The House's vote today approving the creation of a department of education is a significant milestone in my effort to make the Federal Government more efficient. We will now have a single Cabinet department which can provide the coherence and sense of direction needed for Federal education programs.
When I came to Washington, I was convinced that the Federal Government had failed to deliver adequately on its limited, but important role in American education. Billions of dollars were being spent, but education programs continued to be denied the full-time attention from a Cabinet Secretary that would make these programs perform effectively. That is why I proposed a separate department of education and why I have made it one of my highest legislative priorities over the past 2 years.
With a separate department of education, we will finally have a single agency and a single Cabinet official responsible full-time for the effective management of Federal aid-to-education programs. As a result, the American people will now have a much clearer picture of what the Federal Government is doing in education and who is in charge of those activities.
I would like to especially thank Chairman Brooks and Speaker O'Neill for bringing this important measure to final passage. I would also like to thank Senator Ribicoff for his successful leadership on this matter in the Senate. I look forward with great pleasure to signing the bill that these congressional leaders have helped pass.