for special education.

        • $1.8 billion to triple the number of charter schools.

        • $1 billion more for Head Start.

        • Give bonuses to states that use high-school exit exams and show improvement in tests.

        • Require states to test all new teachers.

        • Schools that don't meet standards for three years would be closed and reopened under new leadership.

        • Allow families to save money tax free for college and ongoing training, and to take a tax credit or a tax deduction on up to $10,000 in tuition and other college fees.

        • $8 billion in tax incentives for school construction.

        • $5.3 billion in tax credits for after-school care.



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