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[Congressional Record: May 8, 2001 (Senate)]
[Page S4461-S4471]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr08my01-129]                         
 
             BETTER EDUCATION FOR STUDENTS AND TEACHERS ACT

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will now 
resume consideration of S. 1, which the clerk will report by title.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (S. 1) to extend programs and activities under the 
     Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.

  Pending:

       Jeffords amendment No. 358, in the nature of a substitute.
       Craig amendment No. 372 (to amendment No. 358), to tie 
     funding under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 
     1965 to improved student performance.
       Kennedy modified amendment No. 375 (to amendment No. 358), 
     to express the sense of the Senate regarding, and to 
     authorize appropriations for title II, part A, of the 
     Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, with respect 
     to the development of high-qualified teachers.
       Kennedy (for Murray) amendment No. 378 (to amendment No. 
     358), to provide for class size reduction programs.
       Kennedy (for Mikulski/Kennedy) amendment No. 379 (to 
     amendment No. 358), to provide for the establishment of 
     community technology centers.
       Allen/Warner amendment No. 380 (to amendment No. 358), to 
     provide for a sense of the Senate regarding education 
     opportunity tax relief to enable the purchase of technology 
     and tutorial services for K-12 education purposes.
       Kennedy (for Dodd) amendment No. 382 (to amendment No. 
     358), to remove the 21st century community learning center 
     program from the list of programs covered by performance 
     agreements.


                           Amendment No. 372

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There are now 2 minutes equally divided on the 
Craig amendment.
  The Senator from Idaho.
  Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, I assume we are now proceeding on the Craig 
amendment, with 1 minute for each side.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is correct.
  Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, I encourage my colleagues to support the 
amendment I have put before the Chamber. It does not cut a program. It 
does not even take out the cost of living or an annualized increase 
based on that. What it says is that the Federal Government and the 
Department of Education and educational programs will no longer reward 
mediocrity.
  In title I, over the last 30 years, we have put in $120 billion and 
poor kids are still lower in achievement than middle-income kids who 
are outside the program. It failed. In this education bill before us, 
we are trying to change that.
  All I am saying is, if you do not measure up, and if the States do 
not improve the environment in which kids are learning--in other words, 
if kids do not improve--and it is measured by the tests and the 
standards within this bill--then no more Federal money goes out. In 
other words, we will not continue to fund mediocrity. We will set a 
standard and a precedence where improvement in our young people means 
we will reward that improvement with the use of the Federal tax 
dollars.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
  The Senator from Massachusetts.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I hope the Craig amendment will be 
defeated. This is really putting the cart before the horse. If you 
adopt the Craig amendment, you are effectively saying there will not be 
any funding at all for the development of quality testing and 
accountability systems.
  President Bush has proposed a three-fold increase in three times the 
amount of reading funding. That will not be available for children if 
the Craig amendment is adopted. Effectively, this amendment undermines 
what President Bush has stated are his goals in terms of trying to get 
increased accountability, better testing, and increased support for 
education. That will all be prohibited under the Craig amendment.
  What we are trying to do is match resources to responsibility. That 
is the change in this whole bill. We are matching those two concepts. 
And that makes sense. But under the Craig amendment, you will be 
denying the President's program in increased reading and the 
President's program in terms of accountability. It puts the cart before 
the horse and makes no sense. I hope it will be defeated.
  Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  Mr. BYRD addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from West Virginia.
  Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to proceed for 3 
minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from West Virginia.
  Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, I support what the distinguished Senator is 
trying to accomplish. I think it is about time we let the States know 
they are going to have to do better; that they are going to have to 
measure up. I cannot, however, coming from a poor State, summarily cut 
this off. When I use the word ``summarily,'' I realize we have had 35, 
36 years in which to accomplish these things. But I do think they ought 
to be warned ahead of time.
  Mr. CRAIG. Will the Senator yield?
  Mr. BYRD. Yes.
  Mr. CRAIG. This Senator's amendment would not cut any program. It 
would allow continued funding at that level. It does not reward by 
allowing the increases in the spending. That is what is important. The 
Senator from Massachusetts mentioned that nothing would go forward. He 
is wrong. Everything goes forward, and the measurements are in place.
  What we are saying is, we are strong and definitive in saying that if 
you do not improve, you do not get the additional money.

[[Page S4462]]

  Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, at some future time, I may support what this 
amendment is trying to accomplish. I think that we should have more 
accountability by the states. I also believe that we may need to 
reevaluate how Title I funds are used in the states. That being said, I 
do not think that this amendment is the proper way to tie funding to 
achievement. I represent a low-income state where Title I funds make up 
$76.5 million of the money spent on education. By threatening to freeze 
funding until the schools improve, I fear we may be taking away the 
very tools necessary to achieve the improvement that we all seek both 
in our schools and our students. I like what the Senator is saying, but 
I am going to vote against his amendment at this time. Basically, I 
have not heard enough of this debate. And this is one thing that is 
wrong. Let me underline that. This is one thing that is wrong with the 
stacking of the amendments.
  I have already stated my opposition to the stacking of the 
amendments.
  Sometimes there is justification for stacking votes, and sometimes I 
will not object to it. But in the future, I am going to object more 
than I have in the past. It is demeaning to the Senator who offers the 
amendment. It is demeaning to the amendment itself to be limited to 2 
minutes before we vote on it. And it is demeaning to the Senate.
  When it comes to stacking votes so as to allow Senators to be away on 
a Monday or be away on Fridays, I am going to be hard to get along with 
in that regard. I hope that what I am saying will let every Senator 
know that in the future I will frequently object to the stacking of 
votes. This is a bad way to legislate.
  This particular amendment ought to have more debate than it is 
getting. It may have had some debate--I don't know--on Friday. I am not 
sure. I had to take my wife on Friday to a pulmonary expert. I couldn't 
be here. But other Senators weren't here either. It is demeaning to 
come out here and offer an amendment on Friday with a shirttailful of 
Senators present, maybe two, maybe three, and few press people.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
  Mr. BYRD. I thank the Chair. I will have to vote against the 
Senator's amendment today, but I compliment him for trying to do 
something. Let's do it later.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to amendment No. 
372. The yeas and nays have been ordered. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 27, nays 73, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 93 Leg.]

                                YEAS--27

     Allard
     Allen
     Bennett
     Bond
     Brownback
     Bunning
     Burns
     Craig
     Crapo
     Ensign
     Enzi
     Fitzgerald
     Frist
     Gramm
     Grassley
     Gregg
     Hatch
     Helms
     Inhofe
     Kyl
     Nickles
     Santorum
     Shelby
     Smith (NH)
     Thomas
     Thompson
     Thurmond

                                NAYS--73

     Akaka
     Baucus
     Bayh
     Biden
     Bingaman
     Boxer
     Breaux
     Byrd
     Campbell
     Cantwell
     Carnahan
     Carper
     Chafee
     Cleland
     Clinton
     Cochran
     Collins
     Conrad
     Corzine
     Daschle
     Dayton
     DeWine
     Dodd
     Domenici
     Dorgan
     Durbin
     Edwards
     Feingold
     Feinstein
     Graham
     Hagel
     Harkin
     Hollings
     Hutchinson
     Hutchison
     Inouye
     Jeffords
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Kerry
     Kohl
     Landrieu
     Leahy
     Levin
     Lieberman
     Lincoln
     Lott
     Lugar
     McCain
     McConnell
     Mikulski
     Miller
     Murkowski
     Murray
     Nelson (FL)
     Nelson (NE)
     Reed
     Reid
     Roberts
     Rockefeller
     Sarbanes
     Schumer
     Sessions
     Smith (OR)
     Snowe
     Specter
     Stabenow
     Stevens
     Torricelli
     Voinovich
     Warner
     Wellstone
     Wyden
  The amendment (No. 372) was rejected.
  Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, how many minutes were required for that 
rollcall?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Sixteen and a half minutes.
  Mr. BYRD. Sixteen and a half minutes on a 10-minute rollcall. We are 
doing better.


                     Amendment No. 375, As Modified

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this amendment there are 2 minutes equally 
divided. The Senator from Massachusetts.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, one of the very important features of 
this legislation is upgrading the skills of unqualified teachers who 
are teaching poor children and also making sure that new recruits are 
going to be qualified teachers.
  This legislation guarantees schools that have 50 percent poor 
children will have a qualified teacher in every classroom in 4 years.
  This amendment says that we should fully fund the $3 billion which is 
in the authorization to make sure all the teachers who are going to be 
teaching poor children are qualified. It says we ought to add $500 
million each additional year, so that in the last year there will be a 
total of $6 billion a year in funding, necessary to provide continued 
professional development to every techer, every year in a high poverty 
classroom.
  There are 1,500,000 teachers who teach poor children; 750,000 are 
unqualified today. This amendment will ensure that we continually 
upgrade the skills of every one of them.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired. Who yields 
time?
  Mr. JEFFORDS. Mr. President, I yield back our time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. All time is yielded back.
  Mr. KENNEDY. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to amendment No. 375, as modified. The 
clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 69, nays 31, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 94 Leg.]

                                YEAS--69

     Akaka
     Allen
     Baucus
     Bayh
     Biden
     Bingaman
     Boxer
     Breaux
     Byrd
     Campbell
     Cantwell
     Carnahan
     Carper
     Chafee
     Cleland
     Clinton
     Cochran
     Collins
     Conrad
     Corzine
     Daschle
     Dayton
     DeWine
     Dodd
     Dorgan
     Durbin
     Edwards
     Ensign
     Feingold
     Feinstein
     Graham
     Grassley
     Harkin
     Hatch
     Hollings
     Hutchinson
     Hutchison
     Inouye
     Jeffords
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Kerry
     Kohl
     Landrieu
     Leahy
     Levin
     Lieberman
     Lincoln
     McCain
     McConnell
     Mikulski
     Miller
     Murray
     Nelson (FL)
     Nelson (NE)
     Reed
     Reid
     Rockefeller
     Sarbanes
     Schumer
     Sessions
     Smith (OR)
     Snowe
     Specter
     Stabenow
     Torricelli
     Warner
     Wellstone
     Wyden

                                NAYS--31

     Allard
     Bennett
     Bond
     Brownback
     Bunning
     Burns
     Craig
     Crapo
     Domenici
     Enzi
     Fitzgerald
     Frist
     Gramm
     Gregg
     Hagel
     Helms
     Inhofe
     Kyl
     Lott
     Lugar
     Murkowski
     Nickles
     Roberts
     Santorum
     Shelby
     Smith (NH)
     Stevens
     Thomas
     Thompson
     Thurmond
     Voinovich
  The amendment (No. 375), as modified, was agreed to.


                           Amendment No. 380

  Mr. JEFFORDS. Mr. President, I ask for the regular order on this 
pending Allen amendment No. 380.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The amendment is now pending.
  Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, I want the Senate to know that I voted twice 
on the previous vote. I was standing here by Mr. Kennedy when I raised 
my hand, which I usually do. I was not behind my desk, as I usually am.
  I am not complaining about anything. I am not criticizing anybody. I 
just want the Senate to know that I voted. Normally, I do not hold up 
the Senate.
  I thank the Senate. I thank the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there further debate on the pending 
amendment? If not, the question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  The amendment (No. 380) was agreed to.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote.
  Mr. JEFFORDS. I move to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  Mr. KENNEDY. I thank the Chair.
  Mr. President, I thank all of our Members for their presence and for 
their cooperation.
  We now have the Senator from Washington on an extremely important

[[Page S4463]]

amendment. We hope the Senate will give careful attention to this 
amendment. This is one of the most important amendments we will have to 
this legislation. I am enormously grateful to the Senator from 
Washington for her leadership on smaller class size. I am sure she was 
reassured again today when we read the front page of the Washington 
Post and saw what was happening in Prince George's County. The test 
scores show the best gains.
  When the local Superintendent of schools was asked about the factors 
that were most important in making progress, she quickly indicated that 
smaller class size in the early grades was one of the most important 
aspects leading to the children's progress.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the full Washington Post 
article be printed in the Record after Senator Murray's remarks.
  Senator Warner spoke to me and would like to join me in that request.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (See exhibit 1.)
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair recognizes the Senator from 
Washington.


                           Amendment No. 378

  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I call up amendment No. 378.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The amendment is now the regular order.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I thank Senator Kennedy for his work on 
class size, too. I saw the article in the Washington Post today. It 
shows that the debate we are about to have on the class size amendment 
is extremely critical. We know it makes a difference in our children's 
classrooms. We have had tremendous progress.
  I hope that our colleagues will listen carefully to the debate as we 
bring it forward because it is an important part of education. It is 
what parents are looking for. It is what we are demanding of our 
students--achievement.
  I appreciate the words of the Senator from Massachusetts, and I look 
forward to the debate we are about to have.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the following Senators be 
added as cosponsors to my amendment: Senators Baucus, Biden, Bingaman, 
Clinton, Corzine, Dodd, Feingold, Harkin, Kennedy, Reed of Rhode 
Island, and Wellstone.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, right now in classrooms across our 
country students are gathering. Right now teachers are beginning his or 
her lesson, and those students in that classroom probably do not know 
the specifics of the debate that we are about to have. They probably 
are not familiar with the amendment I am about to offer. But I will 
promise you one thing. Those students will realize the impact of how 
the Senate votes on this class size amendment.
  Today, I am offering an amendment to continue the progress we have 
made over the last 3 years in making classrooms across the country less 
crowded and more productive. My amendment will ensure that we keep our 
commitment to help local school districts hire 100,000 new teachers so 
that students can get the time and the attention they need and deserve 
in our classrooms.
  We know that smaller classes help kids learn the basics with fewer 
discipline problems.
  Just this year we also learned that smaller classes resulted in 
better scores on standardized tests and a higher likelihood of taking 
college entrance exams and a lower teen pregnancy rate.
  As managers of the taxpayer dollars, we should invest in ideas that 
work. We know that smaller classes help our students learn.
  Unfortunately, the underlying bill combines funding for class size 
reduction and teacher quality into one pool. As a result, local school 
districts would have to choose, under this bill, between providing 
smaller classes or funding teacher quality. They shouldn't have to 
choose one or the other. We should fund both. It has always been 
important to invest in the things that work in the classroom. This year 
it is even more important as I look at the rest of the underlying bill.

  Since President Bush plans to punish schools that do not improve, we 
have to make sure that schools have the proven tools they need, such as 
smaller classes, to help our children learn.
  Before I continue, I want to share a personal reflection about what 
we are doing on education this month. As we update the Elementary and 
Secondary Education Act, we are creating a blueprint of how we are 
going to support excellence in schools across the country.
  As a parent and as a former educator, I cannot imagine smaller 
classes not being a part of that blueprint. It just does not make 
sense. Right now, this bill leaves behind targeted funding for smaller 
classes. My amendment corrects that failure and tells students, 
teachers, and parents across the country that we know they are 
concerned about overcrowded classrooms, we know they want help in 
hiring new teachers, and we are going to honor our responsibility to 
pay for them.
  I want to talk this morning about the difference that smaller classes 
can make according to research and according to parents and teachers. 
We know that too many classes are overcrowded with growing enrollment 
and limited space. Too many students are trying to learn in classrooms 
that are packed to capacity, where they have to fight just to get a 
teacher's attention. And too many teachers are spending time on crowd 
control instead of spending time on curriculum.
  Over the years, major studies have found that smaller classes boost 
student achievement. The STAR study found that students in small 
classes--those with 13 to 17 students--significantly outperform other 
students in math and reading. It also found that students in small 
classes have better high school graduation rates, higher grade point 
averages, and they are more inclined to pursue higher education. 
Certainly those are goals. Every one of us in the Senate Chamber has 
stated that we want that for our children in our school systems in this 
country.
  Another critical study, the Wisconsin SAGE study, consistently proved 
that smaller classes result in significantly greater student 
achievement.
  Just two months ago, in March, we got more good news. Dr. Alan 
Krueger of Princeton University found there are long-term social 
benefits of being in a smaller classroom, including better scores on 
standardized tests, a higher propensity to take college entrance exams, 
a lower teen pregnancy rate, and possibly a lower crime rate for teens.
  Those are the types of benefits we want for every one of our 
students. But you do not need research to know that smaller classes 
help. Just talk to parents or teachers or talk to the students 
themselves.
  I have been in classrooms where this funding has reduced 
overcrowding. It makes a difference. I recently received an e-mail from 
Kristi Rennebohm Franz. Kristi teaches at Sunnyside Elementary School. 
I also should mention that Kristi is one of our best educators. She 
received a Milken National Teacher's Award. She received the 
Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching Elementary Science, and 
the Peace Corps World Wise Schools Paul D. Coverdell Award for 
Excellence in Education. Those are some of Kristi's credentials.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that her entire letter be 
printed in the Record at the conclusion of my remarks.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (See exhibit 2.)
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, 10 years ago, when Kristi started as a 
teacher, she promised herself that she would take time each day to 
listen to her students and to understand their needs. Kristi writes to 
me now:

       It is a promise that can only come true if we have small 
     enough classes with enough qualified teachers in place to 
     meet the individual learning needs of each child. . . .

  She continues:

       . . . because of the sheer numbers of children in our 
     classroom, it is not humanly possible to have the educational 
     conversations I need and want to have with each child to best 
     assess their understandings, struggles, challenges, and 
     progress that can inform where the next day's learning needs 
     to go.

  She says:

       I can't tell you how frustrating it is to know how to teach 
     and not be able to do the very best teaching every moment 
     because it is difficult with too large a class and without 
     enough teachers on board as a team to meet the learning needs 
     of the children.


[[Page S4464]]


  Mr. President, let's show Kristi and thousands of hard-working 
teachers that we do support them and want them to be able to do their 
best in uncrowded classrooms.
  I have talked about the research, and I have shared a teacher's 
perspective, but I have one more example of the importance of small 
class sizes. It comes from the Houston Independent School District 
where our Education Secretary, Rod Paige, served as their 
superintendent.
  I show my colleagues this chart. It is actually from a presentation 
by the former Chief of Staff for Educational Services in the Houston 
district, Susan Sclafani. By the way, she currently serves as Counselor 
to Secretary Paige at the Education Department.
  Part of her presentation that I am showing on this chart shows how 
Houston helped turn around low-performing schools. I know we are basing 
a lot of this education bill on what happened in Houston at the 
directive of the President and Dr. Paige. They talk about test scores, 
but they also are very clear about what made a difference in making 
sure those test scores turned around and that those schools improved.
  On the chart, you can see that among the seven things they have done 
in the Houston school district was to make classrooms less crowded. 
They made making classrooms less crowded one of the seven things to be 
done to improve education. They know it works.
  In fact, Houston hired 177 new teachers through the Class Size 
Reduction Program that we funded at the Federal level. Houston also 
used the funding to provide professional development for more than 600 
teachers. That is the type of support we want all communities to have.
  We know that making classes smaller works. The research shows it. 
Parents know it. Teachers know it. Even Secretary Paige used smaller 
classes to make improvements in the Houston school district. There was 
not a miracle in Houston. There was hard work. And there was investment 
in what works. Class size reduction was one of those investments.
  We should invest in the things that we know work in the classroom. 
Parents want to know that their Federal education dollars are making a 
difference for students.
  I served on a local school board. I can tell you that hiring new 
teachers is difficult because you have to commit today for a new 
teacher when you don't know what is going to happen 3 months down the 
road.
  That is one of the reasons why many school districts have had a hard 
time hiring new teachers on their own. Fortunately, they are not all on 
their own. Local educators have partners at the State and Federal level 
who are working together to help all students succeed.
  That is why in 1998, Congress began the Class Size Reduction 
Initiative. This program sends Federal dollars to school districts 
across the country so they can hire new, fully qualified teachers in 
grades K-3.
  And let me remind my colleagues that this is a voluntary program. No 
school is forced to use this money. If a district wants help hiring 
teachers to make classrooms less crowded, they simply apply. And there 
is very little paperwork or administration. In fact, in my own State of 
Washington you can apply for this class size reduction money over the 
Internet on a simple, one-page form.
  Many educators have told me that they have never seen dollars get so 
quickly from Congress to the classroom. Local schools, under this, make 
all the decisions about who to hire based on their unique needs. The 
money is also flexible. If schools have already reduced classroom 
overcrowding, they can use the money for teacher recruitment or for 
professional development. Finally, and critically, these dollars are 
targeted to disadvantaged students--who can make the most progress when 
they are in a productive classroom.
  This program has been a success story for the Congress. Since 1998, 
we have helped school districts across the country hire 34,000 new 
teachers. Over the past 3 years, we have made classrooms less crowded 
in K-3 and more productive for almost 2 million students. It is a 
program that works, and we should not abandon it now. This underlying 
bill does not ensure that this overcrowding will be reduced because it 
eliminates the targeted funding for class size reduction.
  Some say that we should combined funding for teacher quality and 
class size reduction and just let folks choose. Unfortunately, that is 
a false choice, and our kids will pay the price. This bill--the 
underlying bill--pits effective programs against each other and makes 
educators choose. In the end, our kids will lose if they can't have 
both smaller classes and qualified teachers. We should be the ones 
making sure that happens.
  Let me repeat that. Smaller classes and qualified teachers go hand in 
hand. Educators should not have to choose between either making classes 
smaller or improving teacher quality. They need both. We should fund 
both. That is what this amendment would ensure.
  Finally, I remind my colleagues that there are real consequences to 
not providing dedicated class size funding. Without my amendment, this 
bill could put schools in an unwinnable situation with very high 
stakes. The underlying bill will punish schools that do not improve. At 
the same time, it takes away the very tools they need to improve, and 
that is just wrong.
  On the one hand, we are telling students to meet high standards, and 
on the other hand this bill takes away the support they need to get 
there. We can do better than that. If we want our students to succeed 
and we are going to punish those who don't, now is the time to increase 
our investment in smaller class sizes. That is what this amendment 
does.
  This week we are talking about many different education issues from 
accountability to testing to funding. Right now there is only one 
question being asked by each of us as Senators: Do you favor targeted 
funding to make classrooms less crowded or will you take that targeted 
funding away from your schools? How you vote on this amendment will 
affect millions of students who are trying to get a good education.
  I urge our colleagues to support this amendment by voting yes.

                               Exhibit 1

                [From the Washington Post, May 8, 2001]

            Prince George's Test Scores Show Best Gains Ever


               34% of County Schools Meet U.S. Benchmark

                         (By Tracey A. Reeves)

       Prince George's County students posted their highest gains 
     ever on a key standardized test used to gauge how local 
     children measure up to their peers nationally, according to 
     results released yesterday.
       Prince George's has often been criticized for its abysmal 
     test scores and spotty leadership, but its gains on the 
     Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills are the first significant 
     academic increases the county has registered since Iris T. 
     Metts took over as superintendent in 1999.
       According to the results, 34 percent of county schools had 
     median test scores at or above the national average this 
     school year, compared with 21 percent last year.
       Of the schools tested, 82, or 63 percent, registered 
     significant gains. Results also show a slight narrowing of 
     the achievement gap between black and white students and 
     between Hispanic and white students, an added boon for school 
     officials who have been struggling for years to close the 
     gap.
       The improved scores brought a huge sigh of relief for 
     Metts, who acknowledged yesterday that she felt vindicated by 
     the results and empowered to continue her changes.
       Metts said she hoped that county and state leaders would 
     see the test scores as proof that the county is serious about 
     improving academic achievement and that they would reward it 
     with more funding to reduce class size and repair 
     deteriorating buildings.
       ``We're not just achieving,'' an elated Metts said at a 
     celebratory news conference announcing the test results. 
     ``We're achieving miraculously.''
       The mood was indeed upbeat as school officials asembled in 
     Upper Marlboro to learn more about the results and to coax 
     each other on in the effort to improve the school system's 
     rank as the second-worst in the state, behind Baltimore. In 
     the hallways, school system employees flashed wide grins as 
     they toasted the gains with punch. Teachers and their staffs, 
     who had been summoned to county school headquarters for the 
     news conference could hardly contain their applause.
       Principals hugged their teachers. High-fives were 
     everywhere
       ``This didn't happen by chance,'' said Leroy Tompkins, head 
     of instruction for county schools. ``We achieved this by 
     focusing on what we needed to do, and it's paid off.''
       School Board Chairman Kenneth E. Johnson (Mitchellville), 
     who with the rest of the board has accused of not putting the 
     needs of students first, praised the superintendent for

[[Page S4465]]

     the results and said the board never doubted her ability.
       ``The board always thought she could bring the system 
     along,'' Johnson said. ``All we need to do now is stay the 
     course.''
       Even Maryland Schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick said 
     she was encouraged by the results, though she hesitated to 
     classify the scores an all-out success. She is eager to see 
     the results of Maryland School Performance Assessment Program 
     exams, which students are taking this month.
       ``I expect to see improvements there, too,'' Grasmick said. 
     ``But all of these results will have to be sustained over a 
     two-year period for us to really know what's happening 
     here.''
       Maryland requires all public school sec-
     ond-, fourth-, and sixth-graders to take the basic skills 
     exam, which tests ability in math, reading and language arts.
       Prince George's is the first Maryland county to release its 
     results, in part because it is using the scores to determine 
     whom to recommend for a new summer program established to 
     bring along struggling students.
       Other school systems are expected to release their test 
     scores in coming weeks.
       The test is given annually to gauge trends in ability among 
     students. Unlike the MSPAP, which generally measures how well 
     schools are teaching children, the Comprehensive Test of 
     Basic Skills is viewed as more useful to parents because it 
     looks at how students did individually.
       The basic skills test is also considered useful to teachers 
     because it lets them know what areas to concentrate on and 
     which students need more help.
       Until this year, Prince George's scores have been low, flat 
     and far from the national norm. School officials attributed 
     the gains to the reforms that Metts has demanded.
       For example, she has required all schools to give students 
     in the early grades 120 minutes of uninterrupted reading time 
     and 90 minutes of math a day. She has also reduced class 
     sizes in the lower grades, and efforts are underway to remove 
     disruptive students from classrooms. Metts and principals 
     have also put more emphasis on training teachers.
       Systemwide, Prince George's scores increased at each of the 
     three grade levels and in every content area in the March 
     test. For example, the rate of students scoring above the 
     national average in reading rose from 24 percent last year to 
     36 percent. In math, it more than doubled, from 16.7 percent 
     to 42.4 percent.

                               Exhibit 2

                                                   April 30, 2001.
       Dear Senator Murray: As the U.S. Congress has its focus on 
     educational programs, I want to take time to thank you for 
     your tireless efforts on behalf of quality education funding 
     for our public schools! As a primary classroom teacher in 
     Washington State, I know first hand the challenges we face in 
     making sure no child is left behind. While the challenges are 
     tremendous, it is a challenge which public school teachers 
     take on day after day, unwilling to give up and unwilling to 
     do anything less that the very best we can and know how to do 
     in each moment we have in the classroom. When I interviewed 
     for my current teaching position ten years ago, one of the 
     comments I made about my goals as a teacher was that it was 
     very, very important that I hear each child's voice at school 
     each day so that each child would know he/she: (1) had 
     multiple opportunities to be listened to and heard; (2) had 
     the opportunity to tell me what he/she understood and what 
     he/she needed help with; and (3) had multiple opportunities 
     to know he/she was greatly valued as a learner and person. 
     That is a promise that needs to be reality in order for no 
     child to be left behind. It is a promise that can only come 
     true if we have small enough classes with enough qualified 
     teachers in place to meet the individual learning needs of 
     each child and to mentor children in meeting the expectations 
     we share for them as teachers, parents, community, state, and 
     country.
       Each school day, I try to live to that promise . . . and as 
     I come to the end of each day, I know I have come up short . 
     . . because of the sheer numbers of children in our 
     classroom, it is not humanly possible to have the educational 
     conversations I need and want to have with each child to best 
     assess their understandings, struggles, challenges, and 
     progress that can inform where the next day's learning needs 
     to go. In order to best and most effectively and efficiently 
     teach primary children, I need time each day to interact with 
     them as individuals, in small groups and as a cohesive whole 
     class without distractions and interruptions. I need time to 
     build the math, literacy, science and social studies 
     concepts, problem solving and critical thinking skills they 
     need for today's complex and ever dynamically changing world. 
     When I have a large class of primary children with very 
     diverse academic, social and emotional needs and with no 
     additional adult in the classroom to assist children, the 
     importantly needed and valued time to work on learning with 
     children individually and even in small groups or as a 
     cohesive whole class can be lost.
       Presently, every classroom teacher in my building is well 
     qualified for his/her assignment and has special outstanding 
     abilities. But we can not do the job we know how to do and 
     keep learning new and better ways to teach in response to 
     changing needs and in today's schools, when: (1) the numbers 
     of students in each class makes it impossible to meet the 
     challenges each student faces; (2) the number of adults 
     needed to help provide education is too low; and (3) the 
     energy toll of the teaching day (which requires planning, 
     preparation, reflection, collaboration with colleagues and 
     parents far beyond the time our 8:00 to 3:30 contract time) 
     leaves teachers unable to engage in much needed professional 
     development beyond the needs of the daily classroom 
     instruction. We hear people say that throwing money at the 
     challenges in education won't help, but I don't know how 
     we can provide the number of qualified teachers needed to 
     provide the best education possible for each child without 
     funding those positions, without providing the funding for 
     teaching materials and for safe, healthy learning 
     environments that are needed, and without funding support 
     for teachers to keep learning and growing professionally!
       During this school year, I received a Milken National 
     Teacher's Award as well as the Presidential Award for 
     Excellence in Teaching Elementary Science, the Peace Corps 
     World Wise Schools Paul D. Coverdell Award for Excellence in 
     Education (which was presented at the U.S. Senate building 
     with comments from Sen. Edward Kennedy and Sen. Christopher 
     Dodd), a national Blue Ribbon Classroom Website Award, and 
     just recently a grant for funding a co-teacher in our 
     classroom for the remaining weeks of the school year to 
     sustain and document our innovative primary curricular 
     program where children are developing the literacy, science, 
     social studies and math skills they need to meet state 
     learning goals through local to global collaborative 
     telecommunications service learning projects. I am 
     continually learning how to teach. I often work 12 hours per 
     school day developing and sustaining our curricular program 
     as well as usually a full weekend day. I often spend recess 
     time with children as well as after school time building team 
     support for a child and communicating with parents. I spend 
     summers reviewing the past school year and preparing for the 
     next. I spend time taking the course work I need to improve 
     my teaching skills and keep my certification updated. That is 
     what it takes to even come close to a goal of leaving no 
     child behind. Yet, even with developing a classroom which is 
     being recognized as outstanding, I feel that I come up short 
     at the end of each day in providing each of the children in 
     my class the full measure of what they need, deserve, and are 
     capable of doing. If only we had been able to have two 
     teachers for this many children all school year, the sky 
     would not even be the limit for what these children could be 
     accomplishing!!! There is no substitute for educational 
     success for all children than critically needed time with an 
     adult to teach them and enable them to soar! And I don't know 
     anyway to insure that those adults are in place each day with 
     needed qualifications without funding!!! There is no 
     substitute for having the funds to prepare qualified teachers 
     and have them in classrooms in great enough numbers so we can 
     do the job of teaching that is needed for today's schools.
       Almost every public school class today faces challenges of 
     helping children with behavior. Some days, the biggest 
     challenge comes down to making sure each child is safe from 
     harmful physical and verbal hurt by other peers. Large class 
     sizes greatly, exponentially exacerbate these challenges of 
     classroom management to the point of taking away from 
     valuable teaching and learning time. Additionally problems 
     are compounded by not having enough school personnel to 
     assist children facing emotional behavior needs often caused 
     by circumstances not of their fault. Primary grades are the 
     school years with the first opportunities for helpful 
     interventions for children and their families on issues of 
     academic successes and for meeting the emotional needs that 
     affect that success. We know what to do to help. We know how 
     to design learning programs to help children succeed but we 
     simply can't do it unless we have the people we need to 
     implement those programs. I can't tell you how frustrating it 
     is to know how to teach and not be able to do the very best 
     teaching every moment because it is difficult with too large 
     a class and without enough teachers on board as a team to 
     meet the learning needs of the children. People will say 
     to me, ``You are trying to do too much, Kristi, . . . your 
     expectations for what we can do in school are too high'' . 
     . . but, to me, lowering the expectations of what's 
     possible means some children will be left behind and I'm 
     not willing to accept that option. How can we ever 
     possibly be doing too much until we know every child is 
     succeeding to the best of his/her abilities? And wouldn't 
     it be wonderful to be at that place where we say, we have 
     enough of what we need to meet the challenges of educating 
     our children and we are indeed leaving no child behind? I 
     dream of someday hearing that conversation nationally . . 
     . and, until that conversation is truly there, we must do 
     all we can and more just to insure we meet our educational 
     vision and goals for all the children in our country!!!
       And how can we assess if children are meeting those 
     educational goals and we as teachers are meeting our teaching 
     vision . . .
       We can administer standardized test to a whole class to 
     measure how students are doing according to a norm and 
     against the skills a particular test identifies as 
     priorities. But, those measurements provide only one form of 
     reference on student learning and, depending on the integrity 
     and quality of a standardized assessment, the test data may 
     or may not be an accurate assessment

[[Page S4466]]

     of what students understand. I can't tell you how many times, 
     in working with primary children, I have seen a child's 
     standardized test results communicate an assessment profile 
     that does not provide the full measure of what I have seen 
     that child demonstrate in the classroom learning environment 
     lessons. Performance on an isolated skill assessment with 
     primary children simply cannot document the whole of who they 
     are as learners.
       Primary children are growing along a developmental 
     continuum where many of the skills and understandings that we 
     need to see in place in these years as indicators of ongoing 
     successful learning are best demonstrated within the context 
     of active learning with the teacher rather than being only 
     demonstrated in individual performance by themselves. Rather 
     than just being able to demonstrate mastery of individual, 
     isolated skill tasks that are assessed in a standardized test 
     without support of a teacher and outside the context of 
     lesson learning . . . many, many of the skills and 
     understandings that we need to have in place in the primary 
     years for ongoing school success are in the category of: 
     Being able to engage in lessons with the teacher; being able 
     to learn when being taught during a lesson; being able to 
     actively think and talk within a teachable moment; and being 
     able to generate a product or comment when asked to 
     contribute and work with the teacher and peers on ideas and 
     work directly with curricular learning materials . . .
       While I am successfully using the standardized tests that 
     are required in our district and state to provide data on 
     student progress, if I were to rely only on those 
     standardized skills assessments to measure the success of our 
     children in our public schools, I would miss important 
     documentation of learning that is taking place but simply is 
     best revealed in the interactive teaching and learning 
     between the student with his/her teacher and peers. A 
     standardized test, while providing specifically focused 
     insights on a child's progress, is just a moment of time 
     in a child's school learning. This is especially true when 
     assessing primary children. Sometimes, a standardized 
     assessment presents a profile of student learning that 
     shows a child not succeeding when in actuality, he/she has 
     been demonstrating some successes. I have seen a 
     standardized assessment provide data that looks like the 
     child and the teaching is failing when in actuality 
     neither is true. Often, the observation of a child's 
     behaviors when responding to the challenges of an 
     individual standardized test tell me as much about that 
     child's learning strategies and performance as the actual 
     numerical score that child receives. I often make 
     documentation notes on a child's behavior during the 
     process of administering a standardized test. This takes 
     time for individual observations and writing on my part 
     while also devoting energy and focus on the rest of the 
     class . . . which is no easy task but an important one to 
     fully understand and interpret the results of a 
     standardized score.
       Many of the standardized assessments we are required to do 
     with our primary students require extended, individual, 
     uninterrupted time with each student. After we give the 
     initial instructions, we must time and record their 
     performance. This is especially true of reading assessments 
     as those are done while listening to, recording, timing and 
     notating each child's reading aloud performance (while also 
     keeping track of the rest of the class). Often these 
     assessments can take ten to fifteen minutes per child to 
     implement and additional time to score. While the information 
     from these assessments can be very valuable, you can well 
     imagine the time involved in a school day to do this 
     accurately and reliably with each child when you have a large 
     class of primary children without any other adult assistance 
     in the classroom. In order to do the best possible job on all 
     assessments of student progress, we need to have smaller 
     class sizes.
       Often, the best insights I have had on children's learning 
     progress have emerged in the process of having a cohesive 
     whole class, small group or individual conversation about 
     important basic skills and concepts we have been working on 
     together and sometimes it comes from listening in on 
     conversations a child is having with a peer as they work on 
     their learning with one another. Those avenues of assessment 
     tell us so much about the successes in children's learning as 
     well as direction for ongoing learning. Those conversations 
     will not happen unless we have small enough classes with 
     enough teachers to hear the voices of what children are 
     learning each school day.
           Sincerely,
                                           Kristi Rennebohm Franz.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arkansas.
  Mr. HUTCHINSON. Mr. President, I rise in opposition to the Murray 
amendment and to put a little different focus on the debate.
  The issue, as I see it, on this amendment is not classroom reduction. 
The issue is not the virtue of having smaller classrooms. The issue is 
not whether that is valuable or whether that is desirable. Most would 
say, of course, a smaller class is better than a bigger class. The 
issue is whether or not those choices and those decisions ought to be 
made at the local level.
  The Senator from Washington, who is always very passionate on this 
issue, used Houston as an example. I will use Houston as an example. 
Yes, classroom reduction was part of the program. It was part of seven 
points, a package of seven reforms they emphasized as local reform that 
helped turn around the Houston school district. I emphasize that 
classroom reduction was only one part of the whole package. The 
decisions were made locally, and in addition to class size reduction 
you also had tutors, planning assistance, and staff development. Those 
decisions were made locally.
  The issue is not, do we want smaller classes? Of course, we do. The 
issue is, do we want to continue the Washington-knows-best, top-down 
approach to education, when the whole thrust of this bill is to move 
the other direction?
  The thrust of this legislation, supported on both sides of the aisle, 
negotiated by leaders on both sides of the aisle, is that the plethora 
of Federal programs has not been a productive approach and that we 
should consolidate those Federal streams of funding. And now along 
comes an amendment that says: Let's go back to the old way. Let's go 
back in the old direction. Instead of consolidation, let's pull this 
out and let's have this program prescriptive from the Federal level 
where we know best, where we are going to tell local educators what 
they should do.
  The Senator from Washington said they should not be forced to choose 
and that we should fund both. In fact, in this legislation we do fund 
both. The Teacher Quality Program is authorized at $3 billion, which is 
an increase over at what the programs are currently funded.
  So many people argue that when we create larger, more flexible 
grants, we are trying to decrease funding for these programs. That is 
just not true. The Professional Development Program received $485 
million last year, and the Class Size Reduction Program received $1.6 
billion. If my addition is correct, that is $2.05 billion in these two 
programs. We consolidate them. We combine them and increase the funding 
to $3 billion.
  Furthermore, the Kennedy amendment, which just passed and which I 
supported, reaffirmed not only the $3 billion number but then increases 
$1/2 billion a year each year. So it is not a matter of only giving 
limited resources and you must choose: Do you want class size reduction 
or do you want professional development? We are saying: Here is both, 
but you decide your priorities locally. Here is the funding for both, 
an increase by 30 percent over what the previous administration put 
into class size reduction and professional development. The President 
and this Congress have increased that authorized level by 30 percent to 
$3 billion, ensuring an additional $\1/2\ billion each year in the 
future.
  We said: Let the local schools, let the States decide the priority. 
It is not always going to be class size reduction as the highest 
priority. Sometimes it will be professional development. Sometimes it 
will be mentoring. Sometimes it will be merit pay. Sometimes it will be 
tenure reform. Many times it will be class size reduction. We ensure 
they will always have the option of spending that money as they see 
best.

  The issue is not do you want class size reduction. The issue is, do 
you want real local control? Do you really want them to have the choice 
or do you think we know best?
  There has been a growing consensus that what we have done for the 
last 35 years, with Washington creating more programs and making more 
prescriptions, has not been the right approach. There has been a 
growing consensus on both sides of the aisle that we need to 
consolidate. This is a move in the wrong direction, the opposite 
direction, to pull this out and say: In this area, we know best; you 
must do class size reduction if you want these funds.
  Studies by Eric Hanushek, a professor at the University of Rochester, 
show that teacher quality is the most important factor in a child's 
instruction. So while class size is very important, even more important 
than class size is the quality of the teacher in that classroom.
  Oftentimes professional development is going to be even more valuable 
than ensuring there are fewer children in the classroom, and we should 
not make the determination of what is needed locally. This new flexible 
grant, the

[[Page S4467]]

Teacher Quality Program, allows States and school districts to continue 
class size reduction if they choose. They are not mandated to do so.
  The National Commission on Teaching & America's Future found that 
class size reduction has the least impact on increasing student 
achievement and that teacher education and teacher quality had the most 
impact on increasing achievement.
  One other point: For rural States such as Arkansas, we have many 
school districts, many times very small school districts. This kind of 
Federal program simply doesn't work. If you calculate what local 
schools in Arkansas get, it is about a third of a teacher per school 
district. For many small school districts, this kind of a program just 
doesn't work. It is far better to put additional funding in a program 
with greater flexibility so local school districts will have enough 
resources so they can actually make a difference.
  While I agree many school districts and many States are going to put 
as priority No. 1 cutting the size of classes, in some areas that is 
not going to be priority No. 1. We should not make that decision for 
them and say: The only way you can access these funds is if you spend 
it in this way.
  I reluctantly oppose the Murray amendment. We are putting 
considerable new resources, a 30-percent increase, into this Teacher 
Quality Program, and that will ensure that schools are going to be able 
to make the right kind of choice and the right kind of investment to 
get the best return in academic achievement. The Teacher Quality 
Program in this bill recognizes that mandates from Washington aren't 
the way to improve teacher quality. This legislation gives more 
flexibility to States and school districts but holds them accountable 
for teacher quality and, most importantly, student achievement.
  I underscore again that this amendment is counter to the entire 
thrust of this education reform legislation. We should not make the 
mistake of returning to the past and reducing again the very important 
flexibility and decisionmaking authority that should reside at the 
local level.
  So while I know this amendment is well intended, it is really counter 
to the kind of reform that will result in greater student achievement 
and improved education across this country, and I hope my colleagues 
will join me in opposing the Murray amendment and staying consistent 
with a desire to consolidate and provide greater flexibility, with 
meaningful accountability, and thus keep our focus upon the children 
and their educational future.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair recognizes the Senator from New 
York.
  Mrs. CLINTON. Mr. President, I associate myself with a number of the 
points made by my friend from Arkansas. Clearly, what we are attempting 
to do is to put the emphasis on what works and to provide to our 
children the opportunity to have the best possible education.
  I have been very privileged over the last 20 years to know quite a 
bit about education in Arkansas, which my good friend has the privilege 
of representing, and now I know a lot about education in New York. I 
have no doubt that my friend, were he still here, would agree with me 
that our goals are the same for the children in both States. We want to 
provide the best possible educational opportunities, but we face very 
different challenges.
  What I saw and worked on for many years in improving education in 
Arkansas, which was one of the great honors of my life, is very 
different from what I now see day in and day out in New York City, 
where we have more than a million children in our school system.
  I agree with my friend that what we are crafting is an approach that 
will give to local school districts, parents, and teachers the tools to 
make the right decisions for the children whose futures they hold in 
their hands. That is why I wish my friend were still here--and I will 
seek him out later to talk with him privately about this.
  That is why I am such a strong supporter of Senator Murray's 
amendment because what Senator Murray has done is point out very 
clearly that one size does not fit all; that what we need to do is 
provide the tools that will enable each school district in each State 
to deal with the problems they face.

  So I want to be part of passing legislation, in a bipartisan way, 
that will be the best for Arkansas, the best for Washington, the best 
for Vermont, and the best for New York because we will have honestly 
looked at all the different tools we need to provide our local 
educational authorities with in order that they can do the job we are 
now asking them to do their very best in achieving.
  So I am very proud to be a cosponsor of this amendment and to stand 
with my colleague in stating my commitment to supporting the Class Size 
Reduction Initiative, both because it is voluntary and provides 
additional funding to schools that are in desperate need of such 
funding and, maybe most important, because we know it works.
  I went back and reread President Bush's blueprint for education 
called ``No Child Left Behind.'' In it, he expresses dismay that over 
the years Congress has developed programs without asking whether or not 
programs produce results or even knowing the impact on local needs. 
Later on, the President goes on to suggest that under his education 
plan, which is really the core of what we are debating in this 
education debate, he will focus on what works and ensure that Federal 
dollars will be spent on effective, research-based programs and 
practices and that the funds will be targeted to improve schools and 
enhance teacher quality. That is certainly what the committee on which 
I am proud to serve, under the leadership of the Senator from Vermont, 
attempted to do in reporting out such a bill--to focus on what works 
and to target funds to improve our schools and enhance teacher quality. 
President Bush and I absolutely agree on this point.
  I have often said that I sometimes fear Washington is an evidence-
free zone where, despite whatever evidence we have, we don't follow it, 
we don't put it to work, and we spin our wheels too much. Well, I 
believe we should look at what works, what has had a positive impact in 
raising student achievement, what has helped at the local level give 
very necessary resources; there is no better example of what works than 
reducing class sizes so that teachers can teach and children can learn.
  Allow me just a moment to review the research demonstrating that 
reducing class size has proven results. Teachers who teach in classes 
of 18 students or fewer in the early grades are helping to raise 
student achievement for our most educationally disadvantaged students 
who are attending schools in high-poverty neighborhoods, where we all 
know it is harder to teach.
  Senator Murray was a teacher. She was on a school board. I don't 
think any of us should kid ourselves; there are some school districts 
and some schools where it is just hard to teach, where children come to 
school with all kinds of challenges and difficulties. We know, as we 
look at the research done, that if we focus on getting that class size 
down with a qualified teacher--this should not be an either/or; it 
should be a qualified teacher and a small enough class size--then we 
can have very positive results.
  I particularly point to the work Senator Murray and I highlighted in 
a press conference a few weeks ago that was done at Princeton 
University by an economist named Dr. Alan Krueger, who tracked the 
performance of well over 11,000 elementary school students at 79 
schools in a Tennessee pilot program known as Project STAR. This was 
done randomly. The results are scientifically provable. What he found, 
and what everyone who has studied it has found, is that smaller class 
sizes have a tremendously positive impact on student performance and, 
particularly, on African American students.

  We want to be supporting both excellence and equity. That is why I 
support accountability. I think we should know what our children know 
and what they don't know. I also believe everyone in this Chamber 
understands that we have to do more to increase the opportunity for 
excellence by focusing on the students who are most likely to be left 
behind. To me, the fact that African American students have such 
positive results from lower class size is a very strong argument for us 
renewing this commitment.

[[Page S4468]]

  There are other studies which have found exactly the same thing. A 
Rand study--and Rand usually studies issues such as the military and 
defense and national security--focused on cost-effectiveness of 
educational resources in raising scores on the NAEP, the National 
Assessment of Educational Progress. It is a test that is given to a 
randomly selected group of our students across the country. We use it 
to track how well we are doing as a nation.
  What Rand found in looking behind these test scores was that the 
higher scores could be traced to investments in lower class sizes in 
the early grades--plus, higher prekindergarten participation, lower 
teacher turnover, and higher levels of teacher resources. So it is that 
complement of cost-effective strategies that I think we should be 
supporting in this legislation.
  Later in the debate, I will focus on the importance of supporting 
early learning opportunities and trying to retain our teachers because 
we are losing our teachers at an alarming rate. I brought this photo of 
P.S. 19 in Jackson Heights, Queens, which is one of the magnets for 
immigration into our country. People come to Kennedy or LaGuardia 
Airports and they end up in Queens. I wish I could take every Member of 
this body to the schools I visit in Queens where bathrooms are classes, 
hallways are classes, and where children speak 40 to 100 different 
languages, where they are packed in there and where a teacher, despite 
her best efforts, can't possibly connect with all these children.
  Yesterday, I was in a school that works in Manhattan, the New 
Manhattan School. It is a wonderful school. I met for a long time with 
the teachers, the principal, and the superintendent of the district. It 
is an old building, built in 1904. It is packed to the rafters. They 
are adding teachers into classrooms so if they do not have the 
additional classrooms, at least they have more qualified teachers in 
those classes so the children get the attention of the adult 
responsible for their learning.

  It is important we understand there have to be opportunities for 
local communities to make choices. I believe having this tool is 
essential for providing good opportunities for choices to be made.
  With the funds appropriated in 2001, it is expected the Federal 
Government's Class Size Reduction Initiative will bring nearly 40,000 
qualified teachers into classrooms. Any one of us who goes into a large 
city in our country knows that if we do not have qualified teachers and 
we do not have low class sizes, we can test until the cows come home 
and we are not going to find anything other than what we already know: 
that children from high-poverty areas, from dysfunctional backgrounds 
without adequate training for academic work are not going to do well, 
but that a qualified teacher working with a small enough group of 
children, as Senator Murray knows so well, can make all the difference 
in that child's future.
  When we looked at this issue in New York City, we saw the results 
clearly. Two years ago, the program was initiated and class sizes in 
New York City were 25 percent larger than statewide. With both Federal 
and State initiatives, we were able to reduce class size for 
approximately 90,000 students in the early grades, almost 30 percent of 
the city's K-3 population.
  I want people to keep in mind, I am talking about a million children 
and 90,000 children. I know it is hard for some people who represent 
States without that many people in the State or maybe only half that 
many to understand we are dealing with huge numbers in a lot of the 
large cities. It is not just the numbers; it is the real lives behind 
those numbers.
  When we looked at the results, after 2 years of efforts, we were very 
pleased because achievement went up in those classrooms where, with 
Federal help, we were able to add a teacher.
  That does not mean the local communities do not have to continue 
doing their part, and it does not mean the State does not have to do 
its part, but we have gotten behind in what we need to do for our 
children. We need all hands on deck. We need everybody pulling 
together. Education is a local responsibility in our country, but we 
all know it has to be a national priority.
  Let us make sure we focus on both teacher quality and lower class 
size. That is why this amendment, which Senator Murray has championed 
and has been successful in persuading a bipartisan group of Senators to 
support in the past, is a critical component of this legislation.
  If we can make it possible for class sizes to remain small in the 
early grades, we improve the chances dramatically of producing a 
productive, functioning citizen who can find his or her way in this 
complicated society and global economy that awaits them in the 21st 
century.
  Yesterday, when I was in this wonderful school that was filled to the 
brim, they took me into a bathroom that had been turned into a guidance 
counselor's office. They did not have any other space. We went into the 
gym and children were doing their physical activity which I believe in 
strongly. We have to keep children's bodies active as well as their 
minds.
  There was a partitioned area in which there were more offices. They 
were making the best of a very difficult situation. They had just been 
told a school down the block, a little elementary school, had been 
condemned. We will get to that later in this debate, too. This school 
had been condemned. It is unsafe for our children and teachers.

  There is a school in Mechanicsville, NY, where a piece of concrete 
fell on a teacher's head while teaching in the classroom.
  There is a condemned school a few blocks from where I was yesterday. 
They are already packed. The school I visited will be taking in the 
children from that condemned school.
  This is a critical component of the commitment to excellence and 
equity, accountability, and resources that the President has called for 
which so many in this Chamber have championed for many years. We have 
the money to do this. We just have to determine whether we have the 
will.
  I call on my colleagues, and echo the very eloquent call of the 
Senator from Washington, that we recognize that continuing this 
initiative does help local communities meet the needs they see right in 
front of them and let us make sure we do everything possible to make 
every child believe he or she is important so that at the end of this 
debate the bill we pass truly will leave no child behind.
  I thank the Chair. I yield back my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair recognizes the Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. JEFFORDS. Mr. President, I rise in opposition to the amendment. 
The role that teachers play in the efforts to improve educational 
opportunities for young people is perhaps the most important next to 
the role of parents.
  The bill before us includes significant changes related to the 
critical job of providing teachers the quality professional development 
activities they deserve. Supporting our Nation's teachers is a key 
element of education reform. A 1999 survey by the U.S. Department of 
Education, pertaining to the preparation and qualifications of public 
school teachers, reported that continued learning in the teaching 
profession is essential to ``building educators' capacity for effective 
teaching, particularly in a profession where the demands are changing 
and expanding.'' Over the last decade, States have been developing 
standards that are directly tied to academic achievement and 
performance. S. 1 builds on that movement.
  Having a highly qualified teaching force is a major factor in getting 
students to meet and exceed the standards. While there is near total 
agreement that strong, capable teachers are very important to a 
successful educational system, we have done little to help our teachers 
be at the top of their profession. There are still too many educators 
teaching outside their field of their expertise. Too often, teachers 
are offered one-shot, one-day workshops for professional development 
that do little to improve teaching and learning in the classroom. 
Professional development activities often lack the connection to the 
everyday challenges that teachers face in their classrooms. A recent 
evaluation of the Eisenhower Professional Development program notes 
that ``the need for high quality professional development that focuses 
on subject matter content and how students learn that content is all 
the more

[[Page S4469]]

pressing in light of the many teachers who teach outside their areas of 
specialization.''
  Title II of this bill addresses these serious professional 
development deficiencies. S. 1 draws on the strongest elements of the 
Eisenhower program while including authority for other initiatives that 
have an impact on teacher quality. The bill provides flexibility to 
school districts to address the specific needs of individual schools 
through activities such as recruitment and hiring initiatives; teacher 
mentoring; retention; and other long-term professional development 
efforts. S. 1 prohibits Federal dollars from being used for ``one-
shot'' workshops that have been criticized for being relatively 
ineffective because they are usually short term and lack continuity. In 
addition, these one-day workshops are often isolated from classrooms 
and schools which serve as the professional development laboratories.
  S. 1 authorizes a major investment of funds, $3 billion, which will 
be used by school districts to improve the quality of teaching in the 
classroom. The funding level of the teacher quality section of this 
bill represents the combining of funds and authorities from the current 
Eisenhower program and the class size reduction program. The purpose of 
combining the funding streams is to give school districts the 
flexibility they need to make the investments that will lead to having 
a highly qualified teacher in every classroom--ether by using the funds 
to hire teachers or providing first rate professional development or 
both. This bill clearly states that Federal funds must be used for 
activities that will improve teaching and learning in the classroom, 
including the hiring of highly qualified teachers if that hiring will 
improve student performance. The decision as to how the Federal funds 
will be used will be made by the local school district.
  My home State of Vermont serves as a good example of success through 
local decisionmaking. Vermont strongly supports funding for class size 
reduction. Yet, since the first dollar was appropriated for class size 
reduction, Vermont sought greater flexibility to use most of the money 
for professional development activities that would improve the quality 
of the teacher in the classroom. Because Vermont already had small 
classes that met the Federal mandated level of 18, a large portion of 
Vermont's share of the class size reduction monies has been used for 
professional development.
  I want other States to do what Vermont has done if that is what is in 
the best interest of its students. Reducing class size is important. 
Having a dynamic, highly qualified teacher at the head of the classroom 
is of equal or perhaps, even greater importance. Title II of this bill 
supports both efforts and does so in a manner that allows school 
districts to come up with their own recipe for improving student 
achievement and performance. I am opposed to the class size reduction 
amendment because I believe that local schools are in a better position 
than we are to determine how best to distrbute funds in regard to 
professional development and teacher hiring. S. 1 as passed by the 
committee gives local school districts the opportunity to make the 
decision about the expenditure of dollars for the purpose of improving 
their teaching force which will, in turn, lead to overall student 
improvement.
  I see the hour of 12:30 p.m. has arrived.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the hour of 12:30 
p.m. having arrived, the Senate will stand in recess----
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the recess be 
deferred for about 6 minutes so I can address the Senate.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, if I could just make a 1-minute wrapup 
before we turn to the Senator from Virginia, I would appreciate it.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. The 
Senator from Washington is recognized for 1 minute.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, let me state we will have more time, 
obviously, this afternoon to debate the class size amendment. I 
appreciate the comments from the chair of the HELP Committee in this 
regard.
  I agree with him. Professional development is extremely critical. 
That is why my amendment to separate the professional development funds 
from class size funds is extremely important. We want our schools to 
have professional development but not at the expense of reducing class 
size, which we know works. That makes sure Federal tax dollars are 
spent wisely at the local level--and which is a local decision, I say 
to the Senator from Arkansas, who spoke earlier.
  If a school district doesn't want to participate, they certainly do 
not have to do so. But for the many schools out there, for 2 million 
students who have benefited, let's not take it away now. Let's make 
sure they are in a class size in K-3 that allows them to learn math, 
science, basic reading, and they are able to succeed in the future.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair recognizes the Senator from 
Virginia.
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I thank the Chair and my colleagues for 
their indulgence.
  I was greatly taken by the distinguished manager of the bill, 
Chairman Jeffords, and his recognition of teachers. I have here the 
President's really wonderful message on education entitled ``No Child 
Left Behind.'' I am sure the chairman agrees with me, if we do not 
accord equal assistance to teachers, we cannot hope to achieve the goal 
that no child will be left behind.
  Mr. JEFFORDS. I certainly agree with the Senator.
  Mr. WARNER. I thank the chairman.
  Mr. President, I rise today in support of our Nation's teachers and 
to say thank you to the over 3,000,000 teachers in this Nation for all 
of the hard work and personal sacrifices they make to educate our 
youth.
  This week is ``Teacher Appreciation Week'' and today, May 8, 2001, is 
``National Teacher Day.'' Today, I will be introducing a resolution in 
the Senate where the Senate will make the appropriate designations to 
honor our teachers with this appreciation week and day.
  This resolution already has as original cosponsors Senators Allen, 
Brownback, Cochran, Jeffords, Craig, Thurmond, Crapo, and Enzi. Mr. 
Coverdell, who unfortunately was taken from us some time ago, 
introduced a similar resolution in 1999.
  How appropriate it is that Teacher Appreciation Week and National 
Teacher day are upon us as we in the Senate are considering legislation 
to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
  The legislation that is before us today, the Better Education for 
Students and Teachers Act--the ``BEST'' Act--is based on a principle 
put forth by President Bush entitled, ``No Child Left Behind.''
  As we move towards education reforms to achieve the goal of ``Leaving 
No Child Behind,'' we must keep in mind the other component in our 
education system--the teachers. If we fail to accord equal recognition 
to our teachers in this debate, our children will be left behind.
  All of us know that individuals do not pursue a career in the 
teaching profession for the salary. People go into the teaching 
profession for different personal commitments--to educate the next 
generation, to strengthen America.
  While many people spend their lives building careers, our teachers 
spend their careers building lives.
  Simply put, to teach is to touch a life forever.
  How true that is. I venture to say that every one of us can remember 
at least one teacher and the special influence he or she had on our 
lives.
  Even though we are all well aware of the important role our teachers 
play, it goes without saying that our teachers are underpaid, 
overworked, and all too often, under-appreciated.
  In addition to these factors, our teachers also expend significant 
money out of their own pocket to better the education of our children. 
Most typically, our teachers are spending money out of their own pocket 
on three types of expenses:
  1. Education expenses brought into the classroom--such as books, 
supplies, pens, paper, and computer equipment;
  2. Professional development expenses--such as tuition, fees, books, 
and supplies associated with courses that help our teachers become even 
better instructors; and
  3. Interest paid by the teacher for previously incurred higher 
education loans.

[[Page S4470]]

  These out of pocket costs place lasting financial burdens on our 
teachers. This is one reason our teachers are leaving the profession. 
Little wonder that our country is in the midst of a teacher shortage.
  Estimates are that 2.4 million new teachers will be needed by 2009 
because of teacher attrition, teacher retirement and increased student 
enrollment.
  While the primary responsibility rests with the states, I believe the 
federal government can and should play a role in helping to alleviate 
the nation's teaching shortage.
  Here is an example of such help. On a federal level, we can encourage 
individuals to enter the teaching profession and remain in the teaching 
profession by reimbursing them for the costs that teachers voluntarily 
incur as part of the profession. This incentive will help financially 
strapped urban and rural school systems as they recruit new teachers 
and struggle to keep those teachers that are currently in the system.
  With these premises in mind, I introduced, ``The Teacher Tax 
Credit.'' This legislation creates a $1,000 tax credit for eligible 
teachers for qualified education expenses, qualified professional 
development expenses and interest paid by the teacher during the 
taxable year on any qualified education loan.
  I ask unanimous consent to have a copy of my tax bill printed in the 
Record.
  There being no objection, the bill was ordered to be printed in the 
Record, as follows:

                                 S. 225

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as ``The TEACHER-Tax Credit Act''.

     SEC. 2. CREDIT FOR TEACHING EXPENSES, PROFESSIONAL 
                   DEVELOPMENT EXPENSES, AND INTEREST ON HIGHER 
                   EDUCATION LOANS OF PUBLIC ELEMENTARY AND 
                   SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHERS.

       (a) In General.--Subpart A of part IV of subchapter A of 
     chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to 
     nonrefundable personal credits) is amended by inserting after 
     section 25A the following new section:

     ``SEC. 25B. TEACHING EXPENSES, PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT 
                   EXPENSES, AND INTEREST ON HIGHER EDUCATION 
                   LOANS OF PUBLIC ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL 
                   TEACHERS.

       ``(a) Allowance of Credit.--In the case of an eligible 
     teacher, there shall be allowed as a credit against the tax 
     imposed by this chapter for the taxable year an amount equal 
     to the sum of--
       ``(1) the qualified education expenses paid or incurred by 
     the taxpayer during the taxable year,
       ``(2) the qualified professional development expenses paid 
     or incurred by the taxpayer during the taxable year, and
       ``(3) interest paid by the taxpayer during the taxable year 
     on any qualified education loan.
       ``(b) Maximum Credit.--The credit allowed by subsection (a) 
     for the taxable year shall not exceed $1,000.
       ``(c) Definitions.--For purposes of this section--
       ``(1) Eligible teacher.--The term `eligible teacher' means 
     an individual who is a kindergarten through grade 12 
     classroom teacher, instructor, counselor, aide, or principal 
     in a public elementary or secondary school on a full-time 
     basis for an academic year ending during a taxable year.
       ``(2) Elementary and secondary schools.--The terms 
     `elementary school' and `secondary school' have the 
     respective meanings given such terms by section 14101 of the 
     Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as in effect 
     of the date of enactment of this section.
       ``(3) Qualified education expenses.--The term `qualified 
     education expenses' means expenses for books, supplies (other 
     than nonathletic supplies for courses of instruction in 
     health or physical education), computer equipment (including 
     related software and services) and other equipment, and 
     supplementary materials used by an eligible teacher in the 
     classroom.
       ``(4) Qualified professional development expenses--
       ``(A) In general.--The term `qualified professional 
     development expenses' means expenses--
       ``(i) for tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment 
     required for the enrollment or attendance of an individual in 
     a qualified course of instruction, and
       ``(ii) with respect to which a deduction is allowable under 
     section 162 (determined without regard to this section).
       ``(B) Qualified course of instruction.--The term `qualified 
     course of instruction' means a course of instruction which--
       ``(i) directly relates to the curriculum and academic 
     subjects in which an eligible teacher provides instruction,
       ``(ii) is designed to enhance the ability of an eligible 
     teacher to understand and use State standards for the 
     academic subjects in which such teacher provides instruction,
       ``(iii) provides instruction in how to teach children with 
     different learning styles, particularly children with 
     disabilities and children with special learning needs 
     (including children who are gifted and talented),
       ``(iv) provides instruction in how best to discipline 
     children in the classroom and identify early and appropriate 
     interventions to help children described in clause (iii) 
     learn, or
       ``(v) is tied to strategies and programs that demonstrate 
     effectiveness in increasing student academic achievement and 
     student performance, or substantially increasing the 
     knowledge and teaching skills of the eligible teacher.
       ``(5) Qualified education loan.--The term `qualified 
     education loan' has the meaning given such term by section 
     221(e)(1), but only with respect to qualified higher 
     education expenses of the taxpayer.
       ``(d) Denial of Double Benefit.--
       ``(1) In general.--No deduction or other credit shall be 
     allowed under this chapter for any amount taken into account 
     for which credit is allowed under this section.
       ``(2) Coordination with exclusions.--A credit shall be 
     allowed under subsection (a) for qualified professional 
     development expenses only to the extent the amount of such 
     expenses exceeds the amount excludable under section 135, 
     529(c)(1), or 530(d)(2) for the taxable year.
       ``(e) Election To Have Credit Not Apply.--A taxpayer may 
     elect to have this section not apply for any taxable year.
       ``(f) Regulations.--The Secretary shall prescribe such 
     regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions 
     of this section.''.
       (b) Conforming Amendment.--The table of sections for 
     subpart A of part IV of subchapter A of chapter 1 of the 
     Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by inserting after 
     the item relating to section 25A the following new item:

``Sec. 25B. Teaching expenses, professional development expenses, and 
              interest on higher education loans of public elementary 
              and secondary school teachers.''.

       (c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section 
     shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 
     2001.

  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, this legislation, S. 225, is cosponsored 
by Senators Mikulski, Allen, DeWine, Cochran, Harkin, and Ensign. The 
National Education Association also has endorsed this legislation.
  I am not introducing The Teacher Tax Credit Act as an amendment to 
the education bill before the Senate because, procedurally, it would 
stop this bill because of the ``blue slip'' taxation procedures in the 
House of Representatives.
  I do propose today a Sense of the Senate amendment on the importance 
of providing additional tax relief for our Nation's teachers.
  This amendment simply states that it is the Sense of the Senate that 
during the 107th Congress, the Senate should pass legislation providing 
elementary and secondary level educators with additional tax relief in 
recognition of the many out of pocket, unreimbursed expenses they incur 
to improve the education of our Nation's students.
  I note that President Bush agrees that teachers should receive tax 
relief to help defray the costs associated with classroom expense and 
professional development costs.
  The President's education blueprint to the Congress contained a 
specific reference on page 13. I will read it:

       Provide tax deductions for teachers: Teachers will be able 
     to make tax deductions up to $400 to help defray the costs 
     associated with out-of-pocket classroom expenses such as 
     books, supplies, professional enrichment programs and other 
     training.

  The concept is in the President's blueprint. Frankly, with all due 
respect to President Bush, I want to go a step further and make it 
stronger, not just a deduction you have to work with and hope you get 
the money back, but an absolute tax credit on that tax return to take 
right away off the bottom line. Frankly, I think the $400 falls a 
little short and I would like to see more.
  I also note that Senators Collins, Kyl, and Hatch have worked 
diligently on legislation providing tax relief to teachers.
  On National Teachers Day, and during Teacher Appreciation Week, I 
urge all my colleagues to support this important amendment that will 
put the Senate on record in support of tax relief legislation for our 
Nation's teachers.
  I thank the Chair and my chairman for allowing me to participate at 
this time in this debate.

[[Page S4471]]

  I send the amendment to the desk, a sense of the Senate, and I await 
comments from the Chair. Then I will ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the pending amendment is 
set aside.
  Mr. JEFFORDS. I am aware of your amendment. I also said on the 
Finance Committee, not only can I assure you it will get notice here, I 
assure you I will communicate your wishes to the chairman of the 
Finance Committee and support you.


                 Amendment No. 383 to Amendment No. 358

  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I send to the desk my amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the pending amendment is 
set aside and the clerk will report the amendment.
  Mr. WARNER. At the appropriate time, subject to the leadership of the 
Senate and management, I ask for the yeas and nays on my amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the amendment by number 
first.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Virginia [Mr. Warner] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 383 to amendment No. 358.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the reading is dispensed 
with.
  The amendment is as follows:

  (Purpose: to provide a Sense of the Senate regarding tax relief for 
               elementary and secondary level educators)

       At the appropriate place, insert the following:

     SEC.   . SENSE OF THE SENATE REGARDING TAX RELIEF FOR 
                   ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATORS.

       (a) Findings.--The Senate finds the following:
       (1) The average salary for an elementary and secondary 
     school teacher in the United States with a Master's degree 
     and 16 years of experience is approximately $40,582.
       (2) The average starting salary for teachers in the United 
     States is $26,000.
       (3) Our educators make many personal and financial 
     sacrifices to educate our youth.
       (4) Teachers spend on average $408 a year, out of their own 
     money, to bring educational supplies into their classrooms.
       (5) Educators spend significant money out of their own 
     pocket every year on professional development expenses so 
     they can better educate our youth.
       (6) Many educators accrue significant higher education 
     student loans that must be repaid and whereas these loans are 
     accrued by educators in order for them to obtain degrees 
     necessary to become qualified to serve in our nation's 
     schools.
       (7) As a result of these numerous out of pocket expenses 
     that our teachers spend every year, and other factors, 6% of 
     the nation's teaching force leaves the profession every year, 
     and 20% of all new hires leave the teaching profession within 
     three years.
       (8) This country is in the midst of a teacher shortage, 
     with estimates that 2.4 million new teachers will be needed 
     by 2009 because of teacher attrition, teacher retirement, and 
     increased student enrollment.
       (9) The federal government can and should play a role to 
     help alleviate the nation's teaching shortage.
       (10) The current tax code provides little recognition of 
     the fact that our educators spend significant money out of 
     their own pocket to better the education of our children.
       (11) President Bush has recognized the importance of 
     providing teachers with additional tax relief, in recognition 
     of the many financial sacrifices our teachers make.
       (b) Sense of the senate.--It is the sense of the Senate 
     that Congress and the President should--
       (1) should pass legislation providing elementary and 
     secondary level educators with additional tax relief in 
     recognition of the many out of pocket, unreimbursed expenses 
     educators incur to improve the education of our Nation's 
     students.

  Mr. WARNER. I ask for the yeas and nays
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is not a sufficient second at the 
moment.
  Mr. WARNER. At the moment.
  Perhaps I could engage the attention of my two colleagues. I ask for 
the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be. There is a sufficient second.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.

   [Congressional Record: May 8, 2001 (Senate)]
[Page S4471-S4498]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr08my01-131]                         
 
        BETTER EDUCATION FOR STUDENTS AND TEACHERS ACT--Resumed

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kentucky.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, what is the pending business?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The pending business is the Warner amendment.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, it is my understanding that I would be 
recognized to lay down an amendment at 2:15, and I am here to do that.
  I ask unanimous consent that the pending amendment be temporarily set 
aside.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                 Amendment No. 384 to Amendment No. 358

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr.President, I send an amendment to the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Kentucky [Mr. McConnell] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 384 to amendment No. 358.

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that reading of 
the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (The text of the amendment is printed in today's Record under 
``Amendments Submitted.'')
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I rise today to offer an amendment to 
the BEST Act which incorporates the provisions of legislation I 
introduced earlier this year, the Paul D. Coverdell Teacher Protection 
Act. This important legislation extends protections from frivolous 
lawsuits to teachers, principals, administrators, and other education 
professionals who take reasonable steps to maintain order in the 
classroom.
  The Teacher Liability Protection Act builds upon the good work 
Congress began in 1997 when it enacted the Volunteer Protection Act. As 
Senators may recall, the Volunteer Protection Act provides liability 
protections to individuals serving their communities as volunteers. 
After bringing several volunteer protection amendments to the floor 
through the 1990's and introducing the Volunteer Protection Act during 
the 104th Congress, I was blessed when Senator Paul Coverdell joined me 
in helping to steer this measure through the 105th Congress and have it 
enacted in 1997. Now, we need to extend similar liability protections 
to our nation's teachers, principals, and education professionals who 
are responsible for ensuring the safety of our children at school.
  Everyone agrees that providing a safe, orderly environment is a 
critical component of ensuring that every child can reach their full 
academic potential. Teachers who are unable to maintain order in the 
classroom cannot reasonably be expected to share their knowledge with 
their pupils, whether it be in math, science, or literature. 
Disruptive, rowdy, and sometimes violent students not only threaten the 
immediate safety of their classmates, they threaten the very future of 
our children by denying them the opportunity to learn. Unfortunately, 
teachers, principals, and other education officials share an impediment 
in their efforts to ensure that students can learn in a safe, orderly 
learning environment: the fear of lawsuits. All too often, these hard-
working professionals find their reasonable actions to instill 
discipline and maintain order are questioned and second guessed by 
opportunistic trial lawyers.
  Today's teachers will tell you that the threat of litigation is in 
the back of their minds and forces them at times to act in a manner 
which might not be in the best interests of their students. A 1999 
survey of secondary school principals found that 25 percent of the 
respondents were involved in lawsuits or out-of-court settlements in 
the previous two years--an amazing 270 percent increase from only 10 
years earlier. The same survey found that 20 percent of principals 
spent 5 to 10 hours a week in meetings or documenting events in an 
effort to avoid litigation. This is time that our educators should 
spend counseling students, developing curriculum, and maintaining 
order--not fending off frivolous lawsuits.
  Mr. President, allow me to illustrate my point with several examples.

[[Page S4472]]

  In May of 1998, representatives of the Bethlehem Area School District 
learned that one of their students, Justin Swidler, had created a web 
site where he solicited money to hire a hit man to kill his math 
teacher, Mrs. Kathleen Fulmer. According to a local newspaper account, 
the web site contained images of the principal being shot and ``a 
picture of Fulmer which changed, or ``morphed'' in to a portrait of 
Adolf Hitler.'' The site, which bears a name I cannot repeat on the 
Senate floor, also listed reasons ``Why Fulmer Should be Fired'' and 
then reasons ``Why She Should Die.'' I think that deserves repeating: 
The list was not limited to the typical juvenile carping about a 
teacher. It listed why she should die.
  The school district, much to its credit, expelled Justin Swidler. 
However, rather than encouraging young Justin to take responsibility 
for his actions, the response of Justin's parents was all too 
predictable--they hired a lawyer and they sued. First, they sued the 
school district. Then, they sued the principal. After that, they sued 
the superintendent. Finally, in the coup de gras of the litigation, the 
Swidlers sued the teacher whom their son had threatened to kill. I 
repeat, the Parents sued the teacher whom their son had threatened to 
kill.

  What reasons did the Swidlers give for their suit? they claimed, 
among other things, to have suffered ``embarrassment, ridicule, 
humiliation, isolation and severe emotional distress'' as well as 
financial loss and ``inconvenience.'' The Swidlers wanted the school to 
pay because they suffered ``embarrassment'' and ``inconvenience'' 
because their son threatened the life of his math teacher? That is 
utterly outrageous. The boy's father, Howard Swidler, also claimed his 
son had difficulty enrolling in a new school because ``teachers 
wouldn't provide recommendations.'' I can imagine that. The teachers at 
Nitchmann Middle School didn't want to write a letter of recommendation 
for this kid who had compared a fellow teacher to Hitler and threatened 
to have her killed. What nerve of those teachers not to write a 
recommendation under those circumstances.
  These lawsuits and countersuits drug out in the courts for more than 
2\1/2\ years. During this time, good reputations were besmirched, 
distinguished careers were ruined, and each party accumulated what we 
can only estimate to be thousands of dollars in legal bills.
  After all of this litigation, who finally won here?
  The student didn't win. His expulsion was upheld and worse yet, he 
learned from his parents that the appropriate way to defend 
indefensible behavior is to file a lawsuit. That is what he learned.
  The teacher didn't win. Upon returning to teaching, she found that 
the publicity surrounding the case had irreparably damaged her 
credibility in the classroom, and she was forced to leave her chosen 
profession.
  The principal didn't win. He found himself so thoroughly frustrated 
and saddened by the toll the incident had taken on his school, he 
decided to take early retirement.
  Justin's classmates didn't win. The school's students were denied 
resources which should have been used for their education that were 
instead used to defend the school from a lawsuit.
  After all of this, I think the only possible winners in this case 
were the lawyers who generated 2\1/2\ years worth of billable hours, 
from the Swidlers, the Fulmers, the principal, the school district, 
and, yes, the students.
  Let me give you another example.
  Three students in Anchorage, AK, were caught accessing pornographic 
material over the Internet during a computer class at school. The 
school, acting within its discretion, removed the students from that 
class and gave them an F for the semester. However, one of the students 
had earned a grade point average which placed him at or near the top of 
his class. Realizing that the F would prevent the student from being 
honored at his graduation, the student's family hired a lawyer and sued 
the school.
  After a protracted legal battle, the school was forced to withdraw 
the F in a settlement once the judge warned the school he would likely 
rule against it. Is this what we want? Do we want lawyers and judges 
deciding what grades a student should receive or aren't we better off 
leaving this to the teachers in the classroom and principals in the 
schools?
  Another example: Last year, a high school cheerleading coach in 
Labanon, TN, required her squad to run some laps during practice. One 
of the girls objected to this assignment and referred to it as a 
``piece of [blank]''. In response to the girl's insubordinate and 
vulgar language defying her coach in front of her teammates and 
classmates, the coach suspended her for an upcoming game against 
Lebanon's arch rival, Mount Juliet High.
  Those of you who have been listening closely to my remarks can guess 
what the girl's family did next. Why, of course, they hired a lawyer, 
and they sued the coach. What is amazing is that the cheerleader won an 
injunction against the coach hours before the ball game with the court 
requiring that she be given the opportunity to cheer. While this case 
might cause us to chuckle, it points to a real problem. It sends a 
horrible message to wayward students that school officials don't have 
any real authority and students don't take any responsibility. If you 
don't like a teacher's decision or a principal's decision, just hire a 
lawyer and sue the teacher. Don't listen to your teacher; listen to 
your lawyer.
  These are but a few of the instances in which frivolous lawsuits 
threaten to undermine discipline in our Nation's classrooms. While each 
of these cases is troubling, what I find more disturbing are the cases 
that aren't publicized at all. These are the cases where the teacher or 
principal looks the other way or decides not to discipline a 
misbehaving student because of the fear--the fear--of a lawsuit.
  Many educational organizations recognize frivolous lawsuits as a 
problem. That is why the Teacher Protection Act has the support of the 
National Association of Secondary School Principals and the National 
Association of Elementary School Principals. I respectfully ask 
unanimous consent that letters from these organizations be printed in 
the Record.
  There being no objection, the letters were ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                           National School Boards Association,

                                    Alexandria, VA, Apr. 27, 2001.
     Senator McConnell,
     U.S. Senate,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Senator McConnell: The National School Boards 
     Association (NSBA) understands that you plan to introduce an 
     amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act 
     (ESEA) regarding liability protection for school officials 
     who take reasonable actions to maintain order, discipline, 
     and an appropriate educational environment. NSBA is pleased 
     that the amendment extends liability protection to individual 
     school board members.
       This provision is necessary because frequently, a student 
     will sue the school district (meaning school board), and then 
     they will sue the teacher, the principal, the superintendent, 
     and the board members in their individual capacities. As a 
     result, the school district expends time and money defending 
     these claims brought against school board members acting in 
     their individual capacity. School district budgets are 
     stretched too far, and unnecessary litigation results in less 
     money being spent on educating our nation's students. 
     Providing individual school board members liability 
     protection will reduce litigation costs in local school 
     districts and will also provide for the swift dismissal of 
     suits against individual school board members.
       We recognize that this narrow exception may raise concern 
     that professional staff might feel they have a ``free hand'' 
     in the discipline of students. In this regard, it should be 
     emphasized that with respect to school discipline, 
     professional educators are subject to school district 
     policies, court enforceable due process requirements, and in 
     any extreme cases, the criminal code. And when it comes to 
     such areas as criminal conduct and gross negligence, the 
     exemption of this amendment would not apply. In all cases, 
     the school district can still be sued. Accordingly, this 
     amendment retains the limits and deterrence of possible 
     professional error or misconduct through other legal avenues 
     while enabling school officials to do their jobs, without 
     fear of litigation, in rendering their sound judgement in the 
     great majority of situations involving student safety and a 
     sound learning environment.
       NSBA supports your effort to provide liability protection 
     to individual school board members and looks forward to the 
     measure being adopted when the full Senate considers ESEA. If 
     you have any questions please contact Lori Meyer, director of 
     federal legislation, at 703-838-6208.
           Sincerely,
                                               Michael A. Resnick,
                                     Associate Executive Director.

[[Page S4473]]

     
                                  ____
                                           National Association of


                                  Secondary School Principals,

                                        Reston, VA, Feb. 28, 2001.
     Hon. Mitch McConnell,
     U.S. Senate, Senate Russell Office Building, Washington, DC.
       Dear Senator McConnell: On behalf of the National 
     Association of Secondary School Principals--the preeminent 
     organization representing the interests of middle level and 
     high school principals, assistant principals, and aspiring 
     principals--I would like to thank you for introducing S. 316, 
     a bill that provides for teacher and principal liability 
     protection.
       As a nationwide survey of principals conducted last year 
     indicates, schools across the nation are eliminating or 
     altering basic programs and activities due to the fear of 
     lawsuits. Twenty percent of those responding reported 
     spending 5-10 hours a week in meetings or documenting events 
     in efforts to avoid litigation and six percent put that 
     number at 10-20 hours a week. At a time when society is 
     heaping greater academic expectations on our schools, we 
     cannot afford to lose one minute, or one dollar, or one 
     school program to frivolous litigation.
       There is a growing shortage of qualified candidates 
     applying to be principals occurring at the same time that 
     roughly 40 percent of practicing principals are expected to 
     retire from their jobs within the next five to ten years. A 
     study conducted last year by the Educational Research Service 
     on behalf of NASSP and the National Association of Elementary 
     Principals reflects that two of the three primary reasons 
     that discourage candidates from applying is because the 
     position is too stressful and there is too much time required 
     for the requisite responsibilities. There is no doubt that 
     frivolous lawsuits and activity related to that litigation 
     contributes to the level of stress experienced by principals.
       While we applaud your efforts to provide liability 
     protection to teachers and note that the bill's definition of 
     ``teachers'' is inclusive of principals, we believe the title 
     and references contained in the bill should reflect this 
     intent. Principals, as school leaders, are typically named on 
     lawsuits involving teachers.
           Sincerely,
                                         Gerald N. Tirozzi, Ph.D.,
     Executive Director.
                                  ____



                                       National Association of

                                 Elementary School Principals,

                                   Alexandria, VA, March 13, 2001.
     Hon. Mitch McConnell,
     Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC.
       Dear Senator McConnell: On behalf of the National 
     Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), 
     representing more than 28,000 elementary and middle school 
     principals, I am writing to express our support for your 
     bill, the Paul D. Coverdell Teacher Liability Protection Act 
     of 2001. If enacted, this measure, S. 316, would be helpful 
     to principals, teachers, and other professional school staff. 
     While we welcome accountability, we are very concerned about 
     the proliferation of lawsuites.
       Recent surveys conducted by NAESP and the American Tort 
     Reform Association indicate that there has been a significant 
     increase in lawsuits against educators. Nearly a third of the 
     suits were dropped, about one-quarter were settled out of 
     court, and the remainder were resolved in the principal's 
     favor. Virtually no judgments were found against principals, 
     a fact that leads one to conclude that many of the suits 
     could be described as frivolous. Each time there is a 
     lawsuit, valuable time must be taken away from the teaching 
     and learning process and devoted to legal matters. A 
     principal in Washington State spent more than 100 hours one 
     year on legal work surrounding one special education case. 
     This principal is responsible for a school with 500 students 
     and a staff of 40. Not only do lawsuits exhaust many hours; 
     even worse is the effect they have had on principal-student 
     and principal-family relationships. Principals are 
     increasingly cautious about the decisions they make, 
     including implementing changes in the way students are taught 
     and disciplined. This is obviously a hindrance to effective 
     school reform efforts. The simple act of comforting a child 
     in distress has also changed; no longer do school staff 
     members feel that they can put a hand on a child's shoulder 
     to calm the child down or provide an encouraging pat on the 
     back.
       Although your bill's title refers only to teachers, its 
     definition of ``teachers'' clearly includes principals, and 
     we appreciate that. Thank you for your work to turn down the 
     heat, so to speak, and discourage unnecessary lawsuits.
           Sincerely,
                                            Vincent L. Ferrandino,
                                               Executive Director.

  Mr. McCONNELL. In fact, frivolous lawsuits are such a concern to 
educators that many teachers unions tout liability insurance as a key 
reason for joining their union. The Missouri NEA advertises on its 
website that:

       A $2 million educators employment liability (EEL) policy is 
     the cornerstone of MNEA's professional protection plan. The 
     coverage, automatic with membership, includes up to $2 
     million in damages and additional payment for legal fees for 
     most civil and some criminal lawsuits arising out of job-
     related incidents while members are working.

  In Texas, where the legislature has already adopted a comprehensive 
teacher protection bill, the Texas State Teachers Association, TSTA, 
touts its insurance program as a strong incentive for joining its 
union:

       For the times when life goes haywire and people are 
     reacting with emotions rather than reason, rest assured that 
     TSTA is watching out for you. Our $6 million liability policy 
     sets a new standard for professional protection and coverage 
     is automatic with your [union] membership.

  For my Senate colleagues who question whether or not this is indeed a 
serious problem, you ought to know that the Maine NEA disagrees with 
you. This is what the Maine NEA says:

       If something happens to a student in your class, on your 
     bus, or in your area of supervision, you can be sued and held 
     individually liable. By virtue of your employment, you could 
     place your home and savings at risk due to the claims of an 
     angry parent.

  However, Maine teachers should not fear, the e-mail continues:

       All MEA members are immediately protected by NEA's $1 
     million professional liability policy from their first day of 
     membership.

  This legislation is structured similarly to the Volunteer Protection 
Act of 1997 and is nearly identical to teacher protection legislation 
introduced by Paul Coverdell, S. 1721, in the 106th Congress. Simply 
put, this amendment extends a national standard to protect from 
liability those teachers, principals, and education professionals who 
act in a reasonable manner to maintain order in the classroom. It does 
not preempt those States that have already taken action to address this 
problem, and it allows any State legislature that disagrees with these 
strong protections to opt out at any time. Since the legislation builds 
on Senator Coverdell's fine work, my colleagues and I thought it would 
be highly appropriate that it bear his name.
  At the same time, it is important to note that this amendment is not 
a ``carte blanche'' for that minuscule minority of school officials who 
abuse their authority. The amendment does not protect those teachers 
who engage in ``willful misconduct, gross negligence, reckless 
misconduct, or a conscious flagrant indifference to the rights or 
safety'' of a student. Nor does the amendment preclude schools or local 
law enforcement entities from taking criminal, civil, or administrative 
actions against a teacher who acts improperly. Rather, the amendment is 
simply designed to protect those teachers, principals, and educational 
professionals from frivolous lawsuits.
  This is not new ground for our colleagues in the Senate. In 1999, the 
Senate agreed to a similar amendment offered by Senator Ashcroft. 
During the second session of the 106th Congress, Senator Coverdell 
successfully included a nearly identical amendment in the Senate's 
version of the ESEA reauthorization bill. It was approved by this body 
by an overwhelming vote of 97 to 0. Unfortunately, as we all know, 
efforts to reauthorize the ESEA stalled on the Senate floor. It is now 
the appropriate time for the Senate to revisit this issue, and I hope 
give its full endorsement.
  I look forward to working with my fellow original co-sponsors and the 
rest of the Senate to see that these important protections are enacted 
into law on behalf of America's hard working and dedicated teachers.
  Again, Mr. President, we voted on this in the last Congress. This 
amendment was approved 97-0. It is my hope that it will be accepted by 
the Senate this year. It has widespread support on a bipartisan basis 
and would add greatly to the underlying bill.
  I have completed my opening observations on the amendment, and I 
yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nevada.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, what is the amendment now before the Senate?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. It is the McConnell amendment No. 384.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I don't know what the unanimous consent 
request was of the Senator from Kentucky, but I ask unanimous consent 
that we go back to the Murray amendment that was pending prior to the 
break.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Missouri.

[[Page S4474]]

                 Amendment No. 378 To Amendment No. 358

  Mrs. CARNAHAN. Mr. President, I commend my colleague, Senator Murray, 
for highlighting class size and the pupil-to-teacher ratio as a key 
ingredient to educational excellence.
  A dramatic increase in the student population in all grades 
throughout the country has presented a serious shortage of teachers. 
During the past 8 years, as first lady and now as Senator, I have 
traveled across Missouri visiting schools in every part of the State. I 
have spoken with many dedicated educators who are frustrated by having 
classes so large that individualized instruction is impossible. 
Teachers do their best under the circumstances, but they are 
handicapped when those in our communities and government ignore the 
plight of our classrooms.
  Missouri's classroom teachers know that smaller classrooms and more 
individualized attention to students translates into higher achievement 
scores, especially for children of low-income families.
  Students in smaller classroom settings are more likely to graduate on 
time and less likely to drop out, and they are more likely to enroll in 
honors classes and to graduate in the top 10 percent of their class.
  It is not only the number of kids in the classroom that concerns me 
but the physical condition of the classroom itself. Far too many school 
buildings are in need of repair. Two years ago, the U.S. Department of 
Education reported that about 25,000 of the Nation's existing school 
buildings had ``extensive repair or replacement needs.'' The Department 
estimated that almost 12 million students were attending schools with 
poor roofing. Another 12 million were in buildings with 
outdated plumbing, and almost 15 million were in buildings with 
inadequate heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.

  In Missouri's public schools, they face the daunting prospect of some 
$4 billion in construction needs over the next decade. In addition, 
59,000 children in Missouri study in portable classrooms. In Nixa, MO, 
the Nation's second fastest growing school district, all fourth graders 
at Matthews Elementary are in trailers behind the school.
  Too many of our schools have a crisis of infrastructure. Allowing 
this is a sad commentary on our priorities in the 21st century. Because 
I believe that improved classrooms are essential to the future of our 
Nation, I will vote with Senator Harkin later this week to provide a 
Federal investment in school infrastructure.
  True, we must demand high standards and rigorous accountability in 
our schools, but reform can only come with the resources to do the job. 
It must come with flexibility for States and local school districts to 
meet their unique needs. Any nutritionist or mother will tell you that 
it takes good food to grow strong bones and bodies. Likewise, we cannot 
have strong schools if we starve the educational system.
  At a time of record budget surplus, it is our moral responsibility to 
do what is right for our children. We need a major new commitment to 
public education. To do less is to falter in our stewardship as elected 
leaders and as parents and as citizens.
  The time is now and the place is here. As the poet, Gabriela Mistral, 
reminded us:

       Many things can wait, the child cannot. Now is the time his 
     bones are being formed, his blood is being made, his mind is 
     being developed. To him, we cannot say tomorrow, his name is 
     today.

  I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. CLELAND. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. CLELAND. Mr. President, last Congress the Senate debated the 
reauthorization of the landmark Elementary and Secondary Education Act. 
Unfortunately, that debate ultimately broke down over disagreement on 
the federal role in education and the course we should pursue to 
improve America's schools. That debate has now resumed under a new 
President and a new Congress. Today there is real bipartisan agreement 
on measures we can take that will lead to a better future for America's 
public schools and the fifty million students who rely on those schools 
to provide them with a quality education.
  The Better Education for Students and Teachers Act, unanimously 
supported by the Senate HELP Committee, encompasses President Bush's 
emphasis on literacy and his laudable goals to improve reading skills 
in the early grades and among disadvantaged students. Consensus also 
exists among Republicans and Democrats alike that in order to improve 
student achievement, we must also improve teacher quality. What 
teachers know and can do are the single most important influences on 
what students learn, according to the National Commission on Teaching 
and America's Future.
  And yet today in America, nearly one quarter of all newly hired 
public school teachers lack the qualifications for their jobs, and 
approximately the same percentage of all secondary school teachers--25 
percent--do not have even a minor in their main teaching field. The 
BEST bill endorses President Bush's emphasis on the importance of 
improving teacher quality and his proposal for holding States 
accountable for providing all students with ``effective teachers.''
  This brings us to the core of President Bush's education plan and the 
bipartisan BEST bill: the creation of a new accountability system which 
for the first time links Federal funding to school performance. This 
accountability system includes support for high standards for schools 
serving disadvantaged students; annual testing in reading and math for 
all students in grades 3 through 8; public dissemination of school-by-
school data on achievement; additional assistance for low-performing 
schools; and consequences for schools which fail to make needed 
improvements. With this emphasis on accountability comes a new emphasis 
on flexibility--providing States greater freedom and choice in using 
Federal funds to address their own needs and special situations.
  Given these important principles of bipartisan agreement, there still 
remain issues which divide this body--issues which have been discussed 
forcefully and effectively by Members on both sides of the aisle: the 
seminal issue of funding, the compelling need to upgrade and repair 
America's public schools, the priority of class size reduction, to name 
just three.
  Research has repeatedly shown, for example, that class size directly 
relates to the quality of education. Students in smaller classes 
consistently outperform students in larger classes on tests, and are 
more likely to graduate on time, stay in school, enroll in honors 
classes, and graduate in the top ten percent of their class. I have 
supported in the past, and will continue to do so, a national effort to 
hire and train 100,000 additional qualified teachers to reduce class 
sizes in the early grades. It is an investment in reducing teacher 
turnover and in improving student performance.
  As some Members have noted on this floor, the education bill has 
evolved from the BEST bill reported out of committee. It is a work in 
progress, shaped by negotiations still on-going. During debate on S. 1, 
I intend to offer the provisions of my Immigrants to New Americans Act 
as an amendment. Information from the 2000 census shows that the impact 
from a dramatic surge in immigration is transforming the Nation.
  This surge in immigration is increasingly challenging U.S. schools 
and communities from Florida to Washington State. My amendment would 
provide resources to these communities to help ensure that children 
with diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds--and their families--
are served appropriately. This amendment is based on legislation 
Senator Coverdell and I introduced in the last Congress, and it would 
provide funding to partnerships of local school districts and 
community-based organizations for the purpose of developing model 
programs with a two-fold purpose: one, to assist immigrant children 
achieve success in America's schools and, two, to provide their 
families with access to comprehensive community services, including 
health care, child care, job training and transportation. It has 
widespread support, including endorsement by the U.S. Conference of 
Mayors, the National Association for Bilingual Education, the League of 
United Latin

[[Page S4475]]

American Citizens, and the National Council of La Raza.
  At the appropriate time I will also offer an amendment that addresses 
the all-important issue of teacher quality. Each school year more than 
45,000 under-prepared teachers--teachers who have not even been trained 
in the subjects they are teaching--enter the classroom. Astounding. We 
know, too, that those students most in need of help are those who have 
the least access to quality teachers and teaching. Just consider: Over 
half of title I resources go into teaching assistant salaries. Yet less 
than one-fifth of teaching assistants have a college degree, and only 
10 percent have college degrees in the nation's poorest title I 
schools. This is a formula for student failure.
  Fortunately, the education bill we are debating acknowledges the 
well-researched fact that the training of our Nation's teachers is the 
single most important in-school influence on student learning. The 
amendment I will offer allows States an additional option of providing 
funds to innovative collaborations of K-12 schools and institutions of 
higher learning devoted to professional preparation of teacher 
candidates, faculty development, the improvement of practice, and 
enhanced student learning.
  The amendment I will offer now addresses the troubling issue of 
violence in our Nation's public schools. No other event in recent times 
has so united Americans--from Savannah to San Antonio to Sacramento--as 
the student shootings in Littleton and Heritage High, and in other 
schools across the country. There is a consensus in every borough, town 
and city throughout the United States: Bloodshed in our schools cannot 
and will not be tolerated.
  Therefore, I offer an amendment to the education bill that addresses 
the critical issue of safety in America's classrooms.


                 Amendment No. 376 to Amendment No. 358

                (Purpose: To provide for school safety)

  Mr. CLELAND. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to lay aside the 
Murray amendment we are currently considering in order to send my 
amendment to the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. CLELAND. I send to the desk amendment No. 376 and ask for its 
immediate consideration.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Georgia [Mr. Cleland] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 376 to amendment No. 358.

  Mr. CLELAND. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading 
of the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (The text of the amendment is located in the Record of May 4 under 
``Amendments Submitted.'')
  Mr. CLELAND. Although data show juvenile violent crime decreased in 
the late 1990s, appearing to counter the predictions of a teenage crime 
wave, criminologists and policymakers remain concerned about the 
continued high level of juvenile violence. The tragic shooting at 
Heritage High School in Conyers coupled with the incident in Littleton, 
Colorado and the other recent senseless shootings in our Nation's 
schools serve as terrible indications of the seriousness of the youth 
violence problem. I have traveled throughout Georgia, speaking and 
exchanging ideas with students, teachers and parents regarding this 
critical issue. Although there is certainly no one answer to the 
problem of youth violence, I believe that an open dialogue among 
educators, students, community leaders, and law enforcement officials 
is a crucial first step.
  In fact, a report issued by the Department of Education in August, 
1998, entitled ``Early Warning, Early Response,'' concluded that the 
reduction and prevention of school violence are best achieved through 
safety plans which: involve the entire community; emphasize both 
prevention and intervention; train school personnel, parents, students, 
and community members to recognize the early warning signs of potential 
violent behavior and to share their concerns or observations with 
trained personnel; establish procedures which allow rapid response and 
intervention when such signs are identified; and provide adequate 
support and access to services for troubled students. In addition, the 
Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Department 
of Education's National Center for Educational Statistics found that in 
1998, ``students aged 12 through 18 were victims of more than 2.7 
million total crimes at school . . . [and they] were victims of about 
253,000 serious violent crimes . . .'' Amazing. While overall 
indicators show declines in school crimes, students still feel unsafe 
at school.
  Therefore, my amendment, the school safety enhancement amendment, 
which is based on legislation developed in the last Congress by Senator 
Robb of Virginia, would establish a National Center for School Youth 
Safety tasked with the mission of providing schools with adequate 
resources to prevent incidents of violence. The National Center for 
School Youth Safety would establish an emergency response system, 
operate an anonymous student hotline, and conduct consultation, 
information and outreach activities with respect to elementary and 
secondary school safety. Under my amendment, the center would offer 
emergency assistance to local communities to respond to school safety 
crises, including counseling for victims, assistance to law enforcement 
to address short-term security concerns, and advice on how to enhance 
school safety, prevent future incidents, and respond to future 
incidents.
  My amendment would also establish a toll-free, nationwide hotline for 
students to report criminal activity, threats of criminal activity, and 
other high-risk behaviors such as substance abuse, gang or cult 
affiliation, depression, or other warning signs of potentially violent 
behavior.
  Finally, the National Center would compile information about the best 
practices in school violence prevention, intervention, and crisis 
management. Specifically, the center would work to ensure that local 
governments, school officials, parents, students, and law enforcement 
officials and agencies are aware of the resources, grants, and 
expertise available to enhance school safety and prevent school crime, 
giving special attention to providing outreach to rural and 
impoverished communities.
  My school safety enhancement amendment would require coordination 
among three Federal agencies on the all-important issue of safety in 
our schools. Specifically, it would authorize a total of $24 million in 
grants by the Secretaries of Education and Health and Human Services 
and the Attorney General to help communities develop community-wide 
safety programs involving students, parents, educators, guidance 
counselors, psychologists, law enforcement officials or agencies, civic 
leaders, and other organizations serving the community. In order to 
establish the National Center for School and Youth Safety the amendment 
authorizes the Secretary of Education to make available $15 million 
from amounts appropriated to the agency, and the Attorney General to 
make available $35 million from amounts appropriated for programs 
administered by the Office of Justice Programs of the Department of 
Justice, for each of fiscal years 2002 through 2005.
  Organizations that support this amendment include the National 
Education Association, the International Brotherhood of Police Officers 
and the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police.
  It is essential that we come together as a Nation to provide the 
necessary resources to support our children at every level and that 
means providing safe learning environments for all of our children. 
Therefore, I urge the Senate to support school safety and our children 
by adopting my amendment.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the pending amendment be 
temporarily set aside.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Crapo). Without objection, it is so 
ordered. The Senator from Washington.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, what is the pending amendment?


                           Amendment No. 378

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Murray amendment was set aside temporarily 
for consideration of the Cleland amendment. Now the Cleland amendment 
has been set aside.
  Mrs. MURRAY. I assume we are on amendment No. 378, class size.

[[Page S4476]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is correct. We are on the Murray 
amendment.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, we began the discussion this morning 
about the very important issue of reducing class sizes in first, 
second, and third grades. To me, this is one of the most important 
issues facing us as we debate the Elementary and Secondary Education 
Act: whether or not we are going to continue our commitment to first, 
second, and third grade classrooms across this country to ensure 
students are in a class small enough for them to learn the basic skills 
that all of us want them to learn: reading, writing, and math.
  I see the Senator from Iowa is on the floor. He has been a very 
strong supporter of reducing class size in early grades.
  I yield for him.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Iowa.
  Mr. HARKIN. Mr. President, first I thank my friend and my colleague 
on the Education Committee, Senator Murray from Washington, for always 
being in the forefront of this battle to make sure our class sizes are 
small enough so the kids can learn and teachers can teach. Truly, as I 
traveled around my State and traveled around the country, visiting 
different schools in different areas, Senator Murray's name has become 
synonymous with the nationwide drive to get smaller class sizes for all 
of our kids in elementary school. So I congratulate her for being our 
champion on perhaps one of the most important steps we can take to 
ensure success in school.
  To hear tell from the administration and from President Bush, some 
would have you believe the most important thing we could do is test, 
test, test, year after year, as the most important way to assure 
success in school. I strongly agree with the need to demand greater 
accountability but if a teacher has 25, 28, 30 or more kids in a 
classroom, I don't care how many times you test them--you can test them 
every month, you can take their temperature every month--you are 
cheating those kids and you are cheating the teacher because that 
teacher simply cannot give the kind of hands-on instruction that the 
teacher needs to give to individual students. So the most important 
thing is not testing. I will say more about that later. The most 
important thing is to get the kids early in life.
  I know Senator Murray was a preschool teacher. It is the most 
important job she has ever had in her life, I would say. It is more 
important than even being a Senator, as a matter of fact. And by 
serving on the school board, she brings the hands-on knowledge about 
education that so many of us probably lack.
  I never taught school, and I have never been on a school board, so I 
put great weight and great credence on the positions taken by Senator 
Murray when it comes to issues of elementary and secondary education. I 
think Senator Murray has eloquently stated--not just eloquently but 
backed with the data and the facts--that smaller class sizes lead to 
better student performance and a healthier atmosphere in our schools. 
It reduces violence in our schools. When kids are not crowded together, 
when they have some space and they have that one-on-one with the 
teacher, their frustration level decreases and they can better learn 
and better associate with their peers.
  In the debate we are going to have on elementary and secondary 
education, we are all going to have important amendments. I am going to 
have one on school construction, to help our schools meet that need. 
But really, when you think about what we need in the earliest years--
kindergarten, first, second, third grade--this amendment, I submit, is 
the single most important. You can have the most modern classrooms in 
the world; you can have the best buildings; you can be wired for the 
Internet; you can have all this great stuff; but if you have one 
teacher teaching 30 kids, it doesn't mean a thing. So this really is 
the hub around which the rest of this is all spinning.
  I have seen with my own eyes what has happened in the last couple of 
years in my State of Iowa with class size reduction. When you talk with 
teachers who have had 25, 28 students and they now have 18--I talked to 
one teacher in Iowa who had 15 students in a first grade class. She 
thought she had died and gone to heaven. She said: This is why I became 
a teacher. When I went through college and I got into student teaching, 
I remember I was in classrooms with 28 or 30 kids. I got out of college 
and I remember--the first class she told me about, I forget the exact 
number but it was 25, 26, 27, 28 kids. Now she has 15. She says now she 
can teach as she was taught in college. You could just see it on her 
face, just how she felt about her job. You could see it in the kids' 
faces, too. I will have more to say about that in a second.

  This is what we are talking about. This is a picture that says it 
all. It is a modern classroom. It is well lit, well structured. There 
is plenty of work space. There are 18 kids. This is the Cleveland 
Elementary School in Elkhart, IN. That is the kind of classroom a 
teacher needs, to be able to give the kind of personal attention that a 
student needs. That is what we are talking about, that kind of 
classroom.
  The Class Size Reduction Program has been a great success. Since 1999 
when Senator Murray first started this effort, more than 29,000 
teachers have been hired and more than 1.7 million children are 
benefiting because they are in smaller classes. Yet the bill we have--
and I might say the budget we are going to be voting on tomorrow--will 
not allow us to continue this program. This is not the time to abandon 
the national commitment we have had in the past to reduce class size 
across America.
  As I said, we have the data. We have the research. It has confirmed 
what we intuitively already knew, what students knew, what teachers 
knew: smaller classes boost student achievement. They get better 
grades.
  We also know that minority students especially perform better than 
their peers in larger classes. The news release was put out on August 6 
about Project STAR, the Student-Teacher Achievement Ratio. It is a 
Tennessee study. It tracked the progress of 11,600 elementary school 
students and their teachers comparing those who were randomly assigned 
to smaller classes--13 to 17 students for grades K-3--with those 
randomly assigned to larger class sizes--22 to 25 pupils--or regular 
size classes with a teacher's aide.
  All the students were in regular-sized classes from the fourth grade 
on. So, again, they compared the students in the smaller class sizes, 
13 to 17 students, with students who were in classes that had 22 to 25 
students. What they found was smaller classes have a greater effect on 
African-American students than white students. While students were in 
smaller classes, the black-white gap in achievement fell by 38 percent. 
That is significant, 38 percent. And it remained 15 percent smaller 
after the students returned to normal-sized classes after the fourth 
grade.
  While they were in kindergarten through third grade, the gap between 
the score achievement results for students between black and white 
increased by 38 percent. Even when, in fourth grade, they went into 
regular size and bigger classes, it was 15-percent smaller than for 
those who were never in smaller classes.
  Again, what we all know is if you get to them early in life and you 
give them good instruction and good teaching and good support, it 
carries on. If you cheat them out of that early in life, that also 
carries on.
  How many times do we have to learn around here that patching, fixing, 
and mending will get you a little bit, but to do it right in the first 
place in kindergarten, first, second, third and, I submit, even in 
preschool, means you don't have to patch and fix and mend and repair 
later on, and you are much further ahead.
  That is what this study shows. This was not just a small study; this 
was 11,600 students. The study says that smaller pupil-teacher ratios 
can account for almost all of the narrowing of the black-white gap 
since 1971 as measured by the National Assessment of Educational 
Progress exam.
  The study says smaller classes increased the likelihood that black 
students who take the ACT or the SAT college entrance exams grew from 
3l.8 percent to 41.3 percent, a sharper increase than among white 
students, which grew from 44.7 percent to 46.4. If all students were 
assigned to a small class, the authors of the study wrote, the black-
white gap in taking a college

[[Page S4477]]

entrance exam would fall by an estimated 60 percent.
  Think about that. If all students were assigned--they are 
extrapolating, I know. We have the study of 11,600. If you extrapolated 
that out, the black-white gap in taking college entrance exams would 
close by an estimated 60 percent.
  When we talk about not leaving kids behind, let's face it. What are 
we talking about? Under the Bush budget that we see coming down the 
pike and we will be voting on tomorrow, he says leave no kid in the 
suburbs behind. Leave no kid behind who has well-heeled parents, or 
parents who are Senators, Congressmen, Presidents, or CEOs of major oil 
companies, or law firms. Let's face it. We have good public schools. We 
are talking about the kids who have bad schools and poorly trained 
teachers. Yes, we are talking mostly about minority students.
  As we talk about trying to leave no kid behind, we should be talking 
about not leaving behind those who are at the bottom of the economic 
ladder. That is really what we are talking about. You don't leave those 
at the top of the ladder behind. They are never left behind. We make a 
good living here. Our kids are never left behind. The sons and 
daughters of CEOs, of corporation lawyers and lawyers downtown and 
college teachers are never left behind. The sons and daughters of those 
who are new Americans, many of them immigrants who come to this 
country, and the African Americans who have been denied the 
opportunities for education in our country for as long as they have 
been here on our shores--and that goes back 400 years--is what we are 
really talking about, not leaving kids behind who are at the bottom 
rungs of the ladder.
  If that is what we are talking about, then we need smaller class 
sizes because the study shows they are the ones who benefit the most. 
Everyone benefits for smaller class size. Don't get me wrong. But those 
who are minority students who come from the low socioeconomic strata of 
America are the ones who benefit the most.

  The teen birth rate for those assigned to smaller classes is one-
third less among white females and 40 percent lower for black teenage 
males.
  Crime: Conviction rates were 20 percent lower for black males who 
were in smaller classes than their peers who were in regular size 
classes.
  Perhaps these aren't statistically absolute, but statistically they 
show trends and what happens when you have smaller classes.
  Again, we are talking about not leaving any student behind. This is 
really the hub of it. There is the center of the universe. A lot of it 
is spinning around out there in terms of having better schools and 
better trained teachers, better equipment, wired to the Internet, 
accountability, and testing. All of that is sort of spinning around out 
there. But in the center of all of it is how many kids per teacher are 
in these earlier classes. You can have the best trained teacher in the 
world. If you put him or her in a class of 30 kids and they can't teach 
well, those kids are going to be cheated.
  This is really the amendment to say whether or not we really care 
about leaving any children behind.
  As I said earlier, I have visited many schools in my State in the 
last couple of years since we started the class size reduction program. 
The enthusiasm and the support among the teachers, the principals, and 
parents is incalculable. Time after time they were saying, thank you; 
it is about time we were doing this.
  Last month I held two appropriations field hearings in Iowa. I heard 
from a lot of people about all aspects of elementary and secondary 
education. But I think the most poignant testimony had to do with class 
size reduction.
  Jolene Franken, president of the Iowa State Education Association, 
has 30 years of teaching experience in Iowa elementary schools. This is 
what she told me:

       Try teaching 30 students versus 20 students and see how 
     much individual help you can give to students. . . . In order 
     for teachers to do their best, they must know their students' 
     needs, learning styles, strengths and weaknesses--these 
     things are impossible with large class sizes.

  Sherry Brown, Cedar Falls, testified on behalf of the Iowa PTA. She 
said:

       The advantages of small class-sizes in the early grades on 
     overall academic achievement are well documented, but the 
     advantages also include improved parent involvement. When 
     teachers have fewer students, they have fewer parents with 
     which to communicate and are able to confer with them more 
     frequently.

  Maybe that is something some of us haven't thought about. After what 
Sherry said, I thought about it. It stands to reason that we want 
parents more involved with their kids' education. A lot of that has to 
do with the teacher talking to these parents and getting the parents 
involved. When you have a huge class and 60 parents, it is very hard to 
communicate with all of them. Cut that down by a third or more. Then 
you can see what Sherry Brown was talking about. They can talk to the 
parents more frequently.

  During a visit to Starry Elementary School in Marion a while back, I 
spoke with Reggie Long, a first grade teacher for 30 years. She told me 
she really appreciated the smaller classes. She said:

       It's nice because I can give individual attention to the 
     kids. We just give them so much academically now. If you 
     don't give them individual help, they can't succeed and we 
     can't succeed as teachers.

  The superintendent of the school district said:

       The key to effective teaching is getting to know the 
     students and parents.

  William Jacobson said that it is easier when teachers have fewer 
students in their classes.
  Two years ago, Angie Borgmeyer, a teacher in Indianola--my home 
county--had 27 students in her second grade class. I visited her last 
year, and because of class size reduction, she was down to 21 students. 
She thought it was still too many, but she said 27 was way too many. 
She said:

       It's very difficult with that many students. When you're 
     trying to teach them to read and give them basic arithmetic, 
     you need to be able to do it in a small group and give them 
     individual attention.

  She pleaded with us to continue the program because her goal was to 
get down to 18 students, where she believes she could really then 
fulfill her obligation and her commitment to being the best teacher 
possible.
  The Class Size Reduction Program is simple. It is flexible. It is 
popular. So I, for one, cannot understand why we are having a problem. 
Is it budgeted? It can't be the budget. The budget has $400 billion in 
some contingency fund--$400 billion--for the next 10 years. So it can't 
be a budgetary matter. We have a surplus out there. We are going to 
give tax breaks, they tell me, to a lot of people. People who make over 
$1 million a year are going to get tax breaks. So this is not a budget 
item. It is not that we do not have the money to do this. We do. It is 
a matter of priorities. That is all it is, a matter of priorities: what 
do we want to do?
  Last week, with the help of Senator Jeffords, Senator Murray, Senator 
Hagel, and others on both sides of the aisle, we adopted an amendment 
that appropriated $181 billion for special education over the next 10 
years to help us meet our goal of providing at least 40 percent of the 
average per pupil expenditure. We did that. And there is money to do 
that.
  So it seems to me that, again, in our actions we could ask: Is that a 
priority? Yes, it is. Certainly it is a priority.
  A few minutes ago I said that perhaps the biggest beneficiaries of 
smaller class sizes are our minority students. I take it back. I 
misspoke. The biggest beneficiaries of smaller class sizes are our 
students with disabilities--our kids who have special needs, who no 
longer are warehoused and pushed into institutions but are now living 
with their families and are going to their neighborhood schools with 
their friends and their neighbors, but they have special needs.
  They may be physically disabled. They may be mentally disabled or a 
combination of both. But would anyone stand in this Chamber and say it 
is time to turn the clock back? That those kids should not be in the 
classroom? That we ought to go back to the old days that I know a lot 
of us remember, when kids with disabilities were sent across the State 
to some institution, deprived of the support of their families, 
deprived of their friends and their neighbors, simply because they had 
one disability or another? I bet there isn't one Senator who would 
stand in this Chamber and advocate that. I do not think there are too 
many

[[Page S4478]]

people in this country who would advocate that.

  We have come too far. We know that both the kids with the 
disabilities and the kids without the disabilities benefit from this 
interaction in our classrooms. We have seen it. We know it.
  The kids without disabilities become more sensitized. They become 
more understanding. As I have said many times in dealing with this 
issue of education and disability, when you put such kids together 
early on, then the fact that they are going to later associate in the 
workplace with someone who has a disability is no big deal.
  When we first passed the Americans with Disabilities Act, more and 
more people with disabilities started getting into the workplace. I 
spoke in this Chamber many times and said: I know what people are 
saying. They are uncomfortable around people with disabilities. They 
don't know what to do. They don't know how to act. I have always said: 
Just be yourself. You'll be far ahead. But I understand that.
  To break down that feeling of being uncomfortable or not being able 
to associate with people who have disabilities, put all children in 
school together. Let them play together. Let them grow up together. 
They will find that it is no big deal. So it helps kids with 
disabilities and kids without disabilities. It helps all of society.
  What am I getting to in talking about this? I guess what I am getting 
to is that we put all this money into special education, to help our 
local school districts meet their obligations to educate kids with 
disabilities, but the biggest beneficiaries of small class size, I 
would submit, are those kids with disabilities.
  If you have a big class, how much attention is that student with 
special needs going to get? If you have a smaller class, the teacher 
can pay more attention to both the minority students and the kids with 
disabilities.
  So I correct what I said. I think the biggest beneficiaries of 
smaller class size maybe are not minority students but kids with 
disabilities. It seems to me, if we want to back up what we did last 
week, in providing the funds for special education, this is the 
amendment with which to do it, to make sure we have smaller class size.
  Maybe this isn't the time, but I am constrained, nonetheless, to talk 
a little about an issue because it is going to come up--I anticipate 
that it will come up--and that is the whole issue of discipline and 
discipline in our schools.
  It is a major issue. I am not in any way denigrating it nor saying 
the problem isn't there, that it does not exist. Of course it does. Any 
of us who have put kids through school know that it is an issue. But 
time and time again, when I have looked at the issue of discipline, 
especially when it concerns children with disabilities, who are under 
an individual education program, an IEP--which qualifies them under the 
IDEA program--most often, the discipline problem arises out of the 
frustration that this young person with the disability has because 
their special needs are not being attended.
  I remember a classic case one time where we had a deaf child, a deaf 
student, in a classroom and they were using visual aids, television. 
The kids would watch television as part of their learning program. I 
don't know whether it was ``Sesame Street'' or whatever. I am not 
certain what the program was. After a few days of this, the student who 
was deaf began to act up and throw things, hit other kids, became 
disruptive. What was the first impulse of the teacher? Get that kid out 
of class. The kid is becoming disruptive; I can't handle him.

  They pointed out that the reason the kid was disruptive was because 
he didn't understand what was going on on the television--they didn't 
have closed captioning--because he had been deaf since birth. He had 
trouble speaking. So he was acting out his frustration by being 
disruptive in school. But when they fixed the problem, they put in 
closed captioning, it was amazing; the discipline problem went away.
  You are going to hear more about this issue of discipline. Keep in 
mind how frustrated and angry some of these kids who have special needs 
and disabilities got, and they are not being supported so that they can 
get an appropriate education.
  Again, I come back to my point. If we have smaller class size, the 
teacher can pay more attention to the student with special needs. Any 
way you measure it, I believe this amendment before us now is the key 
to having healthier, happier, more productive students, students who 
will go on to achieve more. The idea that somehow if we are going to 
test later on--we are going to test from the third to the eighth 
grade--we are going to test every year now, that somehow this is going 
to make them better students, there is a place for testing--but not 
without the support of the funding for it, though--if you don't have 
smaller class size, this testing isn't going to mean a thing. That is 
why we have to adopt this amendment.
  I don't suppose the camera can pick these up. I had some other items 
here that were sent to me. Here are some second grade kids in McKinley 
School in Des Moines who made some posters for me, talking about how 
they felt with smaller class size.
  Here is one that said: ``There are more books and time to spend with 
adults.'' That is a second grader who wrote that.
  Here is another one. I like this one. These kids are all standing in 
line to go into the library, and this student said: ``It takes less 
time to do things.''
  Smaller class size means they don't have to stand in line so long to 
get their books. This is looking at it through the eyes of second 
graders who have seen what it means to be in smaller classes.
  I like this one. This is Chelsea. Chelsea says: ``There is more space 
in my classroom.'' The kids aren't crowded together. Think what it 
means to a child to have a little bit of space; they are not all 
crowded together. It means a lot to us, too.
  Here is another one. This is Miguel Gonzalez. He says: ``We are not 
crowded.'' And you can see all the kids are happy. They all have 
smiling faces.
  This is from Tony. Tony says: ``More books so I can learn easier, 
from the library.'' I assume he means he can get more books so he can 
learn easier because it is not so crowded. He is reading a book about 
space, he wrote there. That is a second grade kid.
  Here is one; this is Gentrie. Gentrie says: ``I can spend more time 
with the teacher.'' Here is the teacher saying, ``Hello, Gentrie.'' And 
here is Gentrie saying, ``Let's talk.'' A second grade kid, through 
this picture, says: ``Hello, Gentrie.'' She says, ``Let's talk.'' With 
smaller class size, Gentrie can talk to her teacher.

  That kind of sums it up in terms of the Murray amendment and what it 
means.
  We are going to have a budget conference report, I guess, tomorrow. 
We put $320 billion into that budget. Senator Jeffords and others, 
Senator Specter, Senator Chafee, had all voted to put more money into 
education. We had over $300 billion that we put in for education over 
the next 10 years. The Bush budget had $21.3 billion for 10 years. We 
said that is not enough. So we boosted that to $320 billion over 10 
years.
  The House, interestingly enough, had passed the budget with the 
President's figure of $21.3 billion in education over the next 10 
years, an increase. Usually when we pass something here and they pass 
something different in the House, we go to conference and compromise 
somewhere between the two. We passed a $320 billion increase in 
education over 10 years; the House passed a $21.3 billion increase over 
10 years. You would have thought that maybe we would have a compromise 
somewhere in the middle. The conference report has come back with has a 
zero increase for education. They didn't even take President Bush's 
$21.3 billion, as meager and penny pinching as that was. They zeroed it 
out.
  So the money we put in for education, the budget conference that we 
will consider later this week a zero increase, zero. What they did was 
they took all the money and put it in a contingency fund, $400 billion 
in a contingency fund for 10 years. That pot of money can be used for 
anything, as I understand it. It can be used for anything we spend 
money on. So that means education is sort of put down on the level with 
everything else. It is not that important. We will just put it down 
with everything else. But this Senate, last week, said education was 
more important; that it deserved to be increased by over $300 billion 
over the next 10 years. Later in the week we will have a budget 
conference report

[[Page S4479]]

that says: No, not only will we not even put in the President's $21.3 
billion increase; we will put in a zero increase for 10 years.
  That is why I believe it is so important for us to have a strong vote 
on the Murray amendment for class size reduction. Once again, we have 
to tell those budget negotiators that what they did is totally 
inadequate, if we are really going to meet the needs of education over 
the next 10 years.
  That is why I am hopeful we can have a good, strong vote on the 
Murray amendment. We know the figures. We know the facts. We have the 
studies. We know what smaller class size means. If we just stop and 
think to ourselves, think about our own educations and our backgrounds, 
it is just common sense. We really don't need a lot of study. Sometimes 
just good old-fashioned common sense tells us what we ought to do, that 
a smaller class is going to mean more individual attention. As Gentrie 
said, she would talk to her teacher more. Teachers can talk to parents 
more. Common sense says we have to do it. We have to have smaller class 
size.

  I guess the second question is, Can we afford to do it? Well, when 
you have $400 billion sitting in a contingency fund, nonallocated, for 
10 years, I say yes, we can. We were talking about $1.6 billion last 
year. This amendment is $2.4 billion. Let's see, if I am not mistaken, 
that would be about one-half of 1 percent, roughly, of what is in that 
contingency fund. Can we say we can't use some of that money to reduce 
class size? I think we have to follow common sense around here and 
recognize that, yes, we have the resources; yes, we are a rich enough 
country; yes, we have the money to do this; and we ought to do what is 
right.
  We ought to adopt the Murray amendment and continue what we have done 
for the last couple of years, which is working. We know it is working. 
The parents love it, as do students and teachers. We know it is going 
to benefit the kids of America. Why stop now? I think the answer is, 
don't stop it now; keep it going. Keep reducing class size. Let our 
teachers teach the way they want to teach and our students learn the 
way they want to learn, in close relationships. We will have healthier 
and better schools in the future for America.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. JEFFORDS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senator 
from Virginia be allowed to proceed as in morning business for 5 
minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. The 
Senator from Virginia is recognized.
  Mr. ALLEN. Mr. President, I will simply say the compassionate 
speeches we have heard are interesting and certainly true. Earlier 
today we had Senator Kennedy's amendment, which will give billions of 
additional dollars to localities for teachers so that children can have 
more individualized attention, or whether it is paying teachers more, 
or for teacher development, or stipends. That is a very good idea to 
empower local school boards to meet local needs as regards teachers.
  (The remarks of Mr. Allen are located in today's Record under 
``Morning Business.'')
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico.
  Mr. BINGAMAN. Mr. President, I rise, first, to support the amendment 
by the Senator from Washington regarding class size reduction. This is 
a very important amendment. It is one that will result in $13 million 
of additional funds coming to my State of New Mexico in fiscal year 
2001.
  It is a very important initiative and one that I hope very much we 
can adopt as part of this bill.
  I want to also speak more generally about the legislation that is 
before us and begin by complimenting Senator Jeffords, the chairman of 
the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, and the ranking 
member, Senator Kennedy, as well as our staffs for the fine work that 
has been done on this bill. It is an honor for me to serve on that 
committee with them and to have participated in the development of this 
legislation.
  This legislation, the Better Education for Students and Teachers Act, 
contains many provisions that I support and many that I have advocated 
for some period of time. I am especially pleased with the new 
accountability requirements that are in title I of the bill and 
throughout.
  The bill also maintains several of the most important programs that 
are targeted to specific problems that we see in my State of New Mexico 
and many other States.
  For example, the bill makes a strong commitment to reducing the very 
high dropout rates that currently affect many in our schools. The bill 
includes a measure to ensure that all teachers are well equipped to use 
new technologies in their classrooms, to incorporate it into their 
teaching to expand opportunities for students in every school.
  There are also provisions in the bill to encourage more advanced 
placement instructions to raise the level of academic performance in 
our high schools and middle schools leading into those advanced 
placement courses at the high school level.
  Clearly, the centerpiece of the bill is this section related to 
accountability. For the first time, States and school districts and 
individual schools will be held accountable for improving the academic 
performance of all students.
  I am pleased the President adopted many of these accountability 
measures. Senator Lugar and I introduced a bipartisan bill earlier this 
year. Many of those provisions now are contained in S. 1.
  Implementation of tough and mandatory accountability standards is now 
a bipartisan effort. I feel very good about that. What we are 
implementing in this bill is a rigorous accountability system that 
demands results from all students, including those whom we have 
previously classified as disadvantaged students.
  I want to take a minute to summarize the key components of this new 
performance-based accountability system.
  The bill ensures that Federal funds will be directly tied to gains in 
student performance and, most importantly, it ties these funds to 
increased student achievement for all children. The accountability 
system incorporated in the bill goes a long way to ensuring that a 
primary goal of Federal funding is the elimination of the existing 
achievement gaps between disadvantaged and advantaged groups.
  The components of the accountability system include:
  First, raising standards for all students and providing an objective 
measure for that progress which can be effectively implemented through 
a grading system for States, school districts, and schools.

  Second, focusing on the progress of disadvantaged students by setting 
separate goals for their achievement so schools must either show gains 
for those groups or be labeled as failing to make adequate progress as 
intended under the grading system.
  Third, identifying schools that are failing to meet their goals in a 
timely manner so they can receive the additional resources and support 
to help those schools turn around; also, there are strict consequences 
if that failure turns out to be chronic.
  Fourth, working to ensure that every class has a qualified teacher 
and that low-income and minority students are not taught by unqualified 
teachers at higher rates than other students.
  Fifth, providing an expanded role for parents by expanding public 
school choice, establishing school report cards to inform parents about 
the quality of their schools, including the right to know their 
teacher's qualifications.
  I do believe these strong accountability provisions in the bill are 
the right thing to do. They will improve academic achievement of all 
students, and I thank the chairman of the committee, Senator Jeffords, 
and the ranking member, Senator Kennedy, and the administration for 
joining in promoting these tough new standards.
  I also thank and acknowledge Senator Lieberman and Senator Bayh for 
the important role they played in supporting these strong 
accountability standards.
  I am also glad the committee included three other important measures 
in the bill as it was reported. The first is the dropout prevention 
program I mentioned earlier. The second will help train teachers in the 
use of technology in the classroom. I also mentioned that. And the 
third expands the opportunities for students to take advanced placement 
courses while in high school. That I also mentioned.

[[Page S4480]]

  All three of these measures have broad bipartisan support. All were 
adopted unanimously in the committee. The dropout program makes 
lowering the school dropout rate a national priority.
  Parenthetically, lowering the school dropout rate was one of the 
original goals former President Bush and the 50 Governors agreed upon 
in Charlottesville in 1989. Including it in this legislation is 
extremely important.
  It is well known that the failure to acquire a high school diploma is 
one of the greatest barriers to future employment, earnings, and 
advancement. High school completion rates remain distressingly low in 
many communities across this country and, unfortunately, in many 
communities in my State of New Mexico.
  The problem is disproportionately greatest among the minority and 
low-income students. Over 3,000 students drop out of school each day. 
Hispanic youth are nearly three times more likely to drop out of school 
as their Anglo classmates.
  It does not need to be this way. There is now strong evidence that 
efforts that are focused on students most likely to drop out, 
especially at the ninth grade level, can dramatically improve the odds 
that those students will finish high school.
  For example, in my State of New Mexico, Cibola High School in 
Albuquerque is using just such a focused effort and a small Federal 
grant to reduce its dropout rate from 9 percent to less than 2 percent 
in just 4 years. Last year, 86 percent of their ninth grade students 
earned all of their credits and moved on to the 10th grade.
  The purpose of these dropout provisions in the bill is to try to 
duplicate Cibola High School's success at schools across the Nation.
  There are three parts to the dropout program that are included in the 
bill. First is the creation of a national clearinghouse to get out 
information on research, best practices, and available resources to 
help schools implement effective dropout prevention programs.
  Second, the bill establishes a national recognition program to 
spotlight schools that do successfully reduce the dropout rate.
  Third, the bill authorizes a grant program to help schools implement 
proven approaches to reduce dropouts and put in place prevention 
programs.
  I do believe that dropout prevention needs to be a national priority. 
The need for this program is underscored by the President's increased 
emphasis on annual testing which is sure to raise concerns that dropout 
rates will increase as States try to meet their academic performance 
goals. This is a real danger, that students who are not doing well in 
the tests will be the ones most likely to drop out. With all the 
emphasis on test scores, States will not have any incentive to focus 
resources on keeping these kids in school. That is why the dropout 
prevention provisions in the bill are so important.
  In addition, I believe it is critical that States be required to set 
goals to reduce those dropout rates and report their dropout rates 
along with their annual test scores.
  Senator Harry Reid of Nevada has been a long-time champion on this 
issue and has cosponsored this dropout bill provision with me. I thank 
him for all his good work.
  The bill also includes provisions from a bipartisan Technology for 
Teachers Act, that I introduced along with Senators Cochran, 
Rockefeller, and Roberts. Technology does promise to transform 
education. Unfortunately, too many of our schools do not take full 
advantage of this opportunity simply because the teachers have not been 
properly trained to use the technology.
  I am pleased this bill includes our measure to continue the 
successful ``Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers to Use Technology'' program. 
The program provides grants to consortia of schools of education and 
State and local education agencies to develop teacher preparation 
programs to ensure that new teachers have the tools they need to take 
full advantage of new teaching technologies in their classrooms.
  Another important new measure included in the bill is the Advanced 
Placement Program. This bipartisan program is cosponsored by Senators 
Hutchison and Collins. Advanced placement programs provide high school 
students with challenging academic content. They raise the bar for 
academic standards. They allow students to earn valuable college 
credits. I believe it is very important that the Federal Government 
support efforts to expand this program.
  We have a superb example of what can be done in advanced placement 
instruction in Hobbs High School in my home State. It increased the 
participation rates in advanced placement instruction by 550 percent in 
just 3 years in that school district. A statewide program in New Mexico 
that helps low-income children pay for the cost of the tests has helped 
boost participation by 74 percent for Hispanic students, 300 percent 
for African Americans, and a remarkable 950 percent for Native American 
students. This is an important provision and one I feel very good about 
seeing in this bill.
  I also believe S. 1 is a good bill and reflects a strong bipartisan 
basis for fundamental reform of Federal education programs. I hope we 
can maintain this spirit of bipartisanship that has been able to 
prevail. I am a cosponsor of Senator Murray's class size amendment. I 
strongly urge the Senate to vote to include that in the bill.
  I will also be offering two amendments to deal with an issue I 
believe the States are not in a position to properly address. The first 
addresses the issue of school security and basic student and teacher 
safety. Senator Tim Hutchinson is a cosponsor. The other amendment is 
to expand a successful pilot program to create small learning 
communities within larger schools, the so-called schools within 
schools. Both of these have passed the Senate before. I am hopeful the 
Senate will agree to include them in this BEST bill.

  I would like to conclude with one final point. I do think it is 
important for all Senators to remember this is an authorization bill. I 
expect it will pass with bipartisan support. But the real proof of the 
will and determination of this Congress to improve education will come 
in the appropriations process.
  On the one hand, President Bush has imposed a variety of new 
requirements on the States including annual testing, but on the other 
hand the administration's budget, at least so far, does not provide 
significant increases for education. I support many of the proposed 
reforms, but so far I have failed to see the commitment of resources 
needed to make those reforms possible. I, for one, intend to be 
speaking out. We need appropriate funding levels for education this 
year and for each of the years covered by this 7-year authorization 
bill.
  I do believe that much of what we are proposing in this bill will not 
be successful unless we are willing to make the full investment of 
Federal funding required. What is called for now is an investment in 
our children's future, an investment I believe our children deserve.
  I thank the chairman of the committee, Senator Jeffords, and Senator 
Kennedy, and their staffs for their fine work. I look forward to 
continuing to work with them and the other members of the committee as 
this bill moves from the Senate floor and into conference. I hope we 
will soon see this important legislation signed into law and 
appropriately funded.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Brownback). The Senator from Delaware.
  Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, I rise to support Senator Murray's 
amendment.
  I make an observation at the outset. I do think this amendment 
suffers in one sense. It suffers from the ``not invented here'' 
syndrome. That is, I have not heard anybody yet--I am hopeful to hear 
it--come forward and say why smaller classes are not better and why the 
United States of America and the Federal Government should not help in 
accommodating most States and counties and cities change individual 
classrooms to smaller sizes.
  Maybe there is something of which I am unaware. I am anxious to hear 
it. I have been listening back in my office to this nondebate debate 
because everybody seems to be for it, based on what is going on, other 
than an oblique reference that is not good from one quarter. But other 
than that, I have not heard why smaller classes are not better.

[[Page S4481]]

  I am amazed any Senator would come to the floor of the Senate to 
argue that reducing class size is not good for children. Occasionally 
we run across those things that are so obvious on their face there is 
no debate about it. I do not know anybody--educator, noneducator, able 
to read, not able to read, with a Ph.D., with just a high school 
education--I do not know anybody who would make the argument that if 
you are given the same teacher, competent or incompetent, that teacher 
is more likely to get more information in the heads of the children in 
his or her class if there are 2 students than if there are 5, if there 
are 5 instead of 15, if there are 15 instead of 45. It just is so self-
evident.
  Results from both standardized tests and from curriculum-based tests 
show students in smaller classes continually outperform those same 
students in larger classes. These results span urban and rural schools, 
among low-income and wealthy students. In fact, when class sizes were 
decreased for minority students, their achievement rates doubled--that 
is right, doubled.
  There are certain things I do not know why we spend so much time 
debating, they are so self-evident, such as the idea that we would be 
better off in this country and more likely to raise the achievement 
level of all our children in direct proportion to how many children had 
to compete for the teacher's attention.
  Children would lose a lot if everyone had Plato as a teacher because 
they would not learn to interact with other children; they wouldn't be 
involved in sports; they wouldn't learn social skills. But, my Lord, 
does anybody think they would not learn more information if they had 
one brilliant teacher and one brilliant student, no matter how slow and 
how fast?
  Everybody knows this. The question is whether or not we are willing 
to put our money, as a priority, on what we say is the single most 
important task facing this country--education of our children.
  I ask anybody within listening distance of this microphone, on 
television or on radio, to ask themselves the following question--by 
the way, I teach. I taught as a student teacher when I was in law 
school to make money to get through law school. I now am a professor at 
Wyden University Law School, teaching an advanced course in 
constitutional law for two or three credits, depending on the semester, 
for the last eight or so semesters.
  You don't have to know rocket science to figure this out. They tell 
me there are about 190 young people who try to sign up for my class 
every year. Because it is a seminar, it is limited to no more than 16 
or 17 students, although I might note parenthetically that the school 
started putting 25 and 28 in my class. I finally went to the dean and 
said: I think it is too large. He said: Well, I guess you are right. 
And they decided to put fewer students in the class. They changed the 
schedule to a Saturday morning, and it became inconvenient at the last 
minute. So for the last two semesters I have only had five to eight 
students. I promise you, as bad of a teacher as I am, when I had 5 
students in my class, they learned a lot more than when I had 15, even 
in a targeted seminar.
  My wife has been a schoolteacher for the last 22 years. She can tell 
you, as any teacher in a public or a private school--she taught in the 
public school; now she teaches at a junior college--that everything 
changes when you have fewer students--everything. Discipline problems 
change when you have 5 students as opposed to 10; or 15 as opposed to 
45. Everything changes. The student who is self-conscious, or the 
student such as I when I was a kid who stutters, is much more likely to 
raise his or her hand with a small class than with a big class. The kid 
who raises the devil or is shy is likely to engage more in a small 
class than a big class.
  I don't get this. I don't understand why this is even a debate. I 
really truly don't.
  Some of my conservative friends believe in the devolution of power, 
which is the new, as they say, paradigm for Government. It is a fancy 
word of saying the Federal Government has no responsibility.
  If you conclude that the Federal Government has no responsibility to 
deal in any way, directly or indirectly, with elementary and secondary 
education of our students in the States and localities, then I accept 
your ``no'' vote as being based upon a rational principle. I disagree 
with your principle, but it is rational. It is rational to say the 
Federal Government should not be involved at all; ergo, I am against 
100,000 teachers. I got that. I figured that out. There are some in 
this body, many at the Cato Institute, and many at the Heritage 
Foundation who believe that. I think many of the people, including 
President Bush, may believe that. I don't know. But I understand that.
  However, I do not understand anyone making the argument that the 
distinguished Senator from Washington is wrong--if I am not mistaken, 
she used to actually teach--when she says that it is easier to 
communicate information, build confidence, and encourage involvement 
when you have a smaller class than when you have a larger class.
  Why do you think we pay so much money to send our kids to private 
universities as opposed to public universities? I went to a public 
university. I am very proud of my university, the University of 
Delaware. My son went to a large law school. In our State, we don't 
have a large public law school. My son went to Yale. He had five, six, 
or seven in his class. The fact is, I didn't get into Yale. Thank God I 
have a smart son.
  But all kidding aside, why do you think we pay all this extra money? 
Many of these brilliant young people sitting behind us and the ones who 
advise us went to those schools. They went there because, in part, of 
the teacher-pupil ratio.
  Why do you think when you send your kid to a university and you get 
that little book, which we all learn--there is a book that gives the 
ratings of all the colleges--why do you think, in addition to telling 
you the size of the library, the size of the student body, the 
endowment, and how many Nobel Laureates they have, part of the rating 
of whether they are a good or a bad school is based upon the teacher-
student ratio?

  I get confused here. Maybe I am a little slow. But if, in fact, it 
matters when you are a 22-year-old doctoral student to have a smaller 
class, tell me why it doesn't matter when you are a 7-year-old first 
grader? I don't get this. I think we need a little bit of truth in 
packaging here.
  This is not my legislation. I am a follower. But I am ready to be a 
soldier. I hope someone will come to the Chamber and debate with us 
about why smaller class size is not a good idea.
  Good. Maybe my friend is about to do that. I would love to have that 
debate.
  Simply put, smaller classes can dramatically improve the quality of a 
child's education, whether they are slow, or fast, or whether or not 
they are the brightest candle on the table. All of them will benefit 
marginally more by a smaller class.
  We began this initiative under the leadership of the Senator from the 
State of Washington 3 years ago in an attempt to reduce class size in 
grades 1-3 to no more than 18 students. I cosponsored that amendment 
with Senator Murray in her effort to continue this program in 
subsequent years.
  I would like to think that the 100,000 teacher initiative would be as 
successful as the 100,000 cops initiative that I authored in 1994. I 
don't think it is an accident that overall crime has gone down 7\1/2\ 
percent per year because we added 100,000 cops on the streets in 
addition to other initiatives. The Federal Government has no strings 
attached in terms of having any control over the cop any more than 
having any control over the teacher. The State, the district, and the 
locality control that teacher. But as we say, there are certain 
national priorities.
  No child should be left behind. One of the ways to make sure no child 
is left behind is to do just what every parent does in the supermarket 
or department store: Don't let go of her hand. Don't let go of his 
hand. And if you have 45 students in the class, you can't hold all 
their hands, figuratively speaking.
  So the degree to which you want to be assured that children are left 
behind, increase class size. The degree to which you want to diminish 
the possibility of any child being left behind, reduce class size.
  Both the cops and teachers programs focus on putting resources where 
they

[[Page S4482]]

can be most effective. For cops, it was the street. For teachers, it is 
the classroom.
  In the first year, more than 29,000 teachers were hired. Now about 
1.7 million children are directly benefiting from smaller classes.
  In my home State of Delaware, a small State, our schools rely on this 
program to fund 115 teachers statewide.
  While that may not seem to be a lot to some of my colleagues, those 
additional teachers can, and do, have a great impact in a State as 
small as mine. I debated the Senator's legislation on, I believe it 
was, ``Meet the Press'' about a year ago with the distinguished and 
serious Governor of the State of Pennsylvania, who was making the case 
that President Bush did not like this program. He pointed out--and I 
will ask permission to amend this figure in the Record if I am wrong--
my recollection is there were a couple thousand teachers in 
Pennsylvania or 1,800. It was a big number.
  I turned to my friend on that show, the Governor of Pennsylvania, and 
said: Well, then, I assume the Governor of Pennsylvania would like to 
send back the money. You don't want the teachers? They don't make a 
difference?
  So I suggest that any Senator who is opposed to this program should 
stand up and in good conscience say: By the way, we have 270 federally 
funded teachers. I would like to send all the money back. I am sending 
a petition to my Governor saying: Don't take the money. Fire those 
teachers. Send them home. Or tell us why it isn't working in your State 
to help alleviate the myriad of problems public educators face every 
day. This program is working.
  Now, in my humble opinion, is not the time to give it up, either by 
failing to provide the necessary funds for continuation or by block-
granting them with other education programs because, do you know what 
happens when you block-grant? The last people to benefit are the 
teachers. The last folks who get anything in the deal are teachers. 
This isn't for the teachers. This is for the students.
  Again, I make an analogy to the police. Before we passed the Biden 
crime bill in 1994, in the 20 largest cities in America, there was a 
net increase of less than 1.5 percent in the total number of those who 
were on police forces because--guess what--they did not want to hire 
police, not because they did not think they needed them but because 
they did not want to sign on to the commitment of year in and year out 
having to pay them. They did not want to pick up the fringe benefits, 
the health care, and so on.
  So when you block-grant it, I promise you, they are not going to put 
it in hiring more teachers. They are not going to go into your local 
school districts and say: By the way, we block-granted the money. And 
now we are going to give, for example, Abraham Lincoln School in such 
and such a county, in such and such a State, money to hire three more 
teachers.
  I hope I am wrong. But I will make a bet, if you block-grant it, a 
year after the block grant has been distributed, there will not be any 
more teachers than the day before it was distributed.
  So, folks, it is a funny thing about education: you need a teacher. 
It is a strange notion.
  I know of the incredible work Senator Kennedy has done. And I say to 
my colleague from Vermont, and all the members of this committee--
Republican and Democrat--they have done incredible work. But I cannot 
think of anything--anything at all--they have done that has the 
potential to have a more immediate impact on the amount of knowledge 
students in the United States of America attending public schools will 
acquire than reducing their class size. Maybe there is something out 
there--I do not purport to be an expert in education--but I am telling 
you, I can't think of anything in this bill more important.
  So I urge my colleagues to stand with the Senator from the State of 
Washington, Mrs. Murray, and adopt her amendment and support the Class 
Size Reduction Initiative--unless they have another idea as to how they 
are going to guarantee us that the end result of our legislation will 
be smaller class size in the States and localities that voluntarily 
choose to participate in this program.
  I thank my friend from the State of Washington for allowing me to 
participate and cosponsor this amendment. I compliment her and everyone 
else who supports this concept. I look forward to hearing opposing 
arguments on why smaller class size is not a good idea.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, I rise to speak in opposition to the Murray 
amendment. I want to build on the discussion that has gone on in this 
Chamber for several hours. I will focus on three particular points.
  No. 1, very clearly, the goal of the underlying bill is to address 
the issue of how we can best, first, diminish the achievement gap--
which has gotten worse over the last 30, 35 years, during which time 
the Elementary and Secondary Education Act has been in effect--and, No. 
2, to boost the academic achievement of everyone, to make sure we are, 
indeed, preparing our young people today and those of tomorrow for 
their future: To realize that American dream, to make sure they can 
compete, not just adequately but in a powerful way, with their 
international counterparts.
  I think the amendment of my colleague from Washington focuses, in a 
very important way, on a very important issue and that is the teacher-
student relationship. For one of the first times in the debate in 
dealing with class size, we are focusing on the face of the child in 
the classroom and on the teacher at the head of that class.
  We talk about programs a lot. We talk about money a lot. But this 
does take us down to the classroom, how we best accomplish the 
education of the child sitting in the classroom, with the teacher at 
the head of that class.
  I will argue against the amendment, basically using the argument that 
another Federal program, another Federal approach is not the answer. It 
does not mean I believe class size is not important. That is not what I 
am saying. What I am saying is we need to find out how best to achieve 
what is needed in the classroom, to make the teacher and the students 
have a relationship that maximizes student achievement, learning, and 
to minimize and, hopefully, eliminate the achievement gap over time.
  The second point I wish to address is this whole issue of looking at 
the teacher and the students in the classroom and figuring out what you 
can do to best take care of the needs of that class to boost student 
achievement.
  In my mind, if you look at all the parameters, the most important is 
the quality of the teacher. We have an impending crisis in that area. 
In part it is because of demographics, and in part it is because of the 
attractiveness of the profession, and professional development. Much of 
that is addressed in the underlying bill--something we have not talked 
about very much.
  The quality of that relationship--it does not mean quantity is not 
important--becomes first and foremost in importance, to my mind.
  Thirdly, I believe the amendment by my colleague from Washington is 
unnecessary because if class size is an issue at the school level--
whether it is in Nashville, TN, or Alamo, TN, or Kingsport, TN--it can 
be addressed as it is spelled out in the underlying bill itself.
  I want to refer back to the bill because we have talked very little 
about how that issue is addressed. A lot of people have not read the 
details of the bill itself as it relates to the issue of that teacher-
pupil relationship in the classroom itself.
  In the bill we allow schools to address their current classroom 
needs, to give them the flexibility and the freedom, the mechanism, to 
accomplish what the goal is: boosting academic achievement. It means we 
do have to examine that relationship between a teacher and a student. 
There are all sorts of variables. And you will hear that one is more 
important than another.
  A big issue is how many students are in the classroom with the 
teacher. It is not quite that simple because it depends on the subject. 
Is it mathematics? Is it science? Is it teaching a child to read? Is it 
in a classroom where there is technology and there is a lot of 
interaction going on between the teacher and the students that we might 
not have had in the past?
  A second issue is, how safe is that teacher-pupil environment where 
the

[[Page S4483]]

teaching is occurring? The goal is to boost student achievement. It is 
an issue that is addressed in the underlying bill. But the point is, in 
the classroom there are all sorts of environments that have to be 
addressed. How conducive is that environment to learning? Are there 
disruptive students in that environment? How good is that teacher?
  Earlier this week, and last week, we talked about failing to invest 
in the quality of our teachers. We are failing to give them the 
programs to make them more useful. Their intentions are good. They work 
hard. We have to look at their qualifications, their certification, 
and, lastly, what is the relationship of that teacher to technology 
today.
  Again, in this bill, which people are just beginning to really focus 
on, there is a whole section to encourage the use of technology, to 
adapt technology to the use of that classroom, again, to reduce that 
achievement gap, to boost learning for everyone, and to maximize the 
use of the teacher at the head of the classroom and the children.
  What is important in one school in one part of Nashville may be 
totally different than what is important in another school, say, in 
Memphis or in Anchorage, AK, or in Manhattan or on an Indian 
reservation. That decision should most appropriately be made by people 
in that community. Whether it is the teacher in the classroom, the 
parents looking in on that classroom, or the principal, they are the 
ones who can assess how technology is most appropriately used; what is 
the size of that classroom; how safe is that environment; how 
disruptive are the other students; all of which is placed into this 
bowl of how best to boost student achievement and maximize the teacher 
interaction with that particular student.
  The point is class size is one of those parameters and, indeed, in 
certain situations it can be very important. But rather than have 
another Federal program--because we have tried that; we have had a 
litany of hundreds of Federal programs over the last 35 years--that 
basically says, this is the problem and this is the way to fix it, why 
don't we have a program which--and it is in the underlying bill--says: 
Let's group and consolidate programs, including class size, but allow 
the decision on how to use those resources to be made by the teachers, 
by the principal, by the school district, the community, under the 
influence of parents, under the influence of local decisionmaking and 
local input.
  It comes down to a fundamental difference, what the debate has been 
over the last several years since I have been in the Senate, on which 
we have disagreed many times in the past: Whom do you trust? Whom do 
you trust to identify the needs, to respond to those needs? Is it 
another Federal program or is it the teachers and the principals and 
the school board members at the local level?
  Our approach, very clearly--the reason why I urge defeat of the 
amendment--is that, yes, we need more resources; yes, we need more 
money; we need to shine the spotlight on the issue of local control, 
but we want to free people up from government regulations, from another 
program, to allow them the how-to in boosting the achievement with 
decisions made locally.
  The second issue I will discuss is when you look at the classroom 
environment which we all want to maximize and make conducive to 
learning, the teacher is very important. We are having an impending 
crisis in the quality of teachers at the head of the class. The U.S. 
Department of Education estimates that a whole wave of teacher 
retirements as well as the demographics of rising enrollments will 
force America's public schools to recruit over 2 million new teachers 
in the next decade. It is a matter of demographics and retirement.
  I argue that instead of thinking about warm bodies, as you see this 
teacher and the student in the classroom, we absolutely must invest--
and the good news is, the underlying bill does--in improving that 
teacher quality. Teacher quality in the classroom drives academic 
success. It is the single factor most likely to boost student 
achievement. Good teachers clearly make the difference. We can all name 
our teachers. Both sides of the aisle have talked about teachers who 
have influenced their lives and the importance of that personal 
relationship in an environment which maximizes learning.

  William Sanders, from Tennessee originally, has been quoted on the 
floor because he has looked at all sorts of issues and has been 
nationally recognized for studying the environment. Again, his 
conclusions and statistics and data have been used by both sides of 
this particular issue. He says:

       When kids have ineffective teachers, they never recover.

  Teacher shortages are going to hit a high in the year 2010. We 
absolutely must begin thinking right now about how to replace what 
equates to about two-thirds of our teaching population today that 
simply will not be teaching at that time. The factors are many. In 
large part it is demographic. We know that enrollments in public and 
elementary and secondary schools are projected to rise about 4 percent 
in the next decade. That, in and of itself, is going to require more 
teachers to fill the increasing number of classrooms. The average 
teacher today, 44 years old, means that school districts all across the 
Nation will have to brace for a whole wave of retirements occurring in 
the not too distant future.
  Third, one-fourth of beginning teachers in my own State of Tennessee 
leave the profession within 5 years. More than half are teaching 
subjects in Tennessee outside their area of expertise or in subjects 
they were never trained to teach.
  On the issue of teacher quality, the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation 
reported in a recent study:

       College graduates with high test scores are less likely to 
     become teachers; licensed teachers with high test scores are 
     less likely to take jobs; employed teachers with high test 
     scores are less likely to stay, and former teachers with high 
     test scores are less likely to return.

  When you couple the critical importance of teachers with the fact 
that today America's students rank lower than their international 
counterparts in the fields of math and science and in reading, the 
issues we have talked about before, we clearly need to focus on quality 
teachers, on attraction of those teachers, supporting those teachers, 
and retention of those teachers. They are the key to motivating those 
students who may fall further and further behind--again, in part 
contributing to that increase in the achievement gap we all know so 
well.
  It is important to understand that--and class size is one of them--
the quality of the teacher is critically important to educating our 
children. I mentioned a few of the statistics, but if you just go 
through several about the qualifications of teachers today--again, 
remember, we have identified a problem; we are making this diagnosis; 
and we want to respond in an appropriate way--only one in five full-
time public school teachers feel well qualified to teach in a modern 
classroom.
  More than 25 percent of new teachers enter our Nation's schools 
poorly qualified to teach. Twelve percent of teachers enter without any 
prior classroom experience.
  If we look at inner-city schools, statistics are even worse. Inner-
city students have only a 50/50 chance of being taught by a qualified 
math or science teacher. New teachers in the United States receive less 
on-the-job training and mentoring than do their teacher counterparts in 
Japan and in Germany. I have referred to the fact that U.S. teachers 
today who are in that classroom actually teaching our children lack 
appropriate training and knowledge of a particular subject.
  The data is as follows: Many students are taught by a teacher who 
lacks either a major or a minor in the subject they are teaching.
  Of the following statistics, these are people who do not have a major 
or minor in the field in which they teach: That is, 18 percent of 
social study teachers, 40 percent of science teachers, 31 percent of 
English teachers, 34 percent of math teachers.
  In schools where more than 40 percent of the students are low income, 
nearly half the teachers are what is called ``out of field.''
  I go into some detail about this issue of quality because the focus 
is very much on what goes on in the classroom. Then the question is: 
You have identified the problem. Is it being addressed in the bill? 
This brings me to my last point. Is the Murray amendment necessary? To 
answer that, I will

[[Page S4484]]

argue, no, and I encourage my colleagues to vote against it. But it 
takes an understanding of what was done in the underlying bill and what 
is actually in the bill to understand why I can say with confidence 
that it is unnecessary as we focus on the teacher and the student in 
the classroom.
  What we do in the first part of this bill is pool the funds and the 
authorities that are existing in programs which we have had in the 
past. We have talked about that in the last hour. The existing 
Eisenhower professional development funds and the class reduction 
funds, we haven't gotten rid of those. We haven't eliminated the class 
size reduction effort, but what we have done is put those together, 
consolidated them.
  We pool those funds. And we do that with a very simple--this really 
comes down to the philosophical difference of what we think works and 
what will not work. We do that in order to give access to these 
resources to local communities to give them the flexibility to address 
their particular needs. In one school, it might be class size and they 
can use those funds for that. Remember, we have not done away with the 
funds themselves. We list that as one of the appropriate uses. But it 
might not be and it might be that school would rather use those funds 
for an afterschool program or for increasing the use of technology or 
the inclusion of technology in that program.
  The point is that we have taken the class size reduction funds and 
the other funds and we have put them together and basically said, how 
you accomplish boosting student achievement or reducing that 
achievement gap is up to you at the local level. Why? Because you know 
whether or not you need another teacher in the classroom, a smaller 
class size, or better use of technology.
  Real quickly--and I will be brief--what is in the bill? State 
activities: States may use these funds for a whole range of 
activities--certification of teachers, recruitment of teachers, 
professional development, or support for teachers. Local activities: 
Again, local decisions can be made whether or not to use these funds 
for class size, professional development, recruitment, or for the 
hiring of additional teachers.
  Local accountability is built into the underlying bill. The 
evaluation plan of a local education agency must include performance 
objectives related to student achievement, relationships to teachers, 
how well teachers are performing, participation in professional 
teaching and development activities.
  Lastly, in the bill, there is a whole series of sections that look at 
activities that address leadership by teachers, advanced certification 
and credentialing, supporting that activity by teachers, and 
transitioning to teachers for those people who might be midcareer and 
might need training to be certified to teach.
  In closing, if class size is a problem in the school, under the 
Kennedy-Jeffords bill it will and can be addressed. There are resources 
there for that. Our approach is not another Federal program, not 
admitting a program. We have tried that in the past, and we have a 
litany of programs today that clearly have not been successful. We want 
those decisions to be made locally by teachers, by principals, by 
school boards, rather than Washington, DC. Since it is provided in the 
bill, I believe there is no need to create yet another program. I urge 
defeat of this amendment when we vote on it tomorrow.
  Mr. JEFFORDS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that at 5:15 
today, the Senate proceed to a vote on the Warner amendment No. 383, 
with no second-degree amendments in order to the amendment.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, reserving the right to object. I want to 
move this process along, however I haven't spoken on this amendment. If 
anybody else wants to speak, there might be a few minutes in the 
morning. Understanding that we might be able to split that between 
Senator Murray and myself, I will not object.
  Mr. REID. Reserving the right to object, I also say that Senator 
Kennedy has indicated that he has someone lined up to do another 
amendment tonight--Senator Feinstein--if that is in keeping with what 
the majority wants. We can debate that for a while tonight. I don't 
know if the leadership wants a vote tonight or tomorrow.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I thank my friend and colleague for 
making the agreement, and we will move ahead with the vote shortly.
  We are very hopeful of getting the process moving. There are 
currently about 70 amendments. Some are in the process of being worked 
through because they are under the jurisdiction of other committees.
  There are also many outstanding amendments which are related to this 
bill, that need to be called up. We are prepared, as we mentioned last 
Friday, to work toward the continuation of debate on these measures and 
final resolution. I know the Senator from Vermont said we are prepared 
to stay in this evening, tomorrow evening, and Thursday evening. We are 
going to have time to debate the Budget reconciliation that we will 
take up sometime this week. However, we are quite prepared to deal with 
these amendments. We urge colleagues to bring them up. I am absolutely 
amazed, quite frankly, that Members are not prepared to bring up their 
amendments. We have known this bill is going to be debated on the 
floor. We are prepared to deal with this legislation.
  I intend to ask our leaders on our side to request consent to 
establish a deadline for submitting amendments. We welcome our 
colleagues to submit amendments, and we want to try to have a full 
opportunity for discussion on these measures. It is about time we had 
good debate on this legislation. That is what I know my friend and 
colleague from Vermont is prepared to do. I am prepared to do that.
  I make the plea to my colleagues on this side of the aisle to address 
these measures and do it in a timely manner. We understand the priority 
that the budget has, and we have all been around here long enough to 
know that unless some deadlines are established, unfortunately, we are 
not going to complete our business. I will work with our side and with 
the majority leader to try to establish a process where we can move in 
a timely manner. I will be glad to yield for a moment, but I would like 
to address this amendment.
  Mr. JEFFORDS. I agree with the Senator 100 percent. I suggest that 
all amendments that are filed--only all those filed by 5 p.m. tomorrow 
be considered to be voted on, or some appropriate language that would 
make that the law.
  Mr. KENNEDY. That certainly is a proposal I could support. I will not 
offer that at this time, though.
  Mr. BIDEN. Will the Senator yield for a unanimous consent request?
  Mr. KENNEDY. I am glad to yield.
  Mr. BIDEN. I ask unanimous consent that my amendment No. 386 be 
called up and then set aside, just so I make sure I am in this game.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection to setting aside the 
pending amendment for this consideration?
  Without objection, the pending amendment is set aside.


                 Amendment No. 386 to Amendment No. 358

  Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, I send an amendment to the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Delaware [Mr. Biden] proposes an amendment 
     numbered 386.

  The amendment reads as follows:

         (Purpose: To provide resource officers in our schools)

       On page 893, after line 14, add the following:

     SEC. ____. SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER PROJECTS.

       (a) COPS Program.--Section 1701(d) of title I of the 
     Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 
     3796dd(d)) is amended--
       (1) in paragraph (7) by inserting ``school officials,'' 
     after ``enforcement officers''; and
       (2) by striking paragraph (8) and inserting the following:
       ``(8) establish school-based partnerships between local law 
     enforcement agencies and local school systems, by using 
     school resource officers who operate in and around elementary 
     and secondary schools to serve as a law enforcement liaison 
     with other Federal, State, and local law enforcement and 
     regulatory agencies, combat school-related crime and disorder 
     problems, gang membership and criminal activity, firearms and 
     explosives-related incidents, illegal use and possession of 
     alcohol, and the illegal possession, use, and distribution of 
     drugs;''.
       (b) School Resource Officer.--Section 1709(4) of title I of 
     the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 
     U.S.C. 3796dd-8) is amended--

[[Page S4485]]

       (1) by striking subparagraph (A) and inserting the 
     following:
       ``(A) to serve as a law enforcement liaison with other 
     Federal, State, and local law enforcement and regulatory 
     agencies, to address and document crime and disorder problems 
     including gangs and drug activities, firearms and explosives-
     related incidents, and the illegal use and possession of 
     alcohol affecting or occurring in or around an elementary or 
     secondary school;
       (2) by striking subparagraph (E) and inserting the 
     following:
       ``(E) to train students in conflict resolution, restorative 
     justice, and crime awareness, and to provide assistance to 
     and coordinate with other officers, mental health 
     professionals, and youth counselors who are responsible for 
     the implementation of prevention/intervention programs within 
     the schools;''; and
       (3) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(H) to work with school administrators, members of the 
     local parent teacher associations, community organizers, law 
     enforcement, fire departments, and emergency medical 
     personnel in the creation, review, and implementation of a 
     school violence prevention plan;
       ``(I) to assist in documenting the full description of all 
     firearms found or taken into custody on school property and 
     to initiate a firearms trace and ballistics examination for 
     each firearm with the local office of the Bureau of Alcohol, 
     Tobacco, and Firearms;
       ``(J) to document the full description of all explosives or 
     explosive devices found or taken into custody on school 
     property and report to the local office of the Bureau of 
     Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; and
       ``(K) to assist school administrators with the preparation 
     of the Department of Education, Annual Report on State 
     Implementation of the Gun-Free Schools Act which tracks the 
     number of students expelled per year for bringing a weapon, 
     firearm, or explosive to school.''.
       (c) Authorization of Appropriations.--Section 1001(a)(11) 
     of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act 
     of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3793(a)(11)) is amended by adding at the 
     end the following:
       ``(C) There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out 
     school resource officer activities under sections 1701(d)(8) 
     and 1709(4), to remain available until expended $180,000,000 
     for each of fiscal year 2002 through 2007.''.

  Mr. BIDEN. I ask unanimous consent that my amendment be set aside.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. KENNEDY. The pending amendment is the Murray amendment; is that 
correct.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is correct.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I want to add my strong support for the 
Murray Class Size amendment. I have listened with great interest and 
always have learned from my friend and colleague from the State of 
Washington when she proposes this amendment. It is a subject that is 
not new to the Senate. We have voted on this, and we have seen its 
implementation for a number of years and the success that it is having 
in schools across the country.
  I am always impressed by the fact that the Senator from Washington, 
who was a member of a school board and a great teacher, understands 
this issue and is able to address this issue from her personal 
experiences. We are so fortunate to have a Senator with that kind of 
experience proposing an amendment that can make an important difference 
in the education of children. I support this amendment, as I have in 
the past.
  We have tried in the legislation to find various programs that 
enhance the educational capabilities of children. It is true, as the 
Senator from Tennessee said, that there can be a local option as to 
whether schools, under the title II provisions, want to use the funds 
for smaller class sizes or professional development. It is my strong 
position we need both and we need a commitment in both areas.
  That is what this is about. We did enhance the resources for 
recruitment, enhanced training of teachers, continuing professional 
development, mentoring, and the development of additional professional 
skills dealing with the important areas of child growth and development 
and child psychology area. These are enormously important.
  If there is anything we have learned over the years, it is the power 
of well-qualified teachers with a good curriculum teaching in a class 
with a small number of students.
  I am not going to take the time of the Senate to go through the 
research base supporting reducing class size, but the studies are very 
clear. Both the Star studies that have been done in the State of 
Tennessee, and the Sage studies in the State of Wisconsin show that 
reducing class size has positive effects on student achievement and 
classroom behavior.
  I have traveled to the State of Wisconsin. I visited the classrooms. 
I heard the teachers. I talked with the parents. There has been 
dramatic and significant progress made in moving toward smaller class 
sizes.
  That has been true in the State of California as well. I will read 
from the California report on the results from the first 2 years of 
class-size reduction:

       California class-size reduction reports show that reducing 
     class size improves student achievement. A study of the first 
     3 years of class-size reduction efforts in California shows 
     that smaller classes have boosted student achievement in 
     communities across the State for the second year in a row.

  It goes on:

       The evaluation shows those students in the most 
     disadvantaged schools were most likely to be in larger 
     classes or taught by less qualified teachers. Students in 
     smaller classes outperformed their peers in larger classes 
     even with less qualified teachers. These students could be 
     performing even better if all the children in these schools 
     had fully qualified teachers and smaller classes.

  That is what we want: smaller class size and better trained teachers. 
That is absolutely essential. The Murray amendment will authorize 
continued funding to create smaller classes, hire additional teachers 
and provide those teachers with the professional development that they 
need to help every child succeed. We will have the continued commitment 
to smaller class size. With a strong bipartisan vote this morning, we 
will have the resources to make sure the neediest children in this 
country have well-qualified teachers in the classrooms, and those 
teachers will be able to give every student the individual attention 
that they deserve.
  I am amazed at what the Senator from Washington was able to do with 
her amendment. It requires a simple one-page application. It will be 
available to any school district in the country. All they fill out is 
one page. Under the formula devised in the Senator's amendment, they 
will either qualify or not qualify. It does not take a lot of grant 
writing. The school districts will know very quickly the amount that 
they are entitled to and how many classes they are able to impact. That 
will help move the process forward.

  There is flexibility in the Murray amendment. If a school district 
reaches the smaller class size goal, it states in the amendment that 
they can use the resources for professional training for teachers. It 
is enormously important.
  Senator Murray has built in flexibility. If a school achieves a lower 
class size in grades one through three, and they have the additional 
resources, they can reduce class sizes in other grades. The flexibility 
is there. If they are able to do all of them and still have resources 
left, they can use them for teacher professional development.
  I want to use my last moments to bring a few things to the attention 
of my colleagues. First, we have the recent story on the achievement 
gains by the students of the Prince Georges County Schools reported in 
this morning's Washington Post. I point out the lead story: ``Pr. 
George's Test Scores Show Best Gains Ever.'' It says:

       Prince George's County students posted their highest gains 
     ever on a key standardized test used to gauge how local 
     children measure up to their peers nationally, according to 
     the results released yesterday.

  It gives the very encouraging results.
  The superintendent was asked about the factors in ensuring these 
kinds of results. She said:

     . . . as proof that the county is serious about improving 
     academic achievement and that they would reward it with more 
     funding to reduce class size and repair deteriorating 
     buildings.

  This is what they have been able to do.
  Moving over to the jump page on A14, it talks about the importance of 
reading. That is in the BEST bill. We are in strong support of 
additional time for reading and math. We are all for that. It is in 
this bill.
  The superintendent also commented on the importance of reducing class 
size in the lower grades and placing more emphasis on training 
teachers. This is exactly what we are debating today.
  How many times do we have to see the same evidence before we learn 
this? We have the studies in Tennessee, Wisconsin, and California.
  I have a report from the Mississippi Department of Education. I will 
mention what a few of the teachers have

[[Page S4486]]

found. I will also include other comments.
  This is from Suzanne Wooley:

       The drop in the student/teacher ratio within the first 
     grade this year has been a really great tool in our ability 
     to help our children. Because of fewer numbers of children, 
     we have had practically no discipline problems. The children 
     are more like a team and they expect the best from each 
     other. This saves a great amount of our instructional time 
     for actual instruction. My teacher's assistant and I are also 
     better able to aid and instruct low-achieving students with 
     their individual needs. We are giving much more time to the 
     skills each student needs to work on. As a group, we are 
     covering our ``core-skill'' material much more quickly and 
     the children are ``catching on'' and learning the material 
     more thoroughly.

  Kelly Blacklaw:

       This is the first year that I have taught first grade. 
     However, I am accustomed to small groups, because I taught 
     Title I Reading for three years. I taught kindergarten for 
     one year prior to teaching Title I and had 30 students with 
     an assistant. Comparing this year to that particular year, 
     reduced class size has definitely been very beneficial for 
     the progress of my students. I have been able to get to know 
     my students better and much more quickly. I have been able to 
     gain a great deal of insight into their backgrounds and their 
     strengths and weaknesses.

  Ms. Simpson:

       Generally speaking, my class this year is quite low. Due to 
     that fact, a smaller classroom size has been greatly 
     appreciated. I am able to more effectively monitor the 
     children's progress as I teach, and have found that more time 
     is available to reinforce and practice important skills.

  They mention there was only one child who fell behind in reading.
  These go on and on. I do not know what more we have to do to convince 
our colleagues. We are not placing a mandate on any local district. All 
we are saying is we know this works and we hope communities will choose 
to embrace the idea of reducing class size.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, will the Senator from Massachusetts yield 
on that point for a question?
  Mr. KENNEDY. Yes, I certainly will.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I commend the Senator from Massachusetts 
and ask him again, because we have heard from the other side that this 
is some kind of Federal mandate for local class size would the Senator 
from Massachusetts not agree with me that this is a voluntary steady 
stream of money for schools that choose to use this money to reduce 
class size?

  Mr. KENNEDY. The Senator is exactly correct. It is a voluntary 
program. It will be available, with the Senator's amendment, to local 
communities that have crowding in their classrooms, as it has been in 
my own State of Massachusetts in a number of different communities with 
the same very positive results we have seen in other places.
  As the Senator remembers, we made a national commitment to hire 
100,000 teachers. This is the amendment the Senator from Washington 
offered--100,000 teachers. We have, I believe, 37,000 of them, and some 
of them have already proven to be our best.
  At the time this was announced, as the Senator remembers, we had 
former Speaker of the House Gingrich. ``We said the local school board 
would make the decisions. No new Federal bureaucracy, no State, not a 
penny in the bill that was passed goes to pay for bureaucracy; all of 
it goes to pay for local school districts. . . .'' House Speaker 
Gingrich, the first time we passed the Murray amendment, called it a 
victory for the American people: ``There will be more teachers, and 
that is good for all Americans.''
  As I remember, and as I read the amendment, I believe 99 percent of 
the funds go to the local district and the local district has the 
control. Am I correct?
  Mrs. MURRAY. I thank he Senator from Massachusetts for answering that 
question. He is absolutely correct; 99 percent of the money does go to 
the local schools at their discretion to use for class size because it 
is a national priority.
  I thank the Senator for yielding.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I want to point out very clearly, we need 
fewer children in classrooms so that teachers can give each child the 
attention necessary for that child to succeed. Teachers need the 
mentoring and the professional development that we have in the 
legislation. Smaller class size is a tried and tested program. It is 
effective. We ought to have smaller classes and more opportunities for 
teachers to get the training that they need. That is what this 
amendment is really about.
  We should not forget the commitment that we made. We know what works. 
We know it has been effective. We believe that children are worth our 
investment. We believe the Murray amendment is the best way to get this 
job done.
  I yield.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Hampshire.
  Mr. GREGG. Mr. President, I believe we are going to vote on the 
Warner amendment at 5:15; is that correct?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is correct.
  Mr. GREGG. Debate appears to be resolving around the amendment of the 
Senator from Washington, and I did want to speak to that. Then I guess 
we ought to vote.
  The amendment of the Senator from Washington is an outgrowth of a 
proposal that was put forward by President Clinton and was carried by 
the Senator from Washington for the last couple of years. However it 
fails, in my opinion, for a variety of reasons.
  The first reason it fails is the basic philosophy behind the 
amendment which is we in Washington know better--better than you, the 
American citizens who run their school districts; you, the parents 
across America; you, the principals across America; you, the school 
boards across America--how to run your schools. This is a command and 
control amendment. This is an amendment which says we are going to put 
a certain pot of money on the table--your tax dollars, by the way, tax 
dollars we took from you in Auburn, NH, or Cheyenne, WY, or Chicago, 
IL. The tax dollars that we took from you, we are going to take some of 
them and put them on the table. But before you can get any of those tax 
dollars, you have to do exactly what we tell you to do with them.
  Specifically, in this instance, you are going to have to hire more 
teachers. Even if you do not need more teachers, you are going to have 
to hire more teachers because we in Washington know a great deal more 
about what you need in your school system than you do. That is the 
basic premise of this amendment. It is one of the primary reasons I 
oppose it.
  The second problem with this amendment is there is no statistical 
standard which shows that certain class size ratios improve education. 
In fact, study after study, significant studies--in fact, 300 studies--
which have been reviewed conclude that it is the quality of the teacher 
that is key to the quality of education more than the class size. That 
is especially true after you hit a certain level of class size.
  In the United States today, the average class size ratio is 17 to 1. 
I think 44 States already meet the level of ratio that was put forward 
by the President as an appropriate level, which was 18 to 1. So we are 
not talking about dramatic reductions in class size in States across 
the country. What we are talking about is essentially trying to work at 
the fringe with some Federal money to demand that more teachers be 
hired.
  But the practical effect of that may be to reduce the quality of 
education. Why? Because you may end up with poorer teachers being hired 
because you forced on the school system the requirement that they hire 
more teachers rather than that they improve the quality and the ability 
of the teachers who are in the classroom, which almost every study has 
concluded is the key to good education.
  In fact, I hold California up as a pretty good example of how this 
works. They set in place--their right, they have the right to do it--a 
class size ratio proposal. As a result, they went out from 1995 and 
hired a whole bunch of new teachers. What happened? The number of 
certified, qualified teachers went up--this is in the K-3 area--from 
1,100 to 12,000 unqualified or teachers who were of questionable 
quality. They were not certified. They had not learned how to teach a 
third grader or second grader or first grader or one in kindergarten. 
So it is very possible that by reducing the class size, California 
actually ended up putting 11,000 more teachers into the classroom who 
didn't know how to teach.

  A couple of other important studies proved beyond any question that 
if a student is exposed to a teacher who doesn't know what they are 
doing in a subject, the recovery time for that student is 
extraordinary. Under a Rand

[[Page S4487]]

study, they concluded a student may never recover from a poor teacher--
which gets back to the initial point: We do not know whether teachers 
are good or not.
  I do not know here, standing on the floor, whether the teacher in 
Epping, NH, is good or poor, whether the teacher going to be hired is a 
good teacher or poor teacher. I don't know it in Cheyenne; I don't know 
it in Chicago. What I do know is the principal in that school probably 
does know who the good teachers are, probably does know teachers who 
have weaknesses and need assistance, probably does know whether in one 
class they need more teachers but in the other class they just need to 
improve the teacher they have. Or maybe in another class they have such 
a great teacher who is being pushed out of the school system because 
they cannot afford to pay the costs because the teacher cannot afford 
to live on the salary they are being paid and they need to pay that 
teacher more.
  I do not know the answer to those questions, but I will tell you who 
does: The local principals, the school boards, the teachers in the 
class know that, and the parents whose kids are in the classroom.
  What does this proposal say? It says it doesn't matter; you have to 
hire a new teacher. That is your option. If you want this money, you 
have to hire a new teacher.
  I think that was misguided. I think it was misguided when President 
Clinton brought it forward earlier, and as a result we have debated 
this matter on the floor a number of times. What did we do to try to 
correct this? Because we do recognize, on our side of the aisle, 
putting more teachers in the classroom may be the proper resolution to 
a specific incident; that may be what some school systems need. We also 
recognize on this side of the aisle maybe the proper resolution is 
giving that teacher more tools to work with, maybe giving that teacher 
more educational support, maybe giving that teacher some extra pay so 
they can keep teaching or some of the other things they may need.
  So we put in the bill something called the Teacher Empowerment Act. 
What the Teacher Empowerment Act does is to say let's merge these 
teaching funds; let's take this Eisenhower grant; let's take the class 
size grant, put it into a pot of money, and then give the States and 
local school districts the opportunity to use that money in four 
different areas. They can hire more teachers for their classroom if 
that is what they think they need. They can, if they need to, say to a 
teacher who may be leaving for the private sector: You are too good. We 
cannot afford to lose you. We will pay you some more money. They can, 
if they have a teacher in a classroom who maybe isn't quite up to speed 
on the academic issue they are teaching, say we are going to get some 
outside assistance; we are going to help you get your credentials up to 
speed; we are going to give you some money to help you get some more 
education. Or they can give the teacher some technical support in order 
to assist that teacher.
  They can make those decisions. We do not make them on the floor of 
the Senate. We do not tell the people who are running the local school 
boards: You must do this; you must do that. We do not tell that to the 
principals, the teachers, or the students that, or the parents of the 
students. We would rather say: Under the Teacher Empowerment Act, here 
are four uses for this pot of money. You make the decision.
  Isn't that much more logical?
  We are not saying that the idea of reducing the ratio in a classroom 
is bad. In fact, we are saying it is a good idea in many instances. In 
fact, we are saying it is one heck of a good idea if you have a good 
teacher. We are, however, saying that in those classrooms where the 
principal knows maybe he doesn't have the right teacher or she doesn't 
have the right teacher coming in, or maybe that teacher does not know 
enough about the subject of teaching, that they ought to have other 
tools available to them to make those teachers more effective.
  Interestingly enough, the studies have shown that by making teachers 
more effective in the classroom you can teach a lot more kids a lot 
better at a lot less cost than by going out and hiring unqualified 
teachers or teachers who maybe aren't cutting it. It costs about $450 
per student to bring a classroom into compliance with some of these 
proposals that are being proposed today, but if you were to do it 
through technology, it costs, I think, $90 per student. I think that 
was, again, a Rand study.
  We are saying on this side of the aisle, let's give the local school 
board the flexibility to adjust the classroom size. If they want to go 
to a ratio of 10 to 1, they can use the money to hire more teachers to 
do it. If they want a ratio, however, of 17 or 18 to 1, which is the 
average ratio today, if they want that teacher to learn more to be able 
to teach better, they should have that option. And that option is going 
to be made available under the TEA amendment, which is known as title 
II of this act.
  I think it also ought to be noted that the resources are committed in 
this area. The President has made a major commitment in the area of 
resources to teacher improvement and to class size. He has funded in 
his budget to the tune of $2.6 billion the money necessary to do 
teacher improvement and class size.
  I see the Senator from Virginia, whose amendment is coming up which I 
am not speaking to. I suspect he wants to say something about his 
amendment before it gets voted on. I yield to the Senator from Virginia 
so he can tell us what his amendment is about before we vote.
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I see my colleague seeking recognition. I 
am in no hurry.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I know the Senator from Virginia wants to 
speak on his amendment. If I could have 1 minute by unanimous consent 
to speak.
  Mr. WARNER. Of course.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. The 
Senator from Washington is recognized for 1 minute.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Thank you, Mr. President. I thank my colleague from New 
Hampshire who has spoken eloquently and passionately.
  I remind our colleagues that the class reduction bill is not a 
mandate from the Federal Government. It is a Federal partnership from 
the Federal Government to our classroom and to our schools that want to 
reduce class size in the first, second, and third grades.
  I also let our colleagues know that the California experiment which 
the Senator from New Hampshire spoke of had teachers who were hired 
that were unqualified. I agree that we don't want that to happen. That 
is exactly why in our amendment we require fully qualified teachers to 
be hired if these Federal funds are used.
  I point out that a study has shown even in the California class size 
reduction reform they didn't require fully qualified teachers. Test 
scores are up and student achievement is improving. Test results have 
been released in the last week that show student scores are up in those 
classes because they reduced class size. Reducing class size does make 
a difference.
  We target a number of areas in this bill from reading first to 
technology, to training math and science teachers. We should also 
target money for class size reduction.
  I thank the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Hampshire.
  Mr. GREGG. Mr. President, if I might quickly conclude, as the Senator 
from Virginia is not quite ready, the President's $2.6 billion for 
teacher improvement and class size reduction will be available at the 
option of the local community under the TEA legislation, which is a 
very significant increase over last year's funding level.
  Mr. JEFFORDS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the vote be 
set aside for 2 minutes to allow the Senator from Virginia to explain 
his amendment.
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, could we 
make that 5 minutes so he and I can share the time?
  Mr. JEFFORDS. Certainly. I ask unanimous consent for 5 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


          Amendment No. 383 to Amendment No. 358, As Modified

  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I found a technical deficiency in the 
manner in

[[Page S4488]]

which the amendment is drawn. It is a very simple one. It does not 
change in any way the thrust of the amendment. I would like to send to 
the desk at this time a technical change to my amendment and ask that 
it be accepted.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection to the modification?
  Mr. REID. Reserving the right to object, Mr. President, I suggest the 
absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is so modified.
  The amendment (No. 383), as modified, is as follows:

  (Purpose: To provide a sense of the Senate regarding tax relief for 
               elementary and secondary level educators)

       At the appropriate place, insert the following:

     SEC.  . SENSE OF THE SENATE REGARDING TAX RELIEF FOR 
                   ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATORS.

       (a) Findings.--The Senate finds the following:
       (1) The average salary for an elementary and secondary 
     school teacher in the United States with a Master's degree 
     and 16 years of experience is approximately $40,582.
       (2) The average starting salary for teachers in the United 
     States is $26,000.
       (3) Our educators make many personal and financial 
     sacrifices to educate our youth.
       (4) Teachers spend on average $408 a year, out of their own 
     money, to bring educational supplies into their classrooms.
       (5) Educators spend significant money out of their own 
     pocket every year on professional development expenses so 
     they can better educate our youth.
       (6) Many educators accrue significant higher education 
     student loans that must be repaid and whereas these loans are 
     accrued by educators in order for them to obtain degrees 
     necessary to become qualified to serve in our nation's 
     schools.
       (7) As a result of these numerous out of pocket expenses 
     that our teachers spend every year, and other factors, 6% of 
     the nation's teaching force leaves the profession every year, 
     and 20% of all new hires leave the teaching profession within 
     three years.
       (8) This country is in the midst of a teacher shortage, 
     with estimates that 2.4 million new teachers will be needed 
     by 2009 because of teacher attrition, teacher retirement, and 
     increased student enrollment.
       (9) The federal government can and should play a role to 
     help alleviate the nation's teaching shortage.
        (10) The current tax code provides little recognition of 
     the fact that our educators spend significant money out of 
     their own pocket to better the education of our children.
       (11) President Bush has recognized the importance of 
     providing teachers with additional tax relief, in recognition 
     of the many financial sacrifices our teachers make.
       (b) Sense of the Senate.--It is the sense of the Senate 
     that Congress should--
       (1) pass legislation providing elementary and secondary 
     level educators with additional tax relief in recognition of 
     the many out of pocket, unreimbursed expenses educators incur 
     to improve the education of our Nation's students.

  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, first, I wish to say that the thoughts I 
embrace in my amendment have been advanced in this Chamber by other 
colleagues over a number years. I particularly wish to recognize the 
Senator from Maine, Ms. Collins, and Senator Kyl, who have made similar 
efforts through the years. Therefore, I am very proud to have my name 
on this amendment. I assure you that there are many Senators, and, 
indeed, some on the other side, who have embraced this general concept 
that teachers need equal recognition to the emphasis that has been put 
thus far on the debate on students.
  My effort on this day, which is National Teachers Day--I think we 
have slowly worked through the system a resolution to that effect--is 
to recognize that many, many teachers across our Nation reach into 
their pockets and withdraw aftertax dollars and expend them for little 
things they observe in their daily teaching of students that are needed 
in the classroom. These teachers also have to constantly bring 
themselves up to speed on current events in education. Many of them 
have very burdensome financial commitments with student loans, and so 
forth.
  I think it is time the Congress recognize this profession. For so 
many years nursing and teaching were the two professions that were open 
to many, and now, fortunately, all the professions have been opened, 
and I hope equal opportunity is being given women in so many 
professions. There are now opportunities to leave teaching and seek 
higher pay in these particular positions.
  This is an amendment which simply says it is the sense of this 
institution that in the course of our deliberation on the various tax 
proposals that have come from the House and which are now beginning in 
the Senate Finance Committee--of which my distinguished colleague, the 
chairman is a member--that it would at some point take into 
consideration this type of legislation.
  I have requested $1,000, which is a pretty substantial sum. My hope 
is that we can get the maximum. But I thought we would try at that 
particular level.
  I have discussed this with my colleague, the distinguished manager. I 
know he has a few views. I would be happy to yield for his questions 
and make it technically feasible for him to take the floor.
  Mr. JEFFORDS. Mr. President, I come from a teaching family. My mother 
and sister are teachers. I know of the effort they put into teaching 
and buying supplies to make things go a little bit better. It is very 
common and accepted in the sense that it is sort of part of the job. 
But it shouldn't be.
  We are at a time when our teachers' salaries are so much lower than 
they ought to be. I think it is wrong to expect teachers to 
continuously take money out of their pockets in doing their job, when 
it should be taken care of through the school system. I think they 
would appreciate and are entitled to have a tax credit of $1,000 to 
take care of those expenditures. I will pursue that in the Finance 
Committee for my good friend.
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I presume the Senator supports Senators 
voting for this measure?
  Mr. JEFFORDS. Yes. I think it is one of the best amendments we will 
have.
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, with that, I yield the floor.
  Mr. President, the yeas and nays have been ordered, am I not correct?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The yeas and nays have been ordered on the 
amendment.
  Mr. WARNER. I thank the Chair.
  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, I am pleased to join my colleague, 
Senator Warner, in introducing this proposal. Senator Warner deserves 
credit for focusing our attention on the selfless efforts of teachers, 
and on the financial sacrifices they make, to improve their 
instructional skills and the classrooms where they teach. As President 
Bush has put it, ``Teachers sometimes lead with their hearts and pay 
with their wallets.''
  Our amendment expresses the sense of the Senate that Congress should 
pass legislation providing teachers with tax relief in recognition of 
the many out-of-pocket, unreimbursed expenses they incur to improve the 
education of our children. Our amendment is targeted to support the 
expenditures of teachers who strive for excellence beyond the 
constraints of what their schools provide. Yet our amendment is broad 
enough to embrace a number of different approaches to supporting our 
teachers through the tax code.
  Earlier this year, I introduced the Teacher Support Act of 2001, 
which is supported by good friends, Senators Kyl, Landrieu, and 
Cochran.
  Our bill has two major provisions. First, it would allow teachers and 
teacher's aides to take an above-the-line deduction for their 
professional development expenses. Second, the bill would grant 
educators a tax credit of up to $100 for books, supplies, and equipment 
that they purchase for their students.
  According to a study by the National Education Association, the 
average public school teacher spends more than $400 annually on 
classroom materials. This sacrifice is typical of the dedication of so 
many teachers to their students.
  So often, teachers in Maine and throughout the country spend their 
own money to better the classroom experiences of their students. I 
recently met with Idella Harter, president of the Maine Education 
Association, who told me of the books, rewards for student behavior, 
and other materials that she routinely purchased for her classroom. One 
year, Idella saved all of her receipts from purchases of classroom 
materials. She started adding up all the

[[Page S4489]]

receipts and was startled to discover that they totaled over $1,000! 
She said that she decided she better stop counting at that point.
  And Idella is not alone, Maureen Marshall, who handles education 
issues in my office, taught public school for several years in Hawaii 
and Virginia. In her first year as a teacher, she spent well over 
$1,000 of her own money on educational software, books, pocket charts 
to assist with language arts instruction, and other materials. And yet, 
because of her tax situation, she could not deduct these expenses from 
her taxable income.
  The ultimate beneficiaries of efforts to provide financial assistance 
to our teachers are our students. Other than involved parents, a well-
qualified teacher is the most important prerequisite for student 
success. Educational researchers have demonstrated the close 
relationship between qualified educators and successful students. 
Moreover, educators themselves understand how important professional 
development is to maintaining and extending their levels of competence. 
When I meet with teachers from Maine, they repeatedly tell me of their 
need for more professional development and the scarcity of financial 
support for this worthy pursuit.
  I greatly admire the many educators who have voluntarily financed 
additional education to improve their skills and to serve their 
students better and who purchase books, supplies, equipment and other 
materials that enhance their teaching. By enacting modest changes to 
our tax code, we can encourage educators to continue to take formal 
course work in the subject matter that they teach and to attend 
conferences to give them new ideas for presenting course work in a 
challenging manner.
  I hope that, by adopting this amendment, which is particularly 
fitting on National Teacher Day, we will pave the way for passage of 
meaningful tax relief for teachers later this year. I think we should 
make it a priority to reimburse educators for a small part of what they 
invest in our children's future.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question now occurs on agreeing to 
amendment No. 383, as modified. The yeas and nays have been ordered. 
The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. REID. I announce that the Senator from Wisconsin (Mr. Kohl and 
the Senator from Minnesota (Mr. Wellstone are necessarily absent.
  The result was announced--yeas 95, nays 3, as follows:
  [Rollcall Vote No. 95 Leg.]

                                YEAS--95

     Akaka
     Allard
     Allen
     Baucus
     Bayh
     Bennett
     Biden
     Bingaman
     Bond
     Boxer
     Breaux
     Brownback
     Bunning
     Burns
     Byrd
     Campbell
     Cantwell
     Carnahan
     Carper
     Chafee
     Cleland
     Clinton
     Cochran
     Collins
     Conrad
     Corzine
     Craig
     Crapo
     Daschle
     Dayton
     DeWine
     Dodd
     Domenici
     Dorgan
     Durbin
     Edwards
     Ensign
     Feingold
     Feinstein
     Fitzgerald
     Frist
     Graham
     Gramm
     Grassley
     Hagel
     Harkin
     Hatch
     Helms
     Hollings
     Hutchinson
     Hutchison
     Inhofe
     Inouye
     Jeffords
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Kerry
     Kyl
     Landrieu
     Leahy
     Levin
     Lieberman
     Lincoln
     Lott
     Lugar
     McCain
     McConnell
     Mikulski
     Miller
     Murkowski
     Murray
     Nelson (FL)
     Nelson (NE)
     Reed
     Reid
     Roberts
     Rockefeller
     Santorum
     Sarbanes
     Schumer
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Smith (NH)
     Smith (OR)
     Snowe
     Specter
     Stabenow
     Stevens
     Thomas
     Thompson
     Thurmond
     Torricelli
     Voinovich
     Warner
     Wyden

                                NAYS--3

     Enzi
     Gregg
     Nickles

                             NOT VOTING--2

     Kohl
     Wellstone
       
  The amendment (No. 383), as modified, was agreed to.
  Mr. REID. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, we are still working on both sides of the 
aisle to get agreements on how we will proceed with votes later on 
tonight and tomorrow. We have some items we can lock in. I ask 
unanimous consent when the Senate resumes the education bill at 9:30 
Wednesday, the Senate proceed to a vote in relation to the Mikulski 
amendment regarding technology centers with 5 minutes equally divided 
prior to closing remarks.
  I ask consent all first-degree amendments in order to S. 1 be filed 
at the desk by 5 p.m. on Wednesday and any second-degree amendments be 
limited to the subject matter contained in the first-degree amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. LOTT. In light of this, there are no further votes this evening. 
The next vote occurs at 9:35 on Wednesday. However, I understand 
Senators are ready to go with amendments or second-degree amendments. 
We will continue to work on that as long as we can get Senators to 
offer their amendments.
  Mr. DASCHLE. Will the Senator yield?
  Mr. LOTT. I yield.
  Mr. DASCHLE. I think it would be helpful to reiterate what we think 
the sequence would be. Is Senator Voinovich going next?
  Mr. LOTT. Followed by Senator Feinstein tonight.
  Mr. DASCHLE. I know Senator Carnahan has an amendment she would like 
to offer and is prepared to lay aside at the moment, and then Senator 
Mikulski is recognized, with that vote to occur on the Mikulski 
amendment tomorrow.
  Mr. LOTT. That is correct. Senator Specter has a second-degree 
amendment to the underlying Murray amendment.
  Mr. DASCHLE. The sequence, then, is Voinovich, Feinstein, Specter, 
Carnahan, and Mikulski?
  Mr. LOTT. We were not making a unanimous consent request; we are just 
trying to get clarification of the next four actions.
  Is there a problem, though, with proceeding that way?
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, I have already discussed with my 
colleagues, Senator Voinovich, Senator Carnahan, and Senator Feinstein, 
that I might have 30 seconds to lay down a second-degree amendment.
  Mr. LOTT. We will proceed with the other amendments once that 
happens.
  I yield the floor.


                 Amendment No. 388 to Amendment No. 378

  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, I send to the desk a second-degree 
amendment to the underlying amendment by Senator Murray.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Pennsylvania [Mr. Specter] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 388 to amendment No. 378.

  Mr. SPECTER. I ask unanimous consent the reading of the amendment be 
dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

             (Purpose: To provide for class size reduction)

       In lieu of the matter proposed to be inserted, insert the 
     following:

     ``SEC. ____. CLASS SIZE REDUCTION.

       ``(a) Allotment.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
     this law, from $1,625,000,000 of the amounts made available 
     to carry out part A of title II (other than subpart 5 of such 
     part A) for each fiscal year the Secretary--
       ``(1) shall make available a total of $6,000,000 to the 
     Secretary of the Interior (on behalf of the Bureau of Indian 
     Affairs) and the outlying areas for activities under this 
     section; and
       ``(2) shall allot the remainder by providing to each State 
     the same percentage of that remainder as the State received 
     of the funds allocated to States under section 307(a)(2) of 
     the Department of Education Appropriations Act, 1999.
       ``(b) Distribution to Local Educational Agencies.--
       ``(1) In general.--Each State that receives funds under 
     this section shall distribute 100 percent of such funds to 
     local educational agencies in the State, of which--
       ``(A) 80 percent shall be allocated to such local 
     educational agencies in proportion to the number of children 
     aged 5 to 17, who reside in the school district served by 
     such local educational agency and are from families below the 
     poverty line (as defined by the Office of Management and 
     Budget and revised annually in accordance with section 673(2) 
     of the Community Services Block Grant Act (42 U.S.C. 
     9902(2))) applicable to a family of the size involved for the 
     most recent fiscal year for which satisfactory data

[[Page S4490]]

     are available compared to the number of such children who 
     reside in the school districts served by all local 
     educational agencies in the State for that fiscal year; and
       ``(B) 20 percent of such amount shall be allocated to such 
     local educational agencies in accordance with the relative 
     enrollments of children aged 5 to 17, in public and private 
     nonprofit elementary and secondary schools within the 
     boundaries of the school district served by such agencies.
       ``(2) Special rule.--Notwithstanding paragraph (1), if the 
     award to a local educational agency under this section is 
     less than the starting salary for a new fully qualified 
     teacher in that agency who is certified or licensed in the 
     State (which may include certification or licensure through 
     State or local alternative routes), has a baccalaureate 
     degree, and demonstrates the general knowledge, teaching 
     skills, and subject matter knowledge required to teach in the 
     teacher's content areas, then that agency may use funds 
     provided under this section--
       ``(A) to help pay the salary of a full- or part-time 
     teacher hired to reduce class size, which may be in 
     combination with other Federal, State, or local funds; or
       ``(B) to pay for activities described in subsection 
     (c)(2)(C) which may be related to teaching in smaller 
     classes.
       ``(c) Uses.--
       ``(1) Mandatory.--The basic purpose and intent of this 
     section is to reduce class size with fully qualified 
     teachers. Each local educational agency that receives funds 
     under this section shall use such funds to carry out 
     effective approaches to reducing class size with fully 
     qualified teachers who are certified or licensed to teach 
     within the State, including teachers certified or licensed 
     through State or local alternative routes, and who 
     demonstrate competency in the areas in which the teachers 
     teach, to improve educational achievement for both regular 
     and special needs children with particular consideration 
     given to reducing class size in the early elementary grades 
     for which some research has shown class size reduction is the 
     most effective.
       ``(2) Permissive.--Each such local educational agency may 
     use funds provided under this section for--
       ``(A) recruiting (including through the use of signing 
     bonuses or other financial incentives), hiring, and training 
     fully qualified regular and special education teachers (which 
     may include hiring special education teachers to team-teach 
     with regular teachers in classrooms that contain both 
     children with disabilities and nondisabled children) and 
     teachers of special needs children, who are certified or 
     licensed to teach within the State (including teachers 
     certified or licensed through State or local alternative 
     routes), have a baccalaureate degree, and demonstrate the 
     general knowledge required to teach in their content areas;
       ``(B) testing new teachers for academic content, and to 
     meet State certification or licensure requirements that are 
     consistent with title II of the Higher Education Act of 1965; 
     and
       ``(C) providing professional development (which may include 
     such activities as promoting retention and mentoring) to 
     teachers, including special education teachers and teachers 
     of special needs children, in order to meet the goal of 
     ensuring that all instructional staff have the subject matter 
     knowledge, teaching knowledge, and teaching skills necessary 
     to teach effectively in the content area or areas in which 
     the teachers provide instruction, consistent with title II of 
     the Higher Education Act of 1965.
       ``(d) Special Rule.--Notwithstanding subsection (c)(1), a 
     local educational agency that has designed an educational 
     program that is part of a local strategy for improving the 
     educational achievement of all students, or that already has 
     reduced class size in the early grades to 18 or less (or 
     already has reduced class size to a State or local class size 
     reduction goal that was in effect on the day before the date 
     of enactment of the Department of Education Appropriations 
     Act, 2000, if that State or local educational agency goal is 
     20 or fewer children), may use funds provided under this 
     section--
       ``(1) to make further class size reductions in kindergarten 
     through grade 3;
       ``(2) to reduce class size in other grades;
       ``(3) to carry out activities to improve teacher quality, 
     including professional development; and
       ``(4) to carry out other activities authorized under title 
     V.
       ``(e) Reports.--
       ``(1) Report to secretary.--Each State receiving funds 
     under this section shall report to the Secretary regarding 
     activities in the State that are assisted under this section, 
     consistent with sections 5322 (1) and (2).
       ``(2) Report to the public.--Each State and local 
     educational agency receiving funds under this section shall 
     publicly report to parents on its progress in reducing class 
     size, increasing the percentage of classes in core academic 
     areas that are taught by fully qualified teachers who are 
     certified or licensed by the State and demonstrate competency 
     in the content areas in which the teachers teach (as 
     determined by the State), on the impact that hiring 
     additional highly qualified teachers and reducing class size 
     has had, if any, on increasing student achievement (as 
     determined by the State) or student performance (as 
     determined by the State) and on the impact that the locally 
     defined program has had, if any, on increasing student 
     achievement (as determined by the State) or student 
     performance (as determined by the State).
       ``(f) Supplement Not Supplant.--Each such agency shall use 
     funds under this section only to supplement, and not 
     supplant, State and local funds that, in the absence of such 
     funds, would otherwise be spent for activities under this 
     section.
       ``(g) Administrative Expenses.--A local educational agency 
     that receives funds under this section may use not more than 
     3 percent of such funds for local administrative expenses.
       ``(h) Request for Funds.--Each local educational agency 
     that desires to receive funds under this section shall 
     include in the application submitted under section 5333 a 
     description of--
       ``(1) the agency's program to reduce class size by hiring 
     additional highly qualified teachers; and
       ``(2) the agency's proposed educational program under this 
     section that is part of its local strategy for improving 
     educational achievement for all students.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Smith of Oregon). The Senator from Ohio is 
recognized.
  Mr. VOINOVICH. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to set aside 
the pending amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                 Amendment No. 389 to Amendment No. 358

  Mr. VOINOVICH. I send an amendment to the desk, and I ask for its 
immediate consideration.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the amendment.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Ohio [Mr. Voinovich], for himself, Mr. 
     Bayh, and Mr. Nelson of Nebraska, proposes an amendment 
     numbered 389.

  Mr. VOINOVICH. I ask unanimous consent reading of the amendment be 
dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

(Purpose: To modify provisions relating to State applications and plans 
and school improvement to provide for the input of the Governor of the 
                            State involved)

       On page 7, line 21, add ``and the Governor'' after 
     ``agency''.
       On page 8, line 1, insert ``and the Governor'' after 
     ``agency''.
       On page 35, line 10, strike the end quotation mark and the 
     second period.
       On page 35, between lines 10 and 11, insert the following:
       ``(c) State Plan.--Each Governor and State educational 
     agency shall jointly prepare a plan to carry out the 
     responsibilities of the State under sections 1116 and 1117, 
     including carrying out the State educational agency's 
     statewide system of technical assistance and support for 
     local educational agencies.''.
       On page 35, line 20, insert ``, that is jointly prepared 
     and signed by the Governor and the chief State school 
     official,'' after ``a plan''.
       On page 706, line 8, insert ``Governor and the'' after 
     ``which a''.
       On page 706, line 16, insert ``Governor and the'' after 
     ``A''.
       On page 707, line 2, insert ``Governor and the'' after 
     ``A''.

  Mr. VOINOVICH. Mr. President, the amendment that I have offered will 
improve the coordination, accountability and delivery of educational 
services in states all across America. I am pleased to be joined by 
Senator Bayh and Senator Ben Nelson in introducing this amendment.
  Mr. President, as many of my colleagues know, Senator Bayh, Senator 
Nelson and I served as Governors of our respective states; they served 
in Indiana and Nebraska respectively, and I served as Governor of Ohio 
for 8 years. As my state's chief executive, I learned that few 
individuals have more of an impact on education policy in their state 
than the Governor.
  Yet, under federal law, governors--the men and women who are their 
state's CEOs--are not able to fully participate in their state's 
education planning process.
  Mr. President, most federal education assistance to our states 
currently flows directly to state education departments, where a large 
percentage of that funding is then passed on to local schools.
  State plans submitted by state education departments to the U.S. 
Department of Education set the parameters that local school officials 
must subsequently follow in developing and implementing their own 
spending plans. However, there is no requirement that governors be 
involved in this process, nor is there any requirement for coordination 
between Chief State School Officers and Governors on the use or 
disposition of federal education dollars.
  In some states, the Chief State School Officers are appointed by 
Governors and are, therefore, accountable

[[Page S4491]]

to them, while in other states, Chief State School Officers are elected 
directly by the people. If these individuals share the same political 
leanings, there is usually little conflict on education policy. 
However, where governors and chief state school officers do not see 
eye-to-eye, potential conflict can arise that could threaten the 
educational needs of our children.
  Regardless of how a state's top education official achieves his or 
her position, in each and every state, it is the governor the public 
holds accountable for the overall condition and success of public 
schools. As it is currently written, the Senate's ESEA reauthorization 
bill also holds governors accountable for student progress, even where 
governors have no current discretion over Federal education programs 
and Federal education funding.
  This accountability issue is magnified under the legislation we are 
considering. Under Title VI of this bill, States may lose between 30 
and 75 percent of their administrative funds for formula programs if 
States fail to meet specified performance requirements.
  If a State budgets those administrative funds and they are lost as a 
result of this bill, then the entire State budget could be impacted. 
Ohio, for example, received $3.1 million in Title I administrative 
funds last year. If Ohio were to lose 75 percent of these funds, that 
would mean about $2.33 million would have to come from somewhere else 
in the state budget.
  Governors do play a leadership role in the development of State 
education policy, including standards and assessments, and the 
allocation of State budget resources for public education. Governors 
are willing to be held accountable for Federal programs as well, but it 
is imperative that the Federal Government give them the authority to 
help determine reform through Federal education programs.
  It doesn't make sense, that a Governor, who has to manage the State's 
budget and is accountable for any shortfall, is not required to be 
consulted when State educational officers set education priorities.
  Our amendment hopes to change that.
  What our amendment is designed to do, is very simple: it encourages 
consolidation and coordination between Governors and chief State school 
officers in designing State education reform plans.
  Under our amendment, State education plans submitted to the U.S. 
Secretary of Education for Federal programs, as well as funding for the 
school improvement program, must be jointly signed by both the Governor 
and the chief State school officer--both of them.
  The timing of this amendment is critical, since once Congress passes 
ESEA reauthorization this year, each State will finalize their 
educational plans and priorities. State legislatures will consider 
funding and resource issues, chief State schools officers will consult 
local districts, and Governors will set out plans for educational 
priorities throughout the State.
  Speaking from personal experience, having the Governor and the chief 
State school officer working together is absolutely critical. Having 
these two individuals working independently on education policy does 
not maximize our ability to achieve the educational goals the President 
has set out and that this Congress has set out. I believe we need to 
require both signatures.
  Our amendment will also help leverage State resources. As my 
colleagues know, the Federal contribution to education amounts to only 
7 percent, with the State and locals funding the remaining 93 percent 
of education spending in the State.
  Requiring joint sign off on education plans by the Governor and the 
chief State school officer enables the Governor to leverage and ensure 
coordination of the much larger pot of state education funding to work 
with the Federal dollars. The only way to fully leverage Federal funds 
is to ensure the coordination of these funds with State efforts.
  Governors are the national leaders in education reform. I remember as 
Governor of Ohio, we pushed for EdFlex authority from this body so that 
we could have the flexibility to combine programs and target funds 
where they were needed. Governors like Bill Clinton in Arkansas, 
Richard Reilly in South Carolina and Lamar Alexander in Tennessee 
became well known nationally on education, not because of what they did 
in Washington, but because as Governors they innovated to improve 
education in their States. Our current President, George W. Bush, ran 
for President partly to share with the rest of America, the successful 
education plan he had implemented in Texas.
  What ultimately matters--and what should drive our decisions on 
education policy--is whether or not our students learn. That is really 
what we are talking about in this debate. We must coordinate policies 
so that there is a consensus on education in the state for the benefit 
of our students. Education is too important to have our different 
stakeholders working separately. Our Governors and chief State school 
officers must be working together.
  Our amendment will foster greater cooperation between all State 
officials responsible under State law for the performance of public 
schools. It will also help to ensure that state plans submitted for 
approval by the Department of Education align with the implementation 
of State accountability legislation. It is of vital importance that 
chief State school officers and Governors work together to establish 
education goals in their States.
  I might add, Mr. President, this amendment is strongly supported by 
the National Governors' Association.
  As a former Governor who had education as one of my highest 
priorities, I am offering this amendment to make sure that the highest 
elected official of every State is a full partner with Congress in the 
effort to implement true reform. I urge my colleagues to support our 
amendment.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from California is recognized.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Will the Senator yield for a question?
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. I will.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Has an order for speaking time been reached?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There has been no such order reached.
  Mr. KENNEDY. If I could ask the Chair, I think when the leaders 
asked, there was a recognition that in order to move the process 
forward, Senator Voinovich, Senator Specter--I see the leader is here--
there was a recognition that Senator Feinstein was to speak briefly, 
Senator Mikulski--we have agreed to consider her amendment--and Senator 
Carnahan. I don't know whether consent was agreed to, but I think that 
was generally the thought.
  Mr. SESSIONS. If I could generally have the opportunity to speak 
after the last speaker, I will appreciate it.
  Mr. KENNEDY. The Senator is being very gracious. There, correctly, 
was not a consent agreement, but I think there was sort of a 
gentleperson's agreement to try to move the scheduling along. I think I 
will be here when the Senator speaks.
  Mr. SESSIONS. I understand. That will be acceptable? Do we have an 
understanding of the time the Senators will use?
  Mr. KENNEDY. Senator Carnahan, as I understand, would like to address 
the Chair and introduce her amendment and set it aside. Am I correct?
  Mrs. CARNAHAN. Yes.
  Mr. KENNEDY. I ask consent she be recognized for that purpose. Then 
the Senator from California intends to introduce her amendment and 
speak briefly. After that, the Senator from Maryland, for whatever time 
she might use. After that, the Senator from Alabama.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. If I might respond to the Democratic Chair of the 
Education Committee, I intend to speak no more than 10 minutes and 
probably even less.
  Mr. KENNEDY. If we could ask unanimous consent to that order, and 
then I ask if I can be recognized after the Senator from Alabama.
  Mr. SESSIONS. I have no objection.
  Mr. KENNEDY. I thank the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, that is the order in which 
Senators will speak.
  The Senator from Missouri.
  Mrs. CARNAHAN. Mr. President, what is the pending business?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The amendment pending right now is the 
Voinovich amendment. The Senator will have to ask that it be set aside.
  Mrs. CARNAHAN. Yes, I ask unanimous consent the pending business be 
set aside.

[[Page S4492]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                 Amendment No. 374 to Amendment No. 358

  Mrs. CARNAHAN. I call up amendment No. 374.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Missouri [Mrs. Carnahan] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 374 to amendment No. 358.

  Mrs. CARNAHAN. I ask unanimous consent reading of the amendment be 
dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

     (Purpose: To improve the quality of education in our Nation's 
                              classrooms)

       On page 319, line 4, insert ``, including teaching 
     specialists in core academic subjects'' after ``principals''.
       On page 326, line 1, insert ``, including strategies to 
     implement a year-round school schedule that will allow the 
     local educational agency to increase pay for veteran teachers 
     and reduce the agency's need to hire additional teachers or 
     construct new facilities'' after ``performance''.
       On page 327, line 2, insert ``as well as teaching 
     specialists in core academic subjects who will provide 
     increased individualized instruction to students served by 
     the local educational agency participating in the eligible 
     partnership'' after ``qualified''.
       On page 517, line 18, strike ``and''.
       On page 517, line 20, strike the period and insert ``; 
     and''.
       On page 517, between lines 20 and 21, insert the following:
       ``(I) alternative programs for the education and discipline 
     of chronically violent and disruptive students.
       On page 528, line 11, strike ``and''.
       On page 528, line 14, strike the period and insert ``; 
     and''.
       On page 528, between lines 14 and 15, insert the following:
       ``(16) alternative programs for the education and 
     discipline of chronically violent and disruptive students.
       On page 539, line 10, strike ``and''.
       On page 539, between lines 10 and 11, insert the following:
       ``(E) alternative programs for the education and discipline 
     of chronically violent and disruptive students; and''.

  Mrs. CARNAHAN. Mr. President, it has been suggested that families and 
communities give us roots, but our schools give us wings--the wings of 
opportunity that come with a solid educational background.
  I commend President Bush for putting education at the top of the 
national agenda. His goal to ``leave no child behind'' is one that all 
of us in the Congress should support. Indeed, education is a cause that 
all Americans can rally behind. For it is in the common interest to 
prepare our children for success. If we are interested in increased 
prosperity, higher productivity, safer streets, lower welfare rolls, 
and reduced need for government services, the place to start is in our 
public schools.
  The Better Education for Students and Teachers Act that we are 
debating today is an important first step. It is the product of arduous 
and painstaking negotiations on the part of my colleagues and the Bush 
administration. It represents bipartisan consensus. I applaud all those 
involved, who have put our children ahead of politics.
  The legislation will bring greater accountability to our school 
system. It will mean increased testing, targeted support for failing 
schools, and new options for parents. The core principle behind the act 
is that we can identify low-performing schools through rigorous testing 
and then give them the resources they need to turn themselves around.
  The bill is based on successful models that have been developed at 
the state level.
  In Missouri, we have a comprehensive accountability system in place 
called the Missouri Assessment Program, or MAP.
  These tests measure student progress in math, reading, science, and 
social studies to see if kids are meeting what we like to call the 
``Show-Me Standards.''
  Now I am not one who feels that increased spending automatically 
translates into improved results. But I do believe a key element of the 
reform effort is to provide troubled schools with the resources they 
need to improve performance.
  The first piece of legislation I introduced--the Quality classrooms 
Act--is designed to fit in the context of this overall education reform 
effort.
  The Quality classrooms Act calls for a new investment in our schools, 
yet offers flexibility at the local level.
  It provides school districts with the option of using funds on any of 
five proven programs: hiring new teachers; building more classrooms; 
hiring teaching specialists in core subjects such as reading, math, and 
science; creating alternative discipline programs; and instituting 
year-round school schedules.
  These are commonsense provisions that meet basic needs. And I am 
pleased that the first two ideas--class size reduction and school 
construction--are already part of the education debate.
  Today, I am introducing an amendment to accomplish the other three 
elements of the Quality Classrooms Act: specialists for core subjects; 
alternative discipline programs; and year round school programs.
  This amendment is about flexibility, not mandates. Like the Quality 
Classrooms Act, this amendment recognizes that local districts area 
best suited to make decisions about their needs.
  The amendment proposes more teaching specialists because studies show 
that reducing class size is more cost effective when focused on certain 
subjects.
  A good example of this is ``Success for All'' a program which enlists 
retired teachers and other part-timers as reading instructors. The 
instructors are carefully trained and focus on small groups of 
children.
  More than 700 schools have participated in this program, and have 
achieved impressive results. Students enjoy learning more, are more 
engaged, and develop closer bonds with their teachers.
  I point out, too, that this amendment will allow funds to be used for 
alternative programs for violent and disruptive students.
  Ask any teacher, and they will tell you that one or two chronically 
disruptive students can destroy the learning environment for the entire 
class.
  Schools need the flexibility and authority to provide safe and 
effective classrooms for all.
  At the same time, we must make sure that districts can provide 
appropriate educational resources for disruptive students.
  Under Missouri law, a teenager who carries a gun to school can be 
expelled and prohibited from returning to the traditional public 
school.
  In some areas of the state, there is simply no alternative program 
available to this student.
  Turning disruptive and potentially violent students out onto the 
streets without an education is a recipe for disaster.
  However, in some parts of the state, districts have been able to 
create very effective programs for these students, relying on 
alternative education grants under Missouri's Safe Schools Act. Often, 
the alternative programs provide students with their last chance to 
receive an education.
  In the Kirkwood School District, an alternative school has helped 
students improve their grades, behavior and attendance.
  Those participating in the program have a different learning plan 
tailored to their needs.
  Alternative programs open the door for creativity in working with 
disruptive students. The Kirkwood program, for example, collaborates 
with the juvenile court system. police officers meet with students and 
lead discussions on controlling anger, on drugs and alcohol abuse, and 
on decision-making.
  As a result, discipline problems dropped dramatically. A total of 166 
referrals to school administrators were made for students in the school 
year before they started in the alternative program. The following 
year, this number dropped to 73. School officials noted that fewer 
referrals saved the school ``at least 90 hours of administrative 
time.''
  Mr. President, the goal of my amendment is to recognize, reward, and 
encourage that kind of innovation and success.
  And finally, the amendment will help school districts implement a 
year-round school schedule where it might be appropriate.
  Studies have shown that a year-round school schedule increases 
student achievement. Teachers in traditional nine-month schools often 
spend

[[Page S4493]]

three to six weeks in the fall reviewing material that was taught 
during the previous year.
  A year-round program can work well for at-risk or learning disabled 
students who may be struggling to grasp and retain information.
  In addition, year-round schools can be a way to use facilities more 
efficiently. Some overcrowded schools stagger student attendance, so 
that one group is on vacation during each grading period.
  In one district that grows by 1,500 kids a year, the district 
implemented a staggered, year-round schedule. This allows them to serve 
2,000 additional children in a given academic year.
  Of course, a year-round approach may not be right for some districts. 
For example, in rural areas, students often play a key role on family 
farms during the summer months. That is why this amendment allows each 
district to make the choice for itself.
  There is no ``one-size-fits-all'' approach for our schools. Our 
schools and local districts need flexibility so they can make 
appropriate choices. My amendment will add to the flexibility that the 
bill already provides. I look forward to working with the manager and 
hope the amendment will receive widespread support.
  This debate has given us an unique opportunity to improve education 
in America. Major progress is within our grasp. Our support for these 
innovative reforms will give our children the wings of opportunity 
needed for success.
  Let us seize this opportunity and do what is right for our children.
  I ask unanimous consent that the amendment be laid aside.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from California.


                 Amendment No. 392 to Amendment No. 358

  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I send an amendment to the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from California [Mrs. Feinstein] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 392 to amendment No. 358.

  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that reading 
of the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

       On page 327, after line 10, add the following:
       (7) Carrying out programs and activities related to Master 
     Teachers.
       (2) Master teacher.--The term ``master teacher'' means a 
     teacher who--
       (A) is licensed or credentialed under State law in the 
     subject or grade in which the teacher teaches;
       (B) has been teaching for at least 5 years in a public or 
     private school or institution of higher education;
       (C) is selected upon application, is judged to be an 
     excellent teacher, and is recommended by administrators and 
     other teachers who are knowledgeable of the individual's 
     performance;
       (D) at the time of submission of such application, is 
     teaching and based in a public school;
       (E) assists other teachers in improving instructional 
     strategies, improves the skills of other teachers, performs 
     mentoring, develops curriculum, and offers other professional 
     development; and
       (F) enters into a contract with the local educational 
     agency to continue to teach and serve as a master teacher for 
     at least 5 additional years.

     A contract described in subparagraph (F) shall include 
     stipends, employee benefits, a description of duties and work 
     schedule, and other terms of employment.
       (e) Study and Report.--
       (1) In general.--Not later than July 1, 2005, the Secretary 
     shall conduct a study and transmit a report to Congress 
     pertaining to the utilization of funds under section 2123 for 
     Master Teachers.
       (2) Contents of report.--The report shall include an 
     analysis of:
       (A)(i) the recruitment and retention of experienced 
     teachers;
       (ii) the effect of master teachers on teaching by less 
     experienced teachers;
       (iii) the impact of mentoring new teachers by master 
     teachers;
       (iv) the impact of master teachers on student achievement; 
     and
       (v) the reduction in the rate of attrition of beginning 
     teachers; and
       (B) recommendations regarding establishing activities to 
     expand the project to additional local educational agencies 
     and school districts.

  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, today I am introducing an amendment to 
authorize school districts to use teacher training funds authorized 
under the bill to create master teachers.
  The bill before us authorizes $3 billion for FY 2002 Title II, 
teacher training. Under this amendment, school districts could use some 
of these funds to create master teacher positions.
  If, for example, $200 million were spent on master teachers, 6,600 
master teacher positions could be created if each master teacher were 
paid $30,000 on top of the current average teacher's salary.
  What is this all about? Why am I doing it? One of the things I have 
discovered is it is difficult to keep good teachers in the classroom. 
The Senator from Vermont is in the Chamber. I can't tell him how many 
times I have given an award to a teacher of the year, or a teacher of 
the month, and they accept it and say they are leaving the classroom. I 
ask: Why are you leaving the classroom? Because I got a better job in 
Silicon Valley; or I am going to become an administrator.
  When you ask why they are going to become an administrator, it is 
because of more money. The average teacher's salary is about $40,000 a 
year. In California, it is $45,000 a year. So you can work 10 or 15 
years for that amount of money, but you can become an administrator at 
$65,000 or $70,000 a year and support your family.
  So the idea occurred to me, what if we were to have a master teacher 
program and allow teachers who have taught in the classrooms for 5 
years--if they have certain credentials--to become a master teacher and 
receive the salary equal to that of an administrator?
  What would the criteria be? Under this amendment, the teacher would 
be credentialed, have at least 5 years of teaching experience, and be 
adjudged to be an excellent teacher by administrators and teachers who 
are knowledgeable about this teacher's performance. The teacher would 
have to be currently teaching and willing to enter into a contract to 
teach for another 5 years.
  The master teacher, then, would become a mentor teacher, would help 
other teachers in improving instruction and strengthening teacher 
skills, would mentor less-experienced teachers, help develop 
curriculum, and provide other professional development.
  What is interesting is that 25 percent of beginning teachers do not 
teach more than 2 years. Nearly 40 percent leave in the first 5 years. 
For my State, this is a huge problem. We have 284,030 teachers 
currently, and in the next 10 years we have to hire an additional 
300,000 teachers.
  California's rate of student enrollment is three times the national 
average. Therefore, we have to hire 26,000 new teachers every year.
  If they teach 2 years, and we lose them because they can get a better 
job elsewhere, or we lose a good teacher who has taught 6 or 7 or 8 or 
10 years because that teacher wants to become an administrator to make 
a higher salary, we lose teaching skills in the classroom.
  So I thought we could try to see if these excellent teachers would 
work in the classrooms for an additional 5 years, be willing to mentor 
other teachers, be credentialed teachers, and stay in the classrooms 
and become master teachers to help other teachers.
  There are some existing mentoring programs. I worked earlier with 
Adam Urbanski, a teacher in Rochester, NY, who pointed out to me very 
clearly how mentoring programs keep teachers in the classroom. It 
occurred to me that master teachers could produce very good dividends.
  One of the key things about all of this is that we expect so much 
from our teachers and we pay them so little. I think California is one 
of the highest cost-of-living areas in the Nation. Yet teachers earn 
$45,000. Their salary is limited.
  I would like to say to the chairman of the committee, who is in this 
Chamber, it is my understanding that the amendment is acceptable on 
both sides. I am very pleased. I intend to follow this closely. I hope 
we have a whole series of master teachers one day that burgeon 
throughout the Nation, that lead the way in keeping good teachers in 
the classroom, to increase teachers' salaries, and to increase the 
performance of the average classroom teacher.

[[Page S4494]]

  I thank very much the chairman of the committee for his indulgence.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Voinovich). The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. JEFFORDS. I believe we can accept this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there further debate on the amendment?
  Is there any objection to the amendment?
  Without objection, the amendment is agreed to.
  The amendment (No. 392) was agreed to.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. I move to reconsider the vote.
  Mr. JEFFORDS. I move to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. I thank the chairman very much.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the pending 
Voinovich amendment be laid aside.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                           Amendment No. 379

  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, I now call up amendment No. 379.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The amendment is pending.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, this amendment is very simple. It is 
very straightforward. It is a great public investment in getting our 
children ready for their future.
  What this amendment does is provide for the establishment of 
community technology centers in the United States under the provisions 
of th Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It would authorize $100 
million to create 1,000 community-based tech centers around the 
country. These centers would be created and run by community-based 
groups, such as the YMCA, the Urban League, or even a public library.
  The Federal Government would provide competitive grants to these 
community-based groups. By the third year of funding at least half of 
the funds come from the private sector. In year one, 30 percent comes 
from private sector and in year two, 40 percent must come from the 
private sector. Again, by year three the funding would be 50-50; 50 
percent from the Federal Government and 50 percent from the community-
based groups. This is truly an excellent example of a public private-
partnership and maximization of federal funds.
  By funding community technology centers, we will be helping to build 
public-private partnerships around the country. I want to stress that 
the private, nonprofit sector is eager to form these partnerships.
  Why do we need this amendment? First of all, in the President's 
education bill there is no provision for community technology centers. 
The President's budget indicates he would make it a permissible use 
under HUD to be taken out of community development block grant money. 
So why do we want this in ESEA? We want it in ESEA because essentially 
it takes technology education to where people learn in their 
communities.
  What would this mean for local communities? It would mean a safe 
haven for children where they could learn how to use computers--use 
them to do homework--use them to access the Internet. It means job 
training for adults who could use the technology centers to either get 
new skills and new tools to enter the new economy or to upgrade their 
skills.
  Also, these centers would serve all regions, races, and ethnic 
groups. They will be where they are needed, where there is often 
limited access to technology. They will be in urban, rural, and 
suburban areas. They will be in Appalachia and Native American 
reservations, and urban centers.
  Why do we need those? First of all, I want to acknowledge the 
fantastic work that Senator Jeffords has done in advocating something 
called the 21st century learning centers. He has, indeed, been a great 
advocate of that, along with his colleague, Senator Judd Gregg. They 
really have been excellent in establishing these learning centers.
  They are excellent programs, but they are primarily in schools. Most 
of them are only for children. And most of them operate during very 
specific hours. Some are open just a few hours a day; most do not 
necessarily focus on technology. I want to acknowledge that the one in 
Vermont is open weekends and even in the summer. So Vermont is really 
doing a great job.
  But why do we need these community tech centers in the community? In 
some places schools are either too worn out or too dated to be wired 
for the future. We have school facilities in desperate need of 
modernization. And the poorer the community, usually the poorer the 
physical condition of the school. Community Technology Centers would 
ensure that technology is in the community.
  Second, it is multigenerational. This means it could be used during 
the day for adults and seniors and in the afternoons for structured 
afterschool activities for children, bringing them to technology. It 
also could be open at night and on weekends. Also, it removes barriers 
to learning.
  In many of our communities, new immigrants are shy about coming into 
schools, particularly adults. There is the need to reach out to men who 
very often want to upgrade their skills, to be able to come into a new 
workforce. Certainly, in my own community of Baltimore we see that. But 
they can sometimes feel awkward at age 28, 38, or 48 walking into a 
school building. But they would walk into a community tech center. This 
is why we believe that in addition to the 21st century learning 
centers, these community technology centers are needed.

  Let me cite a few examples. The Baltimore Urban League received a 
grant to create a community tech center. They created a computer 
clubhouse, an afterschool computer center for teenagers. The young 
people were taught computer skills. They also then teach other young 
people. They are engaging in desktop publishing. During the day, it is 
used for career development, focused on Welfare-to-Work.
  In rural Odem, TX, we have another example of a community tech center 
that both worked with the people in the community but was also a source 
for distance learning. In a school district in Arizona, it helped young 
Native Americans enter the high-tech workforce.
  I could go on with example after example. Let me tell my colleagues 
this: Thanks to the leadership of Senators Harkin and Specter, and 
Labor-HHS, they funded community tech centers through appropriations. 
Be aware that they were never authorized. Essentially, Harkin and 
Specter just went ahead and did it. God bless them for doing it. But 
they could only, because of the lack of authorization, fund very few of 
these programs. In 1999, over 750 community organizations applied for 
community technology center money. Under the great leadership of 
Harkin-Specter, there was only enough money to give grants to 40 of 
these community organizations.
  There is so much pent-up need, it points to why my legislation is 
needed. I believe we do not have a worker shortage in the United 
States--we have a skills shortage. Even with dot-coms now dot-bombing, 
there still is a great need for technology workers. In fact, in 
practically every field technology literacy is needed. Manufacturing in 
my own State has gone from smokestack to cyberstack. We must have 
people with the skills who are ready. We don't have a worker shortage 
in this country; we have a skill shortage in this country. In addition 
to schools and libraries, to have 1,000 community technology centers 
would be a welcome addition into these communities and neighborhoods 
for people to have the opportunity to truly enter this new world.
  My legislation is endorsed by groups such as the National Council of 
La Raza, the NAACP headquartered in my own State, the American Library 
Association, the American Association of Community Colleges, and also 
the Computer and Communications Industry Association.
  I ask unanimous consent that their letters be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the letters were ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:


[[Page S4495]]


                                           American Association of


                                           Community Colleges,

                                    Washington, DC, March 1, 2001.
     Hon. Barbara Mikulski,
     U.S. Senate, Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC.
       Dear Senator Mikulski: The American Association of 
     Community Colleges (AACC) endorses your amendment to the 
     ``Better Education for Students and Teachers Act,'' to set 
     the authorization of funding for Community Technology Centers 
     at $100 million. AACC represents over 1,100 community 
     colleges across the country.
       This program has allowed community colleges to become 
     stronger partners with their communities and has allowed them 
     to help provide access to computers, the Internet, and 
     technology to maximize participation in the digital economy. 
     Some of the community college projects currently funded 
     provided basic computer skills instruction, video 
     conferencing links, after-school programs, welfare-to-work 
     programs and educational counseling services. The programs 
     offered at community colleges serve everyone from pre-school 
     children to adults seeking lifelong learning opportunities.
       This is a valuable program because it helps communities to 
     jointly address their challenges. The coalitions funded 
     through these programs secure non-federal matching 
     contributions and also work extensively with each other to 
     develop programs to help overcome the digital divide. The 
     federal funds provided, which cannot exceed fifty percent of 
     total project funds, provide critical seed money that will 
     establish firm foundations for project activities. Community 
     technology centers should be permanently authorized and 
     funded at levels to provide technological opportunity to 
     those who need it.
       The American Association of Community colleges urges all 
     Senators to support your amendment to this critical 
     legislation. We thank you for spearheading this initiative.
           Sincerely,
                                                  George R. Boggs,
     President and CEO.
                                  ____



                                  National Council of La Raza,

                                      Washington, DC, May 3, 2000.
     Senator Barbara A. Mikulski,
     Hart Senate Office Building,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Senator Mikulski: The National Council of La Raza 
     (NCLR) thanks you for your effort to bring the promise of 
     computer technology to communities that currently do not have 
     equitable access to this important educational tool. In 
     particular, we would like to express our support for your 
     amendment to authorize the Computer Technology Centers (CTC) 
     program.
       The transition from an industrial economy to one based on 
     information and technology presents numerous possibilities 
     and challenges. For Hispanics, the advent of the information 
     superhighway provides new educational opportunities. However, 
     it also may further widen existing educational achievement 
     gaps between Hispanics and non-Hispanics.
       Studies have shown that the use of computers at home helps 
     improve academic achievement. Yet, Hispanic students have 
     less access to a computer with Internet access at home as 
     compared to White students. In fact, White households are 
     almost twice as likely (46 percent) to own a computer than 
     Hispanic (25 percent) households.
       While there has been some success in infusing education 
     technology in America's schools, Hispanics continue to lag 
     behind their non-Hispanic peers in this area. Contrary to the 
     national statistics, schools and communities serving low-
     income and minority students, including Hispanics, are still 
     very far behind their peers in gaining access.
       Schools with a high number of low-income or minority 
     students have less access to computers and the Internet than 
     do affluent schools. For example, in 1998, schools with more 
     than 71 percent of its students receiving free or reduced-
     price lunches had only 39 percent of the instructional rooms 
     connected to the internet. In comparison, schools with 11 to 
     30 percent of such students had Internet connections in 53 
     percent of their instructional rooms.
       There are many programs designed to help schools to obtain 
     computers, Internet access, and teacher training. 
     Unfortunately, few are designed specifically to include 
     community-based organizations (CBOs). Lacking community-
     controlled colleges and universities or a system of Hispanic 
     churches, CBOs are the lifeline of the Hispanic community. 
     They are in a more advantageous position to assess the needs 
     of Hispanic children and families, and have proven track 
     records in providing successful services to community 
     members. The CTCs program creates opportunities for CBOs to 
     participate as partners in bringing this technology to their 
     communities and, therefore, should be supported.
       NCLR believes that your amendment to authorize and 
     sufficiently fund the CTCs can have a significant, positive 
     impact on the lives of many low-income Hispanic families. 
     That is why we strongly support your legislation and 
     encourage the entire Congress to do the same.
           Sincerely,
                                                   Raul Yzaguirre,
     President.
                                  ____



                                                        NAACP,

                                      Washington, DC, May 3, 2001.
     Members,
     U.S. Senate,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Senator: On behalf of the National Association for the 
     Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), I am writing to inform 
     you of our strong support for the amendment being offered by 
     Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD to S.1, the reauthorization of 
     the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Specifically, the 
     Mikulski amendment would authorize $100 million for fiscal 
     year 2002 and each of the following six years to create 1000 
     new Community Technology Centers. These centers would provide 
     disadvantaged residents of economically distressed urban and 
     rural communities with access to information technology and 
     related training. NAACP President and CEO Kweisi Mfume has 
     personally met with Senator Mikulski to discuss this issue, 
     and has made enactment of her legislation an NAACP 
     legislative priority.
       Access to computer technology is one of, if not the most 
     single important keys to success in the 21st century. A 1998 
     report by the independent Benton Institute estimated that by 
     the year 2000, 60% of all jobs in the United States would 
     require some computer skills. Too many Americans, either 
     because of their geographical location, or their lack of 
     economic resources, or both, are being left out of the 
     computer age. This ``digital divide'' currently affects whole 
     communities and, in the end, threatens the continued 
     prosperity of our nation. The digital divide is resulting in 
     an increased concentration of poverty and a deconcentration 
     of opportunity.
       According to one recent study while 46% of white families 
     have computers in their homes, only 23% of African Americans 
     can make the same claim, and only 25% of Hispanic American 
     homes are currently equipped with computers. If allowed to 
     continue, this disparity will only increase disadvantages 
     faced by low income Americans and Americans of color as they 
     try to enter the work force and improve themselves and their 
     communities. Perhaps the most frightening aspect of the 
     numerous studies that have been done about the digital divide 
     is that they all seem to agree that the disparities are 
     growing.
       Community Technology Centers, as proposed by the Mikulski 
     amendment, are an important step in addressing the current 
     technological inequities. While each center is different, and 
     tailored to the community it serves, the primary goal by 
     definition is to make computers, the Internet and various 
     software packages available to children and adults who might 
     otherwise be on the losing side of the digital divide. 
     Community Technology Centers typically offer both classes as 
     well as opportunities for individuals to take personal time 
     to hone their technology skills. Classes vary from preschool 
     and family programs to after school activities, adult 
     education and courses in career development and job 
     preparation.
       Put simply, Community Technology Centers provide 
     individuals and communities with the resources to help 
     themselves and to improve their chances at becoming educated, 
     productive Americans. I hope that you agree with me and the 
     more than 600,000 card-carrying members of the NAACP that 
     Community Technology Centers are a smart and much-needed 
     investment in the future, and that you will support the 
     Mikulski amendment. Should you have any questions, I hope you 
     will not hesitate to contact me at the NAACP Washington 
     Bureau, at (202) 638-2269 or Kimberly Ross in Senator 
     Mikulski's office at (202) 224-4654 about this important 
     amendment. Thank you in advance for your attention to this 
     matter, and I look forward to continuing to work with you and 
     this and other matters that will benefit our nation as a 
     whole.
           Sincerely,

                                            Hilary O. Shelton,

                                                         Director,
     NAACP Washington Bureau.
                                  ____



                                 American Library Association,

                                    Washington, DC, March 6, 2001.
     Hon. Barbara Mikulski,
     U.S. Senate,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Senator Mikulski: On behalf of the American Library 
     Association, I convey our support for your Community 
     Technology Centers amendment to the Elementary and Secondary 
     Education Act reauthorization. This amendment would enlarge 
     the scope of possibilities for these centers, increasing 
     their numbers and enabling libraries to continue to do their 
     part in trying to bridge the ``digital divide.''
       In Maryland, the Wicomico County Free Library has begun a 
     very successful outreach project to build bridges across the 
     digital divide in that very rural county. The library 
     currently has four centers operating in a variety of 
     community areas that are free, staffed by volunteers and, 
     with library supervision, provide technology training and 
     other services to members of the community. This outreach is 
     beginning to make a real difference and your legislation 
     could enlarge community efforts like this and allow other 
     libraries in rural parts of all states to bring access to 
     technology to their communities.
       Thank you for your efforts to enlarge the abilities of 
     libraries and other community groups to serve the public by 
     providing access to technology tools, increased skills and 
     information,
           Sincerely,
                                                 Nancy C. Kranich,
                                                        President.

[[Page S4496]]

     
                                  ____
                                       Computer and Communications


                                         Industry Association,

                                    Washington, DC, March 7, 2001.
     Senator Barbara A. Mikulski,
     Hart Senate Office Building,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Senator Mikulski: On behalf of the Computer and 
     Communications Industry Association (CCIA), I am pleased to 
     offer our support for your legislation to provide Federal 
     finding for Community Technology Centers. This proposal would 
     benefit not only those whom it would serve in economically 
     distressed communities, but also the information technology 
     industry.
       Your legislation recognizes the critical need for 
     policymakers and industry to address the growing ``digital 
     divide'' in our country between those with ready access to 
     computers and the Internet, and those for whom the promise of 
     technology is beyond their grasp. Our members believe that 
     technology can have a great leveling effect between the 
     wealthy and the disadvantaged by providing access to 
     information and services that have previously been 
     unavailable to many Americans.
       In addition, our industry faces a critical shortage of 
     workers to sustain the incredible economic growth and 
     innovation that we have experienced over recent years. 
     Particularly by exposing disadvantaged children and young 
     people to technology and teaching them basic technological 
     skills, we believe that the Community Technology Centers 
     would greatly influence these students to pursue the academic 
     disciplines that will prepare them for high-tech careers. We 
     recognize that only by reaching out to all Americans will we 
     be able to fulfill our shared goals as a country and promote 
     our general welfare.
       We commend you for introducing this excellent proposal and 
     look forward to working with you to achieve its enactment.
           Sincerely,

                                              Jason M. Mahler,

                                                Vice President and
                                                  General Counsel.

  Ms. MIKULSKI. I could elaborate on this, but I know the Senator from 
Alabama is waiting to speak. I urge the adoption of my amendment. 
Perhaps after we hear from the distinguished chairman, who has really 
been a leader in new ways to teach and educate children, I will 
subsequently ask for the yeas and nays.
  Mr. JEFFORDS. I think the Senator should ask for them now.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senator from 
Alabama is recognized.


                           Amendment No. 378

  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. President, I would like to take a minute or two to 
raise some concerns I have about the Murray amendment which would 
require schools to use Title II funding to reduce class size and would 
cost $2.4 billion.
  Mandating class size reduction is a matter that we have to be very 
careful about. It may sound good, and it may seem that reducing class 
size is the right thing to do in America. And I suppose it polls well. 
I know President Clinton pushed class size reduction very hard during 
his administration.
  I took some time to look at the numbers and to see how this would 
work. I visited a lot of schools in Alabama, talked to teachers and 
principals. I don't hear them telling me their No. 1 goal is to reduce 
class size.
  The serious question is, Is this a public policy that we ought to 
mandate on the schools? We know we have reduced class size 
significantly in the last decade or so and have gone from an average 
class size of 30 in 1961 to an average class size of 23 in 1998. During 
the period of time that we reduced class size, there was no improvement 
in standardized test scores.
  We also know that schools in South Korea and in Taiwan have class 
sizes that are nearly twice ours and they have test scores better than 
ours.
  Another factor we must consider when talking about class size 
reduction is the cost. Schools would have to hire more teachers. I have 
supported money for teachers today. But if we hire more teachers, are 
we really getting a bang for our buck? And if we do, where are they 
going to teach? They can't teach out under the shade tree. They have to 
have a classroom. That classroom has to be heated and cooled. It has to 
have a roof over it. You have to have insurance and upkeep and 
maintenance. That costs money.
  If you require schools to reduce their class sizes by 25 percent, you 
have to have 25 percent more teachers. Not only that, you have to have 
25 percent more classrooms, 25 percent more equipment, 25 percent more 
insurance, 25 percent more maintenance. It is tremendously expensive.
  All I am saying is, I reviewed an article in ``Education Week'' of 
September 1999. It suggested that mandating class size reduction is a 
bad idea. In fact, the Education Department, as late as 1988 said 
reducing class size would have little or no positive results and would, 
in effect, be a waste of money. In fact, it would be a waste of a lot 
of money.
  The numbers I have seen do not indicate that class size is a critical 
factor in student education. In fact, as many studies show, smaller 
class size seems to correspond more with lower test scores more than 
showing an increase. One reason is that a good teacher is critical to 
learning. If you are bringing on more teachers, you are more likely to 
bring on less qualified teachers than you have had and you could 
actually show a decline in learning.
  I won't go on about that tonight. I know there is a strong feeling 
that this is the right direction in which to go, but I would be very 
reluctant--and I think the Senate should be reluctant--to mandate at 
the Federal level State school systems to undertake major class size 
reduction when we can't say with any certainty that it is worth that 
expense, that it is going to get the kind of bang for our buck that we 
want to get.
  I believe that there are other things schools can do with this $2.4 
billion that and could produce more of an improvement in education. We 
should leave that decision to the schools and not mandate a 
``Washington-Knows-Best'' fix.
  I urge my colleagues to be cautious about a commitment to requiring 
schools to reduce class size, because we do not need to require our 
constituents and our school systems to expend extraordinary sums of 
money if we can't be certain that it is going to receive a benefit 
commensurate with that cost.
  I thank the Chair and yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts is recognized.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I want to thank our colleagues for 
remaining on the floor tonight and presenting their amendments. I think 
these are amendments that strengthen the legislation.
  I might mention, first of all, Senator Feinstein's amendment, which 
has been accepted. I think it adds an additional dimension to making 
sure the mentoring system would work well between senior teachers and 
newer teachers and will help all teachers be more effective in the 
classroom. The mentoring system has been enormously important, not only 
in enhancing education for children, but also in terms of retaining 
teachers. In many instances, the youngest, least experienced teachers 
teach in the most challenging classrooms, and 50% of those teachers 
leave teaching in the first five years.
  What we have also seen--and the statistics demonstrate--that when 
teachers have a mentor--pairing new teachers with a more senior 
teacher--those younger teachers develop teaching skills. They become 
better teachers. They feel more confident about their teaching, and 
their interest in staying in teaching is enhanced, and the students are 
the beneficiaries. That is certainly something that we want to 
encourage in this legislation, and I think the Feinstein amendment 
strengthens that particular proposal.
  I know when Senator Carnahan talked with us earlier about the 
amendment on professional development and about year-round schools and 
providing teaching specialists in reading in more schools, we saw--and 
I have referenced this earlier during the discussion and debate--the 
value of improved reading instruction in enhancing academic 
achievement. Today in the Washington Post, we read about the Prince 
Georges County Schools where the young children are reading for close 
to 90 minutes to 2 hours, and then spending a concentrated period of 
additional time on math. There is no question that spending more time 
reading has had a very positive impact.
  I have seen it in a number of other situations myself, and I think 
the Carnahan amendment gives important options on how to use resources 
in terms of hiring specialists in reading, and enhancing professional 
development.

[[Page S4497]]

  Then, there is also some allowable use in terms of the year-round 
schools. Experiments in year-round schools are being conducted in a 
number of different communities. Again, this legislation provides 
additional flexibility in the use of funds, while adding more 
accountability. I think Senator Carnahan has increased that kind of 
flexibility but still maintained the focus in terms of professional 
development. I think that is a very worthwhile use.
  Finally, I am a strong supporter and cosponsor of the Mikulski 
amendment. I have admired Senator Mikulski as the leader in the Senate 
on the issue of the digital divide. I think all of us are very 
mindful--it is one of the reasons that we are here--about the digital 
divide in our country. Senator Mikulski, from the beginning, has 
identified new technology as being as significant as an education tool, 
in terms of the numbers of opportunities that it opens up, or the 
numbers of opportunities that are closed down if children are not 
exposed to the Internet and to newer technologies.
  She has developed a very effective concept of these technology 
centers, which she has outlined. I visited the Computer Clubhouse in 
Boston last fall, which is one of the community technology centers in 
Boston. I met high school students who had attended the center for 3 
years. They told me that coming to the Clubhouse had changed their 
lives. Because they had the positive experiences at the Center, they 
are planning to go to college and study math, science, or engineering. 
With the very small investment this amendment would provide, we could 
begin to put a technology center in every needy community in this 
country.

  Information technology is changing how we learn at an incredible 
rate. New resources are added to the Internet every day. Web pages are 
as common as fax machines and cell phones. We cannot wait for needy 
individuals to find their own way to get access to modern resources. We 
have a responsibility to get the necessary tools to the high poverty 
urban and rural communities, and community technology centers are one 
way to fulfill that responsibility. So I urge my colleagues to support 
the amendment.
  Finally, Massachusetts was, just several years ago, 48th out of 50 in 
terms of the Internet accessibility. It was really extraordinary, Mr. 
President. We have responded to the concept of a fellow named John Gage 
from Sun Systems in California, who developed this idea of ``Net 
Days''--that is, to challenge the new industries to donate computers to 
schools and challenge labor to put wire down in these areas and in 
schools.
  We did a number of these in my State on four different Net Days. On 
Net Day, we would announce the progress made in the last 6 months. We 
went from 48th to the top 20 percent of states with Internet access in 
the country. Boston is the first urban center that had complete 
Internet accessing and training of teachers--it is very impressive.
  I must say the generosity of the high-tech community was incredibly 
impressive to me. They were enormously responsive. So many of these 
companies are headed by young professionals and it was the first time 
they had been asked to do something. They welcomed the opportunity to 
be involved in their communities.
  Then we challenged labor. In the city of Boston, on a voluntary 
basis, we got 350 miles of cable laid by the IBEW in Boston. Many of 
their children are going to these schools. It was an incredible sight 
to see so many different workers volunteering on Saturdays to wire the 
schools. It was an incredible coming together, and there was a great 
sense of pride in the achievement.
  So, Mr. President, I think the Mikulski amendment will be an enormous 
force in helping to make sure that the access to the Internet, the 
technology, the curriculum, and the training of professional personnel 
will be effective. I know the Senator well; she will pursue this to 
make sure no child is left behind in the technology area. She is 
serious about closing the digital divide.
  I thank our colleagues here today. We have made some important 
progress. We are strongly committed to starting early tomorrow and 
working late tomorrow night. We want to have a full opportunity to 
address education issues, but we want to try to also move this process 
forward. I am very grateful for the patience and courtesy of our 
colleagues today in helping us to move the legislation forward.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. JEFFORDS. Mr. President, I thank my colleague from Massachusetts. 
We are working really well together on both sides. I praise all our 
Members. We are beginning to make real progress on this bill and, 
hopefully, we will have it finished well within the time allotted to 
us.


                     Amendment No. 388, As Modified

  Mr. JEFFORDS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that Senator 
Specter's second-degree amendment be modified with the changes that are 
at the desk, and I state that this is just a drafting change and makes 
no substantive changes in the language.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment (No. 388), as modified, reads as follows:

       Strike all after the 1st word and insert the following:

       . CLASS SIZE REDUCTION.

       ``(a) Allotment.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
     this law, from $1,625,000,000 of the amounts made available 
     to carry out part A of title II (other than subpart 5 of such 
     part A) for each fiscal year the Secretary--
       ``(1) shall make available a total of $6,000,000 to the 
     Secretary of the Interior (on behalf of the Bureau of Indian 
     Affairs) and the outlying areas for activities under this 
     section; and
       ``(2) shall allot the remainder by providing to each State 
     the same percentage of that remainder as the State received 
     of the funds allocated to States under section 307(a)(2) of 
     the Department of Education Appropriations Act, 1999.
       ``(b) Distribution to Local Educational Agencies.--
       ``(1) In general.--Each State that receives funds under 
     this section shall distribute 100 percent of such funds to 
     local educational agencies in the State, of which--
       ``(A) 80 percent shall be allocated to such local 
     educational agencies in proportion to the number of children 
     aged 5 to 17, who reside in the school district served by 
     such local educational agency and are from families below the 
     poverty line (as defined by the Office of Management and 
     Budget and revised annually in accordance with section 673(2) 
     of the Community Services Block Grant Act (42 U.S.C. 
     9902(2))) applicable to a family of the size involved for the 
     most recent fiscal year for which satisfactory data are 
     available compared to the number of such children who reside 
     in the school districts served by all local educational 
     agencies in the State for that fiscal year; and
       ``(B) 20 percent of such amount shall be allocated to such 
     local educational agencies in accordance with the relative 
     enrollments of children aged 5 to 17, in public and private 
     nonprofit elementary and secondary schools within the 
     boundaries of the school district served by such agencies.
       ``(2) Special rule.--Notwithstanding paragraph (1), if the 
     award to a local educational agency under this section is 
     less than the starting salary for a new fully qualified 
     teacher in that agency who is certified or licensed in the 
     State (which may include certification or licensure through 
     State or local alternative routes), has a baccalaureate 
     degree, and demonstrates the general knowledge, teaching 
     skills, and subject matter knowledge required to teach in the 
     teacher's content areas, then that agency may use funds 
     provided under this section--
       ``(A) to help pay the salary of a full- or part-time 
     teacher hired to reduce class size, which may be in 
     combination with other Federal, State, or local funds; or
       ``(B) to pay for activities described in subsection 
     (c)(2)(C) which may be related to teaching in smaller 
     classes.
       ``(c) Uses.--
       ``(1) Mandatory.--The basic purpose and intent of this 
     section is to reduce class size with fully qualified 
     teachers. Each local educational agency that receives funds 
     under this section shall use such funds to carry out 
     effective approaches to reducing class size with fully 
     qualified teachers who are certified or licensed to teach 
     within the State, including teachers certified or licensed 
     through State or local alternative routes, and who 
     demonstrate competency in the areas in which the teachers 
     teach, to improve educational achievement for both regular 
     and special needs children with particular consideration 
     given to reducing class size in the early elementary grades 
     for which some research has shown class size reduction is the 
     most effective.
       ``(2) Permissive.--Each such local educational agency may 
     use funds provided under this section for--
       ``(A) recruiting (including through the use of signing 
     bonuses or other financial incentives), hiring, and training 
     fully qualified regular and special education teachers (which 
     may include hiring special education teachers to team-teach 
     with regular teachers in classrooms that contain both 
     children with disabilities and nondisabled children) and 
     teachers of special needs children, who are certified or 
     licensed to teach within the

[[Page S4498]]

     State (including teachers certified or licensed through State 
     or local alternative routes), have a baccalaureate degree, 
     and demonstrate the general knowledge required to teach in 
     their content areas;
       ``(B) testing new teachers for academic content, and to 
     meet State certification or licensure requirements that are 
     consistent with title II of the Higher Education Act of 1965; 
     and
       ``(C) providing professional development (which may include 
     such activities as promoting retention and mentoring) to 
     teachers, including special education teachers and teachers 
     of special needs children, in order to meet the goal of 
     ensuring that all instructional staff have the subject matter 
     knowledge, teaching knowledge, and teaching skills necessary 
     to teach effectively in the content area or areas in which 
     the teachers provide instruction, consistent with title II of 
     the Higher Education Act of 1965.
       ``(d) Special Rule.--Notwithstanding subsection (c)(1), a 
     local educational agency that has designed an educational 
     program that is part of a local strategy for improving the 
     educational achievement of all students, or that already has 
     reduced class size in the early grades to 18 or less (or 
     already has reduced class size to a State or local class size 
     reduction goal that was in effect on the day before the date 
     of enactment of the Department of Education Appropriations 
     Act, 2000, if that State or local educational agency goal is 
     20 or fewer children), may use funds provided under this 
     section--
       ``(1) to make further class size reductions in kindergarten 
     through grade 3;
       ``(2) to reduce class size in other grades;
       ``(3) to carry out activities to improve teacher quality, 
     including professional development; and
       ``(4) to carry out other activities authorized under title 
     V.
       ``(e) Reports.--
       ``(1) Report to secretary.--Each State receiving funds 
     under this section shall report to the Secretary regarding 
     activities in the State that are assisted under this section, 
     consistent with sections 5322 (1) and (2).
       ``(2) Report to the public.--Each State and local 
     educational agency receiving funds under this section shall 
     publicly report to parents on its progress in reducing class 
     size, increasing the percentage of classes in core academic 
     areas that are taught by fully qualified teachers who are 
     certified or licensed by the State and demonstrate competency 
     in the content areas in which the teachers teach (as 
     determined by the State), on the impact that hiring 
     additional highly qualified teachers and reducing class size 
     has had, if any, on increasing student achievement (as 
     determined by the State) or student performance (as 
     determined by the State) and on the impact that the locally 
     defined program has had, if any, on increasing student 
     achievement (as determined by the State) or student 
     performance (as determined by the State).
       ``(f) Supplement Not Supplant.--Each such agency shall use 
     funds under this section only to supplement, and not 
     supplant, State and local funds that, in the absence of such 
     funds, would otherwise be spent for activities under this 
     section.
       ``(g) Administrative Expenses.--A local educational agency 
     that receives funds under this section may use not more than 
     3 percent of such funds for local administrative expenses.
       ``(h) Request for Funds.--Each local educational agency 
     that desires to receive funds under this section shall 
     include in the application submitted under section 5333 a 
     description of--
       ``(1) the agency's program to reduce class size by hiring 
     additional highly qualified teachers; and
       ``(2) the agency's proposed educational program under this 
     section that is part of its local strategy for improving 
     educational achievement for all students.


                            VOTE EXPLANATION

  Mr. WELLSTONE. Mr. President, I was necessarily absent during the 
vote on the Warner amendment regarding tax relief for teachers. The 
amendment was No. 383 to S. 1, the elementary and secondary education 
bill. I would like the Record to show that if present I would have 
voted aye.

                          __________________	

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